Design Focus: Lee Broom
With the holidays over and 2013 well underway, I’ve been looking for something to inspire me. As such, it was a welcome discovery to come across the work of award winning UK product designer, Lee Broom. His diverse designs make for a refreshing start to a brand new year.
While his work is new to me, Lee Broom has been in the industry for some time now. He’s won over twenty awards for his work including Designer of the Year at the British Design Awards in 2011, and most recently he won a 2012 British Design Award for his Crystal Bulb lighting fixture.
In fact, out of the many beautiful pieces that Lee has created, the Crystal Bulb is one product that really stood out for me. Another product that caught my eye is the Carpetry Pendant Light. Let’s look at both of these pieces in more detail.
In my opinion, this fixture is stunning simplicity at its best. Each bulb is individually hand blown, cut with a long-established crystal pattern, and lastly etched with Lee Broom’s insignia. The bulbs can be used in a variety of ways — suspended from the ceiling, as lamp fittings, or as wall lights. There is such delicacy to this design, such attention to detail, even the brassy gold colour of the fitting compliments the glow of light emitted by the bulb.
For my style, the perfect fixture would be lampstand based, arranged in a cluster of similar stands, and with no lampshade. Instead, I would leave the bulb bare to showcase its design, as it’s the intricacy and grace of the bulb’s cut surface that you would really want to show off. I think everything about the execution of the Crystal Bulb calls for it to be exposed and to shine.
Carpetry Pendant Light
This piece grabbed my attention in part because it was so far removed from the design of the Crystal Bulb and distinctly showcased the diversity of Broom’s working style. The fixture is a fantastically styled product uniting two interior elements in a way that I have never considered before.
Using an early 17th Century technique, 100% wool carpets inspired by Persian rugs are crafted on traditional looms, only Broom uses modern colour palettes and a clean cut finish for the exterior of the shade to modernize the style. The pattern of the carpet compliments the domed shape of the fixture’s interior, giving the impression of depth and dimension.
What I really like about this design is how the product changes depending on its setting. Placed in a room of a house, the Carpetry Pendant Light would look bright, traditional and homely; whereas, as seen in the image below, it’s the darker details in the pattern that shape the look, making it more rustic, warm and stylized when used in a bar or restaurant.
Whether you’re familiar with Lee Broom’s products or this is the first time you’ve heard about him and seen some of his work, it’s worth taking the time to look through his portfolio for any interior design inspiration. Thus far, he’s created five furniture and lighting collections; but, for me, these two totally different lighting fixtures — the Crystal Blub and the Carpetry Penant Light — are my top picks for the beginning of 2013.
About the Author
Alice Lewis is an editorial assistant with a passion for interiors. As a Contemporary Art graduate, she continues to explore and share her love for all things design related through her blog.
All images © Lee Broom