Raw Beauty: A New Spirit in Lighting


Three powerful design influences have collided to create the raw vitality of this particular lighting trend favoured by professional designers right now.

The Look: Clear rough stones are invisibly fastened or blatantly wire-tied onto angular or circular metal frames and the result is stunning.

Dish Chandelier
Dish Chandelier, Photo Courtesy of CL Sterling

The Influences: The new fascination with minerals began in L.A. For three years now interior design and fashion products from Los Angeles have been setting trends. Known for cinema, it is emerging as a place to watch for design. So the new mania for large mineral specimens rendered as art comes from L.A.

Grey Natural Crystals
Grey Natural Crystals, Credit: Rocker1984, CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons, creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

The second design force comes from the growing importance of polygon shapes in furnishings today. You saw hedron-stack bedside tables and a prismic coffee table in the previous blogs. Nature’s own polygons are the crystals. Here they appear as nature made them… before being hacked out of a cave, shattered into pieces and bound with wires. This rough treatment introduces the third design inspiration, Brutalism.

White Lamp
White Lamp, courtesy Ron Dier Design California available at Primavera
Tier Chandalier
Tier Chandelier, courtesy Ron Dier Design California available at Primavera

In the 1950’s and 60’s, architects like Le Corbusier were building with concrete, beton brut in French, leaving it bare on interior and exterior surfaces. The taste for stone, metal and wood in their unpolished form became known as Brutalisme. While it doesn’t mean bad behaviour, it does catch the raw spirit in our featured style whose joy in edginess, almost a beauty in ugliness, comes from brutalism.

Men in Cave
Men in Cave, Photo Courtesy of Alexander Van Driessche:Wikimedia Commons

The Forms: Lighting designers took up the skinny linear light bars popular for kitchen islands and constructed gorgeous crystal-filled bronze or gold cages that travel the length of the dining table.

Linear Cubes
Linear Cubes (Photo Courtesy of Eurofase)

In the cascading rings shape, they resemble the caves in which their crystals grew. Dish chandeliers are shaped from masses of wired-up chunks. The irregular single shard lamps look like Malibu.

Gold Chandelier
Gold Chandelier, Photo Courtesy of Eurofase

Can you see the glamorous excitement in the new tossed-about gilded frames around colourless stones? When you notice these lights in elegant settings here and there, tell their stories!

(Lois and Client Shopping) Chandelier sourcing with Liz and her little dog, Valentino.
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