Cheryl Young went from shopping at Bexleyheath’s Exclusive Lighting, founded in 1999, to running it. The store has a huge range of lighting, from the traditional to huge crystal chandeliers for the kitchen, but where do you start when it comes to creating a lighting scheme for your home? Cheryl sheds some light on creating drama and atmosphere with clever lighting…
What are some of your most popular brands and which are your favourite?
My favourite brands are Illuminati, Inspired Lighting and Elstead. We have a number of their collections on display and we are designing a new website so that we can boost the number of products we showcase from 600 to almost 60,000.
What are the hottest trends in lighting this year and why do you think that is?
Lights over breakfast bars are big at the moment as most people are going for a more open-plan living style. We have some really clever pieces in store to choose from, including lights that change from warm white to daylight. With dimmable LED widely available in all bulb fittings you can achieve the look you want, from a warm glow to a brighter, more contemporary light. We can demonstrate this for you in store.
Why do you think chandeliers are so popular in kitchens and bathrooms?
I am a sucker for bling! What girl isn’t? I love the way the crystal creates patterns on the ceiling, especially from the K9 or Asfour Crystal. It creates a real focal point in the room and is a huge part of peoples’ decorating schemes these days.
Where do you start when developing a lighting scheme for somebody’s home?
We always start with the customer in mind. I like to create a mood board in my head based on their tastes, what they are trying to achieve and what type of design they like. I always like to offer something different or try a new angle that the customer maybe has not thought about. We have a lot of images of our lighting in-situ available, which helps customers to visualise the end result. We’ve even created a YouTube video to showcase the best of them (see below).
Is outdoor lighting becoming more popular? If so, why do you think that is?
I think us Brits thoroughly enjoy entertaining outside when the sun finally shines. People are doing more with decking, like running LED strip lights around the edges, or outlining paving with flush ice bars. You can create some really dramatic effects.
What elements are people are looking to highlight with outdoor lighting?
People like to see the light but not the light-fitting itself, outdoors especially, but also indoors. Hidden lights and subtle wall lights can create a really lovely atmosphere when you are entertaining your friends alfresco with your favourite tipple.
What do you see being big in lighting next year?
With new LED technology, lighting design is going to be bigger and better than ever before, so I think we will see more unusual lighting. With smaller chips and smarter technology, the design possibilities are endless. I recently returned from a trade show and they have some amazing pieces coming out
in September, so watch this space…
63 Mayplace Road East Bexleyheath, Kent DA7 6EA; 01322 555 306; exclusivelighting.co.uk