Lately, I'm seeing wood in a whole new light — literally. Designers from Toronto to London to Horní Dubenky in the Czech Republic are making striking table and pendant lights that pair warm wood with shapely glass shades, colourful cords, glowing LED bulbs and all the clever details that make design fanatics smile.
Brokis was founded in Horní Dubenky by a group of lighting designers interested in making handmade contemporary fixtures. The Shadow collection of pendant lights is their updated take on classic French atelier lights. The wooden neck hides the LED light source and comes in natural or stained-black oak. Buyers can also choose the shade shape, cord colour (white, yellow, red, grey or black) and their preferred shade of glass: smokey grey, brown and black, opaque black and white.
And while I sometimes feel guilty buying a muffin for breakfast (it's cake! It sounds healthy, but it's really cake!), I'd happily enjoy Brokis' Muffins lamps every day. The waxed oak base can been combined with glass in a variety of tints, from warm amber to pretty purple, and cloth-covered cables in white, red, grey and black.
In Brooklyn, New York, Ryden Rizzo of Allied Maker handcrafts everything that comes out of his Sea Cliff studio. He chooses the wood he uses to make his lights by considering the grain, colour and sustainability of the timber, and packs everything for shipping in recycled and biodegradable materials. Nice. His no-frills Mini Lamp (left) is dimmable and ideal for small spaces. The hanging Wood Socket Lamp (right) dangles from a cotton cord and has a hand-turned flamed maple socket. Toronto-based Oliver Yaphe sells both lights.
Also out of Toronto, world's cutest couple John and Arounna of Bookhou are showing these lights in the window of their delightful Dundas St. West shop. The lights are early prototypes, but more are in the works. John, who was inspired by the scientific look of items under bell jars spotted years ago in the British Museum, says he wants to make different sizes that can be stylishly grouped together or displayed on their own. The lights, which retail for $250, are actually a collaboration: while John made the turned the wood bases. "I bought a lathe and figured I had to do something with it," he says. The bell jars are blown by glass artist Nick Chase, who works out of Harbourfront Centre, and is featured in the October 2013 issue of House & Home.
Perhaps London, U.K.-based Vitamin was similarly inspired when it designed the Cloak Pendant Lamp. The light's wood sphere comes in walnut or oak and hides LED lights that emit a soft glow. With bright summer days on the wane, that sounds about perfect.
See more striking examples of Statement Lighting in our photo gallery.