October 3rd, 2011

So I woke up this morning in the dark…I love fall but have to say, I don’t love the dark mornings.  (When exactly do the clocks “fall back” anyway??)  As I lay there trying to pry open my eyes, the words of a Kanye West song came to mind, “Turn up the lights in here, baby.  Extra bright, I want y’all to see this”.  Which brings me to this post…With the changing of the seasons, I have again begun my love affair with light fixtures.  As our long and bright summer days give way to moody, shadowy-filled fall evenings, great looking lights can make all the difference to our mood and the design of our homes – both interior & exterior.  Some of the most interesting fixtures I’ve seen in quite some time were actually on a trip to Hawaii of all places.  Everywhere I turned there seemed to be another unique and inspiring light sculpture for me to take a photo of.  And that’s really how I think we should think of our fixtures – as sculpture & art.  Functional, yes.  A key design ingredient, you bet. Decorative art, I definitely think so.  I actually have this dream of designing a line of light fixtures someday and I have to say, some of these are the most inspiring I’ve seen…

This chandelier-in-a-cage pendant is such a great mix of formal and informal, interior & exterior, don’t you think?  The vaulted ceiling doesn’t hurt either!


This was at the Royal Hawaiian hotel on Waikiki or the “Pink Palace”, as those who know it well refer to it as.  It was built in 1927 and is one of the oldest hotels, if not THE oldest, in Honolulu and pretty incredible to visit.  It was fashioned in the Spanish-Moorish style popular during this period and you can definitely see that influence in the fixtures created for the hotel.  Most of these light fixtures, in fact, can be found there.

Here’s a sconce version of this pendant – I love it just as much if not more!  Such a simple and effective design.  Modern & yet classic without an ounce of “typical” in its look…

This next one is probably my favourite…the shape is incredible and the smokey colour in the glass (which also appears to have some sort of antiquing to it) is such a gorgeous tone and really sets a mood.  Obviously this wouldn’t be so much for light as it would be for ambience.

Check it out hung in multiples along the length of this veranda.  Amazing.

Here’s just a small little Moorish-style lantern that was hanging in another corridor.

This next one is pretty incredible for several reasons, namely its size, scale and ability to reflect its surroundings.  It also gets full marks for its retro, art-deco vibe and repetitive circular shapes.  And get a load of the ceiling?!

Lastly, I leave you with this beautiful, simple iron lantern that hangs throughout one of my favourite hotels on Waikiki – the Moana Surfrider.  My grandparents stayed at this very same hotel over 50 years ago and it’s more stunning today than ever.  I’m sure I’ll be sharing more photos of it in future posts since the light fixtures are just one small part of what makes this property so incredible.





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