The Lonely Londoner

One thing I’m always banging on about to friends clients is to experiment with lighting.  Pairs of glitterballs are better than some dismal pendant chandeliers and if you hang them asymmetrically friends will think they’re statement artwork.

I’m having radical ideas about the 16 remaining downlighters in my kitchen.  I want soft romantic light to soften hard, shiny space but even modern chandeliers might look a little naff.  Neon lights transform a wall and I’ve commissioned one for mine, but that still leaves a vast expanse of work top where ceiling light’s required.

This Is Another Place – Tracy Emin (2002)

Love Poem for CF – Tracey Emin (2007)

LED’s have threatened to extinguish the lightbulb’s glare for many years now but recent innovation’s been confined to fairy lights and gardens.  This is all about to change as I discovered when I stopped to buy fresh coffee yesterday.

Independent coffee shops are a great source of inspiration for authentic interior living.  Listening to music, eating cake, reading and tapping away on computers is mostly what we do at home so if you find a coffee shop that makes you feel at home and want to replicate the cosy décor, make some notes.

What music are they playing?

How are the tables and chairs arranged?

Are they matching? Industrial? Vintage?  Shabby Chic?

How is the food arranged on the counter?  Do they even have one?

What’s the vibe?  Relaxed? Efficient?  Spotless?

Whatever catches your eye (which may well be the waiter in my case since I’m single and my home’s redecorated) make mental notes and try out a couple of ideas at home.

My favourite haunt in Morningside is Artisan Roast. Not only are they revolutionising High Street coffee haunts by serving decent decaff, (ground on the premises) which you can bag and take home, but they’ve just replaced their lighting with amazing LED pendant light bulbs.

Lighting is one of the most difficult things to capture in photography and my dismal efforts are no exception, so I’ll describe it to you.  It’s like entering a cave where the previous occupant happened to be an abstract artist going through an experimental phase with lighting and got distracted mid development.  What looks like a series of lightbulbs hung equidistant from the ceiling feels like a forgotten light installation that guide’s you to your table and helps you read your chosen supplement.  In a different setting it would be romantic, but surrounded by baked goods, great tunes and hypnotic coffee aromas it’s comforting.

I plan to do a cluster of them over my breakfast bar with a single black lightbulb hung a little distance away.  I’ll tell visitors it’s an homage to Separated from the Flock, or better still The Lonely Londoner.

Happy Saturday!

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