Design Director Rebecca Nambiar talks us through a recently completed project – lighting for a refurbished family home in Emirates Hills, Dubai.
Our Design Director Rebecca Nambiar’s brief was to design the lighting for a young family in this prestigious Dubai area, that truly fitted in with their lifestyle. It needed to adapt to their lives as young parents, as well as serve the need to be a wonderful space for parties of up to two hundred guests. With this in mind, it was important that these entertainment areas still had a certain intimacy so they worked for a typical evening to ensure that the rooms were never neglected.
The clever use of circuiting allowed for multiple scenes to be created in this refurbished villa, ensuring a gorgeous ambience no matter what the occasion.
As the majority of the flooring and walls remained intact from the previous owner, there were limitations with the amount of new cabling that we could run. All uplighting – a simple yet effective tool – was therefore impossible. The decision to incorporate additional low to mid levels of light had to be done in other discreet ways. For this project we cleverly crafted lighting within architrave details, niches and in particular joinery in order to get soft glows of light at a lower level.
There were also limitations to the amount of circuiting and cabling that we could use. We needed to ensure that the existing home automation system was not overwhelmed with the additional lighting. Careful and strategic planning was required to ensure flexibility and functionality worked hand in hand.
It was important to create a stunning view point from the moment that one enters the space towards the formal lounge. A gorgeous glow of light around all three edges of the architrave either side of the entrance hall door helps to guide through to the other spaces and allows for excitement along the way. This as achieved with our Contour LED linear strip lighting. The clever use of exposed LED within the smoked mirror gives a fun feel of infinite light whilst walking through, and is especially effective when the client is hosting a fabulous party.
If this view is continued, one is able to see directly out through to the back landscaping and the stunning pool that the client had designed. Simplistic in its initial viewing, the pool has a touch of glamour by night with the use of fibre optics in the base of the pool, forming the star sign for each member of the family. These fibre optics are introduced with a subtle splash of colour at the base of a long perspex wall, allowing for a subtle colour of RGB whenever they need the mood to be elevated. (Ask our Sales team for more info on fibre optics)
One of my favourite details within the project, is the subtle use of Polespring downlights and miniature Lucca uplights within a glass divider between the lobby from the entrance hall to the formal living room. The light delicately enhances the hand blown glass leaves that hang within and gives a gorgeous glow of light to both spaces. The divide of the rooms feels almost invisible, yet when cleverly programmed it can also act as a barrier between the spaces.
The façade lighting is an adaptable scheme that allows for subtle nods to the classic contemporary design. Should the client wish to have a smaller amount of lighting with the use of column uplights or wall lights, then this is possible. This is perfect for an everyday evening when the client reaches home after work. However, this scheme also needed to add the element of fun when it came to the client hosting parties, so different moods were equally as important.
I often get asked why one should use dimmable circuits outside of the home, and my answer is simply this – there is a fine line between elegantly lit and overlit. As all integrated LED lights are so close to the surface that they are lighting, it is very easy for these lights to overpower the scheme if they are not dimmable.
This project required careful planning and consideration to ensure that the space is cosy and welcoming, yet practical for the needs of the family. The multiple lighting scenes commissioned for each space allow for a simple change in atmosphere at the touch of a button. This also guarantees that the subtle details throughout including the different use of textures and materials by the Interior Designer (XBD Collective) are always highlighted gently and elegantly.
To date, we are still working with this wonderful client in order to ensure that their new art collections are not neglected. The addition of artwork to a home after completion is often forgotten when it comes to lighting. Thankfully for us, our client here understands the inner workings of good lighting design and so allows us the opportunity to ensure that as their art collections grow, they are never left in the shadows.
Architect: Richard Wagner
Interior Designer: XBD Collective
Photography: Chris Goldstraw