Switch on the Light Fantastic; Designer Lookalike Lamps Are All the Rage since Samantha Cameron Bagged a Bargain. Gabrielle Fagan Picks Lights for All Budgets

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), November 5, 2011 | Go to article overview

Switch on the Light Fantastic; Designer Lookalike Lamps Are All the Rage since Samantha Cameron Bagged a Bargain. Gabrielle Fagan Picks Lights for All Budgets


Byline: Gabrielle Fagan

* IGHTS, camera, action - the new focus for interiors is on winter lighting which transforms rooms into stunning settings. In recent years, designers have turned the spotlight on everything from pendants to the humble table lamp, and the effects are magical.

Myriad influences have inspired designs, including flights of fancy featuring pets and jungle creatures, the equipment used on film sets and in photographers' studios, and glamour with crystal and bling.

While designers set the trend, it comes at a price. But these days the high street is quick to follow with affordable replicas so there's no need to feel left in the dark if your budget's tight.

Follow the lighting lead of the Prime Minister's wife, Samantha Cameron, who recently paid a couple of hundred pounds for a reproduction of a classic Arco floor lamp, shunning the pounds 1,600 price tag for an original.

"Samantha Cameron's not alone in choosing a reproduction of a classic," says David Gutfreund, managing director of Iconic Lights, which sells the reproduction version.

"Many interior designers and architects specify reproduction products, particularly during the current challenging economic times.

"Only people with more money than sense would pay as much as six times more for the same thing. I believe if the designer Castiglioni was alive today, he would approve of our reproduction, and find it hard to tell the difference."

Here's my guide to the best designer buys and their money-saving equivalents. TAKE THE FLOOR Floor lamps languished in the shade for years, but they're enjoying huge popularity again because they're so versatile and decorative.

SPLURGE: A design classic, the dramatic Flos Arco silver floor light, with its white marble base, designed by Achille Castiglioni in 1962, is pounds 1,615 from Heal's. SAVE: Samantha Cameron bought the Arco floor lamp, pounds 250 from Iconic Lights.

Oversized Anglepoise-style floor lamps are also ultra-fashionable. SPLURGE: Autograph extra-large task light floor lamp, pounds 199 from Marks & Spencer.

SAVE: Orlando adjustable floor lamp, pounds 39.99 from Homebase.

LET IT BLING For full-on glamour, nothing beats a chandelier as a focal point in a room.

A glittering vintage-style crystal or glass creation does not have to be confined to a period setting - it can add a touch of decadence in a cool, contemporary space. SPLURGE: The Helena large ceiling spiral pendant, pounds 850 (currently on offer at pounds 595), is a stunner from Laura Ashley. SAVE: Mimic the sparkle with a mini Astoria easy-fit pendant, pounds 39.99, from Homebase.

Alternatively, the new kid on the block is the shadelier: a shade incorporating delicate hanging crystals. It could suit any setting.

SPLURGE: A Leo black easy-fit ceiling beaded pendant, with frosted glass droplets and a metallic gold lining, available in black or white, pounds 80 from Laura Ashley (currently on offer from pounds 56). SAVE: A Shadelier, pounds 39.50, with a tiered droplet display hanging from a black or red shade, Marks & Spencer. PHOTO SHOOT Poseurs and movie buffs won't be able to resist lights which could have come straight off a film set. SPLURGE: Authentic Models Marconi spotlight, on a tripod, pounds 1,011, Occa-Home.

SAVE: A Cover floor lamp, pounds 289, is a more pared-down version but still does the business, from BoConcept.

For those who like their style more elegant than studio, sleek tripod lamps with shades could be winners.

SPLURGE: A 50s-style tripod lamp, with a black shade, pounds 179 from Graham & Green (matching table lamp available). Available mid-November. …

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