Our Design Director Rebecca Nambiar discusses the lighting design solutions for this stunning, award-winning apartment in Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.
With any project, there is a requirement for us as the lighting designers to understand the intention behind the design. Each property we work on has a different purpose, or function and should be tailored to the client, and this was no different.
The brief for this project was to bring the subtle design details of the clients home from home (London), to their new pied-a-terre in Dubai.
One of the continual trends that we see in this region is the inclination to lean towards a cleaner and more contemporary design language, not only the interiors but the lighting also. Whilst looking chic and very aesthetically pleasing on paper, it can sometimes make a space feel void of comfort and often appears a little clinical at night. Which is why, when the clients’ Interior Designer gave us the brief, we were delighted to welcome the comforts of textured wallpaper and silk lampshades more often associated with European design styles.
The apartment, designed by Alua Kulibayeva and her team at Lumi Interiors in Dubai, gave us familiar territory to work with, allowing for soft lines of discreet lighting within the joinery, delicate embroidered fabrics to wash with light and a nifty fireplace made entirely out of LED wax candles – perfect for those cooler evenings to experience comfort without the lesser needed heat.
Artwork was a key focus of the designer and so it was crucial that each space was carefully reviewed to ensure that the chosen artworks would be illuminated perfectly. As per the below image, the resplendent texture of the individual ceramic discs within this piece from the late Fenella Elms was a must to light properly against the contrasting background. When lit with two Polespring 40 downlights, it meant that a vista was created from the moment you turn the corner within the apartment – an incredibly simple yet elegant method of lighting the corridor space.
A crucial element to keeping the relatively low ceilings (by UAE standards) clean from the clutter of downlights, meant that extra focus was given to the joinery as a means to add soft and indirect light into the space. Not only were the lights hidden from view with our usual clever detailing, the rear section of each piece of joinery was covered with a delicate sheet of fabric lined wallpaper, which meant that studying our chosen colour temperature of Contour LED strip against a sample of the fabric was an absolute must. If the sample showed a warmer fabric, then a cooler tone of LED is best applied in order to ensure that the reflected light displays the correct colours and tones of the finishes.
When we use the effect of backlighting within a shelf, it can leave the object on display in silhouette. Sometimes, this is the desired effect and works well, creating depth and drama to the space. However, as our aim here was to create softness with delicate layers of light, it was important that an additional discreet layer of light was added so as to not look too theatrical. Therefore, we added additional small downlights (the Minim) so as to create extra focus onto the objects themselves and not just to the rear of the joinery. With clever grouping of the lights, variable scenes are able to be created at the touch of a button, something that we always ensure each project considers.
Subtle mixing of the colour temperatures within any living space is the perfect way to set the overall tone. The overall scheme on this project used a mixture of 2500k and 2700k for soft and elegant warmth throughout, however key details such as the fireplace used 2200k to try and imitate the natural warmth a fireplace would generally emulate. Using the different colour temperatures must be done with a precise understanding what you are trying to achieve, and therefore should always be done with deliberation rather than just random application. Although not used within this particular scheme, the use of dynamic white lighting in a scheme helps for the final decision on the precise colour temperature to be delayed until the user is experiencing the overall scheme.
This stunning project was a delight to work on in collaboration with the fantastic team at Lumi Interiors.
Photography by Chris Goldstraw.
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