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Publication Date: 2013-01-16

Behind the Design

Lighting the Way

Nothing can add drama to the interior décor or set the tone for a room quite like lighting. Crucial for its function, but treasured for its form, great lighting is at the forefront of every brilliant design scheme. But such a vast and complex category requires careful navigation. Below we bring you four designers who have very different, but equally stunning lighting styles: APPARATUS, Magni Home Collection, Jonathan Browning Studios and Remains Lighting.


Emerging out of playful experimentation with vintage lighting components, APPARATUS is a collection of fixtures created by Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson. Almost every piece has an old-is-new feel that is born out of their use of retro materials but thoroughly modern approach to the design. The process begins with trying to solve a problem says the duo, “so there is always a utilitarian layer.” Hendifar adds that he “sees interesting forms and shapes in the world, and these inspire points of departure for our pieces.” Sometimes it’s a concrete object or form that inspires and other times it’s more of a concept. For example, their Highwire fixture is inspired by Philippe Petit’s high wire acts. And this influence is seen very clearly in delicate lines that are a hallmark of the pieces in the series. Similarly, Hendifar and Anderson find inspiration in the materials themselves, which determines the forms unmistakably present in their found object pieces, like the Bowl Sconces or Column Lamps.

After we discussed the foundation of their fixtures, Hendifar and Anderson explored how they envision their pieces being used. They explain that the mixture of roughness and refinement of the Bowl Sconces are amazing in pairs flanking a mirror, a fireplace or a work of art. Another tip straight from the source is to hang the Cloud fixture in multiples over a long table or down a long corridor to create an enigmatic medley of weightlessness and heft. APPARATUS is “in pursuit of finding and creating the perfect imperfect” and their use of hand-worn materials in modern shapes produces fixtures that are unparalleled in quality and design.

SHOP: Cloud Chandelier 37 by Apparatus, Cavalier by Jay Jeffers ($6,150)

SHOP: Compass Chandelier by Apparatus, Cavalier by Jay Jeffers ($3,150)

SHOP: Bowl Sconce by Apparatus, Cavalier by Jay Jeffers ($2,150)

Innovative interior and furniture designer, James Magni is noted among his contemporaries for his fusion of modern elegance and sinuous simplicity, which is strongly accredited to his extensive architectural background. He started his furniture collection, Magni Home Collection, in 1996 to address his difficulty in finding items for his projects that fit his vision. The collection has now grown into an ensemble that resembles the likes of an art collection. Making its debut in 2011, Magni’s first lighting line is the most recent addition to his home collection. The line was developed to meet the increased demands from contemporary interior designers and architects to produce lighting fixtures that mirrored his furniture. Magni approaches lighting from a pragmatic method influenced by his architectural and interior design background.

SHOP: Paris Sconce, Magni Home Collection (price upon request)

His philosophy is that “lighting is not always meant to be seen, but must be envisioned through the lens of orchestrating an experience within a space.” After assessing the power of mid-ground lighting and recessed lighting as the main objective, Magni created decorative lighting fixtures that are streamlined and clean, channeling different layers of light. Furthermore, Magni explains that it is advancements in technology that help drive where his lighting line will go next. He notes that with the higher technology advent of LED and color correction he is better equipped to create fixtures that in turn improve a space and enhance the experience had within it.

SHOP: Jewel Sconce, Magni Home Collection (price upon request)

SHOP: Montecito Sconce, Magni Home Collection (price upon request)

SHOP: Montecito Pendant, Magni Home Collection (price upon request)

SHOP: Newport Sconce, Magni Home Collection (price upon request)

“When other people dream about love or music, I dream about beautiful objects, about pictures and houses.” This quote from Elsie de Wolfe is one with which Jonathan Browning identifies strongly, and the creation of beautiful objects is what he aims to do through his lighting line. Browning designs and manufactures the proprietary line for Jonathan Browning Studios, which consists of the highest quality bronze indoor and outdoor lighting, furniture and hardware as well as custom designs specific to clients’ projects. Browning notes that he has selected bronze as his material of choice not for its luxury or high-end connotations but instead because of its ability to achieve crisp detail during production. Browning uses the investment casting process to manufacture most of his pieces, which involves carving each piece by hand, making waxes, and ultimately casting molten bronze into investment molds. The use of bronze in this labor-intensive process produces a much finer, more detailed product with fewer imperfections in comparison to other materials. However, it is not for these reasons alone that Browning is so loyal to bronze. He is drawn to the regal hue that is produced when the material is polished. It takes on a deep, soft tone reminiscent of rose-gold. Pictured: Dauphine Sconce, Jonathan Browning

Browning’s mastery of material will continue this spring in a modern and sleek form with the launch of a number of bronze and lead crystal fixtures. Browning’s appreciation for beauty only furthers his desire to create something new and memorable. To spur his motivation he likes to remind himself, “you’re only as good as your last sconce.” Pictured: Ventoux Chandelier, Jonathan Browning

David Calligeros founder of Remains Lighting, did not start out intending to launch a lighting line. Rather, he began in 1996 with an antiques business that focused on impeccable customer service and restoring pieces to the highest level of quality. Calligeros’ increased interest in fine metalwork pushed him to focus the business on antique lighting, which eventually inspired him to manufacture a collection of his own design in 1999.

The Remains Lighting collections offer a variety of design aesthetics that range anywhere from functional lines to rounded elegance while all maintaining a refined and sophisticated appearance. Calligeros resonates with the useful as well as the beautiful and believes that the two can be interchangeable. He says, “My appreciation for the practical, mechanically beautiful, and well-engineered led me to curate a collection of objects that celebrated the utility of precise hinges, discrete doors and nicely-countersunk screw heads.” The fixtures of Remains do not steal the stage or embody elaborate dramatization; instead, they represent tailored crispness, precision, perfection and customization. As the company has evolved from the business of antique restoration to original lighting design, Remains’ passion for beauty appears not only on the surface, but in the level of quality found within each piece.

SHOP: Winston Chandelier, Remains Lighting ($5,695)

SHOP: Delamer Leaf Chandelier, Remains Lighting ($3,785) // Sorenson Lantern, Remains Lighting ($1,305)


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