Author: Tim

T S Mathiesen’s Brilliant! Lighting & Design is a collaborative design practice, specializing in the lighting and design of spaces where we live and work, and the production of special events. In part our work is “Atmosphere Design”, planning how spaces and objects get illuminated & accentuated, setting the mood within, and addressing the needs of the inhabitants & visitors. Manipulating light and dark, incorporating day-lighting and shadow-play, considering aesthetics, personal choices, and the ‘big picture’ are all elements of every successful project.

Feature / Statement Lighting to Enjoy

I have been thinking about this post for some time. Occasionally I see some post / article in one of my feeds that attempts to codify the ‘best’ feature or statement lighting fixtures ever. If you’re interested in lighting, you’ve probably seen similar articles. I tend to finish reading with some sense of disappointment. Though I’ve come to realize this is all quite subjective and varies through the eyes of the beholder.
My own selections therefore will be just that – my own, not some definitive list that each reader will agree with or select from.

To begin, it might be best to discuss what I believe a Feature or Statement light fixture is…
By definition, Feature can mean ‘a distinctive attribute’, and Statement can mean a ‘clear expression of something’. Make sense so far?
Near the beginning of each design project, I ask my clients if they wish to feature a light somewhere. I explain this might be that fixture that makes one smile or feel joyful. It might be that special purchase made, or perhaps a stunning show piece or timeless classic. Maybe its something handed down & cherished. I want to find a way to properly incorporate that into the finished design for their space.

Here is one example of something special that qualifies as a feature: Clients had gotten two post lights from a favorite city park (that had been replaced / upgraded), we converted them to pendants and mounted them in the entrance hall to their new home. A feature unlike any other home.

So, a selection of my current favorites that I believe to be special:

Buoyant Airon Glow – so elegant.

Moooi Paper chandelier – a classic form, immediately recognizable, yet modernized.

Umage Eos – I love that this feathery creature can be cleaned by turning a blow-dryer on to it if it gets a bit dusty.

Vibia Halley – like the comet streaking overhead!

Foscarini Solar – outdoor fun.

Vibia Meridano – versatile outdoor series for seating, table, and sconce.



LZF Swirl & Link & Orbit – various wood veneers / colors are available.

StudioItaliaDesign Thor – wall or ceiling lighting, we love adjustable lighting!

Serge Mouille – an iconic French classic.

Ochre Arctic Pear – shear glass perfection available in round / oval / wave forms.

Flos Arco – classic and timeless.

Poulsen PH5 – one of many unique lights to come from the mid-century modern era. Truly a classic design.

Mayice Studio Filamento – a unique sculptural art piece.

Each time I have the opportunity to suggest / install one of these (and other unique items I find) into a finished design, I get to do a little dance knowing I’ve created something special!
What are your own favorites to feature, fixtures you consider special, something that makes a statement? Let me know in the comments.

Tiny House Lighting

Prior to the first Tiny House Fest VT in 2016, I was hired to design a lighting layout for a THoW (Tiny House on Wheels) for Erin, one of the Fest organizers.
There are now some images of the finished home. You’ll see that just because the space is small, there is no need to skimp on style.

Outside, the small LED cubes over the deck provide up & down light without protruding past the roof overhang (so legally within limits for travel).

Panton Flowerpot pendants illuminate the kitchen space.

Euro-style sconces offer light to work areas and minimal contemporary table lamps can swivel up to bounce light or down for direct light to read by.

You can learn more about Erin & Kevin’s THoW here. Listen to the podcast and view more images of this wonderful design.

Here are some additional ideas for lighting in Tiny Houses:Kreon’s Dolma fixture (shown above) is an in-wall fixture that can help to maximize THoW widths and stay within safe travel limitations. It can project both up & down lighting.

LEDs are certainly the best overall way to light, as the most energy-efficient & power-miserly of currently available lighting technologies.
LED tapes are thin and easy to hide, available in various color temperatures, tunable white, or in color-changing varieties.
LED bulbs (for any screw-in type fixtures) from Cree, Philips, & Soraa are some of the best.
LED ‘wafer‘ (flat panel) fixtures give the look of a recessed fixture in 1″ or less depth.

More New Project News!

I’ve been selected by the Windham Foundation to design lighting for the Turner Hill Interpretive Center in Grafton VT. This building is part of Vermont’s African American Heritage Trail.

While the Foundation continues their work on the Turner Homestead, the former Law Office (above, located at 31 Townshend Rd., Grafton, VT) serves to tell the story of the Alec Turner family and their part in Grafton’s rich history.


Alec Turner was an escaped slave who fought with the Union Army before settling in Grafton in 1872. He worked as a logger and sawmill worker until he saved up to buy 150 acres on a Grafton hilltop. There he built a home where he was to raise 13 children together with his wife, Sally Turner, a freed slave. His daughter Daisy tells the family’s tales that line the Center’s walls.

I hope to honor & enhance their story by bringing light to the Center for the first time.

 

MARCH 2020 UPDATE: The first image after project completion… More to come…

Dwell – Good Reading

Recent work has been published by Dwell. Nice!

all photos © Lindsay Selin Photography, click to enlarge.

Happy to be part of a wonderful team of designers and trades that transformed an old VT barn into a high performance home.

The architect chose to leave some of the barn’s original elements within the existing structure, while updating finish materials and adding lots of windows for daylighting. With plenty of new wood lighting fixtures and many brightly painted surfaces, this home is warm, welcoming, and well-lit both day & night.

This home appears in a larger article as the first of five barns & farmhouses that celebrate their roots

Exciting Project on the board!

Quite excited to be asked to collaborate on the design team for a church preservation / renovation / addition project!

Here is the early story of the project beginnings, of a local hero attempting to save a piece of history in her town. I loved reading about the early dreams they had for this place!

One portion of architect Robert Swinburne‘s initial thoughts on the project during his early design work:
“This is an old church begin turned into a modern home. My approach with this design is to minimally impact the large main space of the church. … We are looking at a full height metal and glass separation from the large area of the church (from the residence addition) which will provide some acoustical changes, affect the heat distribution, lighting and provide a more intimate feeling for fewer occupants.  Large sliding panels will allow this curtain wall to open up.”
A short video made by the architect leading the design team, with glimpses of what the project will become!

Taking this original early 1900s St. Mary’s on the Lake church from this…
…to this!
One of my early interior renderings.
Here, the reverse view from the residence addition.

Further updates will be posted as it all comes together!

Happy Diwali!

Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights.
One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.”

During the climax, Diwali revellers illuminate the interior & exterior of their homes with oil lamps or candles, worship to Lakshmi (the goddess of prosperity and wealth), light fireworks, and partake in family feasts where sweets & gifts are shared.

We could all use more of that. Just sayin’!

JLC’s Energy Column – Good Reading

I’m pleased to be a part of the Energy column featured in Journal Of Light Construction’s May issue, written by senior editor Ted Cushman.  The column’s focus is on ‘high-efficacy lighting’ and illustrates how code changes & LED technology improvements are coming together and making for some great lighting.
A portion of my focus in the interview is that ‘every project at every budget level deserves great lighting’ and how ‘we (as lighting designers) are free to design an entire house to use LED. That definitely has moved beyond what the 2018 code is talking about.’
You can download the PDF here

A cluster of Moooi Random Lights with Cree LEDs and two smaller Dora LED pendants by SEED Design compliment the daylighting in this vaulted living space.

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Table Lamps Galore!

Along with my wife Robin, in our Mathiesen & Mathiesen Design partnership, we have just recently finished a photo shoot of Raku & Obvara (aka Baltic Raku) pottery table lamps & vases for ceramic artist Jenifer Morier @ LightenUp Studio in Guilford VT. Presenting here, a few of our favorite shots.

 

Raku is a type of Japanese pottery and Jen’s works include crackle glaze, brilliant colors and hints of copper tones. Of Obvara, Jen says its “A centuries-old process where glaze-less pots are fired to 1650 degrees Fahrenheit then plunged into a fermented brew of flour, yeast, water, and sugar. Smells like burnt toast, in a good way.”

I was able to consult on sourcing electrical supplies (cording, Edison bases, dimmers, etc.) The lamps are equipped with Cree & Philips LED A-lamp bulbs, most with dimmers, ready to dress up your tables for work & play!

Next up we’re creating sconces from new Raku pieces, stay tuned!

Photometry

Photometry is the science concerned with measuring visual response to light, in terms of its perceived brightness to the human eye. Because the eye is a highly complex organ, this is by no means a simple task.

OK, that’s a simplified definition, without the formulas & technical issues that drive the work.
Depending on your point of view, photometry is either the glamorous scientific side of a lighting designer’s efforts to create great lighting OR the quite less-than-sexy work to make a design function correctly by providing the correct levels of light to meet a code or need.

From either view, the resulting renders that are part of the engineering of photometry are both informative and cool.

Earlier this year I was asked to design an exterior lighting package for a restoration project of a city block in Bennington VT. Working with a design team of Stevens & Associates & the engineering firm of Dubois & King, we designed & engineered for public street entrances, rear building entries, two public courtyards and off-street parking & access ways.
The final photometric renderings by Dubois & King illustrate the results beautifully. Bright entries that beckon you to approach & provide abundant safe lighting at sidewalks & steps, courtyards that invite you to hangout & relax in them, and parking with a relatively even wash of light.

This was another wonderful collaboration, very happy to be a part of the teamwork!

Lighting The Way: Four Good Reasons Why You Need A Lighting Designer

Linking here to Stratton Magazine’s Fall 2017 issue with an article by Anita Rafael that I’m featured in: “Lighting The Way: Four Good Reasons Why You Need A Lighting Designer”.
Please let me know what you think!

It was a pleasure to be part of this and I am looking forward to a visit some day with Susan Brady @ SBLD Studio Architectural Lighting Design, the other designer featured in the article.