London Lights

Our Operations Manager, Maria shares with us her interior design shopping on a recent trip to London.

Finding mementos and soaking up inspiration when traveling are both very important to me as a traveler.  Whether it’s buying a print of a favorite town on the Côte d’Azur or framing coasters purchased at the Mucha museum in Prague, we like to fill our home with pictures and mementos gathered along the way to help celebrate the journey.  On a trip to London earlier in January, my husband and I took a bigger leap in our purchases and I couldn’t be happier that we took the risk.

Originally I wanted to go to Liberty of London to look at their famed fabrics.   Little did I realize how large the store was, and we found our way to the home goods floor(s). I was oohing and ahhing over so many of the displays, thinking how I could incorporate some of these examples into my own home.

The interior design section had alcoves set up with examples of the wallpaper and fabrics available.  While some of the designs were over the top, I could envision pieces shown in each display area in my own home.    

Moving on from the fabric room, I was feeling energized and inspired. The interiors display areas also showcased very different styles of furniture and amazing lighting.  The way the items were paired together made it very easy for me to envision areas of my home that could be set up in a way similar to the display.     

The lighting area that featured many of the British designer Tom Dixon’s items really captivated us. This was not lighting that I’ve seen much of in the US and both my husband and I were intrigued. 

Then we walked into a tucked away room that featured the stunning Melt collection.  Melt was more of a work of art than simple light fixtures. We both were awestruck.  I never imagined that we could own those lights that I’d only ever seen displayed in London.

A sales person, more like interior design fairy godmother, came up to us and starting talking to us about the lights and we realized we have the perfect place for these in our new home and that yes, in fact, it was possible to buy them. She also showed us how fantastic these lights look when turned off.  These lights are so unique because they look very different on and off.

I returned to the store the next day to make the purchase.  Since we had time to think about the space we realized that the Tom Dixon Melt lights came in different shades and while we loved the copper shown in the store, the gold finish would be more appropriate for our home.

We had to envision what the gold in the Melt series would look like based on a similar fixture in the store. Ultimately, we were taking a chance on our interior design decision.  Even though we did not set out to go on a trip to buy lighting, we were ready to do so because we happened upon something that we both fell in love with (which by the way, almost never happens!).  Fast forward a couple of weeks, the lighting configuration was made to order and shipped to us and then it was immediately installed.  We were nervous about having an issue with the wiring since it was European and the standards might differ from those in the U.S.   Also, we needed extra length in the electrical wire since we have a two-story ceiling.   But it all came together. 

The lights now have a great story and are so meaningful.   And as a bonus, they are not widely popular here in the US and therefore we have something that feels very unique to our home.  I am so excited for our next adventure abroad: in the spring we are traveling to Marrakesh, Morocco where I will be looking to find more unique items for our home. Especially now that the process of buying furnishings for our interior design plan does not feel overwhelming, even when we are far from home.

Do you make major home purchases when travelling?  Tell us why, or why not in the comments below!  Also, any tips about Lisbon, Portugal or (as mentioned) Marrakech, Morocco would be welcome as well.

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