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Focus On: Hotel Lighting

Jo Plismy, Lighting Designer at Gong, has had the pleasure of designing lights for hotels worldwide and has built a strong reputation for herself and her company within the international decorating community. She shares her thoughts on how to achieve a beautiful hotel lighting scheme that will work on both a practical and stylish level

“Hotels are all about customer experience and lighting can really affect our mood so it is vital to spend the time to get it right” advises Jo. “A lighting scheme for a hotel requires many different types of light, some will be used to create the overall atmosphere, others will provide a functional level of general light and additional lights may be used for specific activities such as reading or close-up tasks like shaving or applying makeup. This means a design will usually involve the full lighting spectrum of floor and wall lights, ceiling pendants or chandeliers and table lamps too.

Gong’s Peggy Lights were used in the unique interior design of the Velona’s Jungle Hotel in Florence (pictured left). Comprised of four Luxury Suites, each one features an exotic jungle-inspired theme, lovingly created using many elegant objets d’art and furnishings dating from the mid-century which were collected by the family’s patriarch – a respected Florentine art dealer. Gong’s chic Peggy Floor, Wall and Bedside lights were selected for the hotel and worked perfectly, providing guests with comfortable spaces in which to relax or enjoy reading. The Peggy Lights are made of beautiful antique brass with a stylish coloured conic shade that complements its brass support. Classic black was chosen for the Velona’s Jungle Hotel, giving a timeless elegant feel.

Jo continues, “It’s important to consider your surroundings when thinking about all aspects of interior design and this includes the lighting too. Consider the amount of natural light in the room and how it changes throughout the day. Lighting is great for creating a certain atmosphere and in a hotel restaurant for example, you may wish to create a very different feel for the breakfast and lunchtime sittings as opposed to the evening service. Of course, having dimmers can help with this.”

“With the Atlantis Resort in Dubai (pictured left) the lighting scheme was about making a statement and fitting a theme. Their stunning White Beach Restaurant was designed with a nautical interior style and our Meduse Ceiling Lamps, with their shape resembling that of the Jellyfish, was an ideal addition. Hung in clusters they make quite a style statement and the rich silk shades give a luxurious feel. The light is softly diffused through the silk, providing a very relaxed atmosphere.” says Jo.

Another example of lighting specified to fit into a specific interior theme is that of The Whistler Hotel in Paris (pictured left). This quirky hotel welcomes it’s guests in an unusual setting where the tiniest details subtly echo the legendary trains of a romantic, bygone era. The hotel was tastefully renovated by designer Sandrine Alouf who contacted Jo to discuss the project, before finally selecting Gong’s Tarya Wall and Ceiling Lights to complement her décor theme. Like something from an Agatha Christie novel, the Tarya Lights fitted the interior style perfectly. Handcrafted from antique brass with a choice of shade colours in either white, black, teal or full antique brass, the Tarya ceiling pendants are also available in a choice of square, round or rectangular shapes.

Where size in concerned Jo suggests, “My advice is to not be afraid to go big and bold with your lighting. Contrary to popular belief, oversized lights or lamps look fabulous in smaller rooms, as well as in larger spaces. I often advise my clients to see their lighting choices as pieces of art. Bold designs, tactile textiles and sculptural shapes will provide interest to an interior design scheme, even when the light is turned off.” A good example of this can be seen in The Gallivant Hotel in East Sussex (picture below). Interior Designer, Sigrid Cragoe, specified the Benitier Silk Ceiling Lamp to make a beautiful feature in the hotel lounge area and measuring an impressive 90cm in diameter it really draws the eye.