Trapeze by Kenneth Cobonpue

Statement Lighting: luminaires to add character to your home


Add drama, excitement and a focal point to your space with a luxurious luminaire

When you walk into a room it’s often the things you don’t really see that create the ambience. These can include the space planning, taller door heights, ceiling heights, window placement and concealed or ambient lighting. But when you really want to see and make a statement in your home, lighting can take centre stage.

Lighting is so often overlooked in interiors, unless you have a great architect, interior or lighting designer who understands its complexity. In the hands of a skilled interior designer, lighting is the secret weapon; in the hands of an amateur it can be a poor afterthought.

Our moods are affected by the presence or absence of light and poor lighting can certainly influence the way we feel. Combining different light sources is the key to great interiors. Lighting can highlight precious artworks, be used for safety in hallways and on stairs, create a magical ambience in living and dining rooms, provide task lighting in kitchens and work spaces, serenity in bedrooms and relaxation in bathrooms.

When you aspire to make an interior statement, or create a focal point, don’t hide your light away; go all out with something daring and exciting that will add to your interior’s ambience and get your guests talking at the table.

Kenneth Cobonpue is a lighting and furniture designer whose work never fails to inspire discussion. Having studied in New York and Florence, Kenneth returned to Cebu in his native Philippines to manage his Mother’s company Interior Craft of the Islands Inc. Surrounded by wonderful landscapes, materials and craft, Kenneth incorporated many natural materials into his products, and was named “rattan’s first great virtuoso” by TIME magazine. His unique designs reflect the natural world and the materials employed give a new face to modern design.

Many of Kenneth’s lighting designs are quirky, evoking memories of fairgrounds or circus visits. But far from being purely decorative he says that “design is a living thing, to be utilized from within the framework of everyday life. It can be beautiful, absolutely, but unlike art, which can hang on a wall and be admired – it must serve a function.”

My current favourite of Kenneth’s is his Limbo range; made of gossamer wires, woven by hand into a lattice pattern with each of the three stunning pieces capturing an aerialist in mid-flight. A fabulous piece for the adventurous home entertainer, your dinner guests will be awe-inspired!

“Design is a living thing, to be utilized from within the framework of everyday life. It can be beautiful, absolutely, but unlike art—which can hang on a wall and be admired—it must serve a function.”

Luminaires can be crafted from almost any material, including timber, glass, metal, paper, marble, plastic and ceramic. Melbourne Design duo, Porcelain Bear create masterpieces of lighting and furniture in ceramic, combining state-of-the-art technology and age-old production methods. Gregory Bonasera and Anthony Raymond create furniture, lighting and homewares for residential and commercial projects that are beautifully crafted in this centuries-old material. Their work is graceful and beautifully considered, while pushing the boundaries of the materials with which they work to produce inspired contemporary designs.

Wood is another natural, renewable material and the perfect choice for crafting beautiful items; and wood veneer allows shapes to be easily formed including folded shapes, ribbons, circles, squares and pretty-well anything your creative eye can conjure. In a lovely old winery, just outside of Valencia in south-east Spain, Sandro Totthil and Marivi Calvo from LZF started designing and manufacturing hand-made, wood-veneer lamps from a small studio in Valencia’s historic centre. As the business grew and more space was required, they moved into the old winery and continue to craft everything by hand from the finest tulip-wood veneers for the world’s discerning design community and those seeking to beautify their spaces with light.

Decorative lighting, crafted by artisans from honest materials are the ingredients required to make a statement piece. Three designers whose love of decorative lighting using luxury materials combined with design integrity are collectively known as Parachilna. With their home town in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain designers Jordi Veciana, Stephen Burks and Jaime Hayon work with skilled craftsmen including metalsmiths, glass blowers and ceramicists from across Europe and around the world to create a wonderful range of lighting specified by some of the world’s leading designers and architects.

When selecting lighting for your home, the light source is an important element that will affect the way your home looks and how you feel. Before you invest in that statement piece ensure you obtain expert advice to be certain the effect will be all that you desire.;;

Written by Kate St James