Written by Ruth, Lighting Design & Specifier
‘Can’t recommend Cotterell & Co enough. They lit up our house!’
Diane, Loch Lomond Guesthouse & Lodges
I was so excited when Diane and James at Loch Lomond Lodges made an appointment to discuss a new project. I had really enjoyed working with them on the new Lodges at Loch Lomond the previous year and the results were super. They showed me the Architect’s drawings for a really large scale timber framed dwelling with some Guest Rooms and a Breakfast Room attached. We spent a long time planning each room, with my main concern was to discern how they wanted the spaces to feel and how they would use the building day to day. Finding out what the client dreams of as an end result is the most important part of any project.
At last the French oak frame was delivered from Carpenter Oak, erected onto the foundations and a tarpaulin roof in place I could make the first visit to the site. It was February and very cold and it had been raining for what seemed like weeks. The poor oak frame was soaking and would need a lot of care to restore it. The house was constructed with the frame standing off from the walls leaving a gap; this gap would turn out to be very important. It allowed us to install tilting downlighters between the beam and the wall making the gorgeous oak structure appear to be floating off the wall.
In other areas I placed downlighters in front of the beams, particularly the up-rights to wash light down the beautiful wooden surface.
This strategy was particularly successful in the Kitchen – what a lovely Steven Burgess construction it is! The concealed downlighters give the space texture and interest, showing off all the beautifully crafted elements from the Oak frame to the slate floor.
Diane and I spent so much time choosing a pendant to go over the very large island. I had already planned for some architectural AR111 downlighters to go over the ‘business’ end -It just needed that perfect decorative element to finish it off.
The answer was the very understated Harrow Pendant. The unusual seeded glass and nickel frame were not too fussy but still a strong enough statement to have impact.
The Great Room with its large mezzanine area was another really important area. There is a sitting area in the kitchen but James and Diane really wanted this very gracious space to be a day to day living area as well as a stunning space to entertain. Sometimes there really is only one possibility and that was the case here – David Hunt’s airy and enormous Orb pendant in Mole Brown looks just fabulous in the cathedral height space.
A very quiet and non-glam pendant in this understated space, this room is all about scale and the stunning full height chimney breast. We plumped for the smaller Orb on the mezzanine lounge and they really complement the stone and wood.
We installed some surface mounted spots on the tops of the trusses to allow a play of light over the beams and the various angles of the ceiling. Again allowing the architecture and the Client’s own belongings to be the star of the show.
Diane and James already owned some really good table lamps, we chose some new ones too. The Trident table and floor lamp in the dining area look fantastic with our Rocke shades and the new Rocke shades on the original lamps have turned out so well. The incredible Glass and wood staircase looks so fabulous with the full height glazing. This space is a complete success.
Diane was very keen to make a beautiful Master Bedroom Suite, James made her a storage room which she and I referred to always as ‘Diane’s Shoes’. In reality Diane does have some shoes but this room within the Master bedroom wing hides all the clothing and shoes and bags and everything else you could think of, leaving the Bedroom to be so calm and quietly glamorous. We made provision for a decorative Artemis pendant in a tiny feature window and paired it with a larger version suspended from the apex of this dramatic roof space.
The soft patterns produced by the shadows from the metal frame have a fairy-tale quality – as does the whole Master Wing, soft ceramic wall lights almost invisible on the walls and wallpaper providing a good level of background light. The free-standing bath (OH! The decadence) occupies a corner of this suite and again I elected to use indirect lighting here; uplighting from a nearby beam to allow an interplay of light between the wood and the ceiling slopes. A pair of David Hunt Cabana table lamps with a glorious green shade completed the picture here.
We really went to town in the en-suite shower room, it’s a very unusual space built in to one of the gables of the building. A very good quality IP rated crystal pendant Crystal Skye Lighting teamed with a matching wall light provided the hit of unexpected glamour Diane was looking for.
I found an amazing ‘starburst’ wall light which sits on the sloping wall at the shower head, creating a series of shards of light across the wall.
The linking space from the Master Wing to the upper mezzanine was intended as an office space -unexpectedly this space has become really lovely – the Ravello wall lights with Rocke bespoke shades add some splashes of colour and mood to what risked feeling like a corridor. Diane has some lovely small original paintings and I took care to keep these in mind when selecting the Aqua silk for the shades.
Part of the ground floor has been built to make 4 Guest bedrooms and a Lovely breakfast room. Again we’ve positioned the downlighters behind the beams and in strategic positions to allow the light to wash down the beams. The striking Voyage decoration wallpaper looks fab and we chose some toning Voyage Varanasi fabric to create rich Rocke bespoke Shades for the floor and table lamps through the room to provide warmth and colour.
A stunning structure like this really needed some external lighting to accent and enhance the architecture. The large areas of glazing also look so spectacular from the outside when the house it lit in the evening. We used downward only wall lights to highlight the texture of the stone and offset this with a series of earth spikes to uplight the stone texture.
Low level lighting between the Guest Rooms and the Breakfast Room provided security of footing and also a pleasing accent when viewed from the interior of the Guest rooms.
Diane and James are fantastic clients – full of enthusiasm and great ideas also so willing to make the leap of faith for the more unusual aspects of this lighting scheme. Here’s to the next Loch Lomond project!