19 January 2013
Jane Kubiesa sheds some light on the illumination options for your miniature home. ...
1. …to add Regency authenticity
Throughout the Regency period there was a tax on candles and anyone wanting to make their own candles at home, as had been the practice prior to this time, needed a licence and had to pay tax. So whilst small homes relied on cheap rush lights, grand houses used more expensive candles which lasted longer and burned more brightly. Thanks to advancements in design these new candles did not need their wicks repeatedly trimmed whilst burning and did not flicker as much. The staple light fittings of the Regency period were wall sconces, a showpiece chandelier to demonstrate wealth and a hanging hall lantern to welcome guests into the home. As demonstrated in this Regency Single Candle Hall Lantern from Little Houses Plus, the candle was encased in a hanging glass globe to protect it from draughts caused by the opening door. This model is suspended by chains and has a gold finish. It is also available with a black finish.
Little Houses Plus
Price: from £38
2. …for the kitchen
Whether you are creating a modern kitchen with a traditional or country cottage feel, a restaurant kitchen or a grand kitchen in a historic home, this decorative hanging pot rack with three downlights is the ideal helper for those busy 1/12th scale cooks. It can be placed above a range or dressed kitchen table and hung with pots or dried foods for an impressive display. This model is also available without lighting and it comes in antique bronze, black and other colours and is part of a range of handmade kitchen items including baker’s racks, butcher’s blocks, island units and wine racks.
J. Getzan Dollhouse Miniatures
Price: (approximately) £150
3. …for instant illumination
It can often be tricky to add lighting or extra lights to a room once it is finished and the process of drilling through a ceiling and/or a wall and possibly removing flooring from an upper storey can be enough to put you off. But help is at hand from The Dolls House Emporium and their range of battery powered ceiling and wall lights. These ingenious lights take the hassle out of adding illumination to a dolls house and are simply stuck in place. Each model has a small switch to turn the light on and off and the battery can easily be changed. This chandelier light also comes in a wired version.
The Dolls House Emporium
4. …for the ‘wow’ factor
A chandelier was the mark of a wealthy home and an impressive model, like this miniature version from Dolls House Interior, would be used to illuminate an equally impressive space such as a high ceilinged ballroom or grand staircase. This type is known as a Flemish chandelier and it appeared in homes from the fifteenth century onwards. It has a characteristic central column with a ball decoration and arms branching from it. Initially this type of chandelier would have been used with candles and due to their cost it would only have been lit on very special occasions such as weddings or royal visits. Chandeliers themselves cost so much to purchase that when gas and later electric lighting was available in homes, the fittings were converted for the new fuel source. Electric light bulbs were even placed on top of imitation candles to mimic their original use. This 1/12th scale chandelier has a gold finish and features 24 bulbs in a striking three tier arrangement. It could be used in either a candle lit themed room or a much later electrically powered one.
Dolls House Interior
5. …for flexibility
The number of uses for this little light are limited only by your imagination. For example, your newly acquired modern home could be lit by bare bulbs until its 1/12th scale inhabitants have decorated and moved in. Equally it could be used in rooms to be set up for storage purposes, such as attics and basements, to illuminate those hidden treasures, family antiques and seldom used items such as decorating equipment and the Christmas tree.
These light bulbs could also be placed inside American style closets, large storage cupboards, a photographic dark room or a WC and make a perfect base for a DIY lightshade.
The Bare Bulb is Lighting Bug Ltd’s signature piece and it is available with a turn key or pull chain finish. It has a brass light fixture and a frosted, old fashioned bulb and forms part of a range of bare bulb miniatures, which also include wall sconces.
Lighting Bug Ltd
Price: (approx.) £22
6. …for Victorian elegance
By the end of the Victorian period, the ‘electric lamp’ was available to forward thinking homeowners, although many people were still suspicious of it because it did not use a flame. These lamps combined the decorative qualities associated with Victorian design and featured coloured or frosted glass shades to lessen the brightness given off by these new light bulbs. Designs were more varied than ever before as the rules for creating lighting which had to hold candles, oil or burn gas no longer applied.
Miniature lighting specialist Lighting Bug Ltd’s Victorian style Bronze Ceiling Light has a semi-flush fitting, ornately shaped brackets appropriate to the era and a frosted shade to protect those delicate Victorian eyes. It forms part of the company’s huge selection of more than one hundred dolls house lights.
Lighting Bug Ltd
Price: (approx.) £80
7. …for sweet dreams
This cute light from Bodo Hennig is available from Harlequins and it would be the perfect finishing touch in a nursery or child’s bedroom as a nightlight. The moon-shaped light features a smiling sleepy face and could be placed above a dressed crib, over a rocking chair piled with soft cushions or above a table filled to bursting with toys, games, books and dolls. A nursery could even be themed around the Moon Ceiling Light with the addition of stars painted onto the ceiling to create a cosy, sleep-inducing environment for a little one.
Price: (approx.) £8.95
8. …to create Streamline Moderne glamour
Streamline Moderne was an off-shoot of Art Deco style popular in the 1930s and its aim was to make design more streamlined, industrial and forward-looking. It shunned the frivolities of Art Deco in favour of horizontal lines, rounded corners and curves and its principal design ideas came from the new aerodynamic shapes being used in cars, trains, cruise liners and aircrafts. As such chrome, glass and plastics were popular materials to use around the home and modern automotive and nautical design elements, such as porthole windows, became common features in homes of this period.
The Modern ‘Silver’ Triple Ceiling Light is a perfect fit for this look. Its curved chrome-like finish and shades which resemble period car headlamps would be right at home in a Streamline Moderne style house or room box. Team it with the characteristic light coloured walls in earth tones or beige, miniature art inspired by the ever popular trains and ocean liners of the period by designers such as A. M. Cassandre and streamlined 1930s furniture and this 1/12th scale look is complete.
The Dolls House Emporium
9. …to light a Shabby Chic interior
Shabby Chic is a contemporary decorating style combining influences from Sweden, France and America and it uses furniture and materials that are either vintage in nature or distressed to create a vintage look. Heart and flower motifs and fabrics are commonly used alongside pastel colours and furniture in painted Swedish, Shaker and French chateau style. Echoing that French style in the form of a chandelier is the Rose Pink from artisan Jason Getzan. This Shabby Chic style ceiling light, a variation of the Flemish chandelier, combines the characteristic cool colours and pretty florals of this design scheme and could be used in any room of your miniature home. This light, which features ten candlelights, is available as pictured, all gold or all white and can also be made using customised colours.
J. Getzan Dollhouse Miniatures
Price: (approx.) £150
10. …for a taste of the exotic
Architects and designers have always borrowed from other cultures and this only increased with the expansion of the British Empire. As such this exotic Moroccan style chandelier would be equally at home in a period setting, contemporary home or miniature Riad. In true Moroccan style it boasts jewel-like reds, purples and greens in a brass fitting. The main body of the lamp houses two LED lights and is surrounded by decorative hanging pendants.
Lighting Bug Ltd
Price: (approx.) £235
© Jane Kubiesa 2012. Images by suppliers.
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