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Tuesday
Sep182018

London Luminaries

 

From exceptional architectural details to iconic buildings (both classic and contemporary) to distinctly British design periods, London has long provided The Urban Electric Co’s creative director, Michael Amato, with design inspiration at every turn. This year, he made the move across the pond, leaving his home in Charleston to set up our first international creative studio in the British capital’s Notting Hill neighborhood. In honor of this company milestone, we’ve compiled a sampling of Amato’s London-inspired light fixtures below.

 

BARBER

With a smart diffuser designed from slumped ribbed glass, this slim sconce evokes the Art Deco design of the escalator lobbies at Harrod’s of London.

 

CHELSEA

The Chelsea takes its name from Chelsea Bridge, a London architectural landmark which spans the River Thames. A blend of traditional and modern—including rectangular elements that reference the past even as contrasting trim options, a visually arresting top ring and new electrical components speak to the future—make it the ideal statement for an entryway or over a kitchen island.

 

BEXLEY

With its elegant glass rod detailing and sleek, Deco-inspired body, the Bexley adds stunning polish to a bathroom—or to any other space it may inhabit.

 

KENSINGTON

A floating orb captured by a simple brass armature, the Kensington incorporates slim LED technology to produce an unobstructed glow from the mouth-blown Italian glass globe. 

 

CLOVER

An inspired riff on London's gone-era carriage house lanterns, the Clover features a petal roof fashioned from curved glass. At once pillowy and soft yet sturdy, thanks to its solid interior electrical component, it elevates indoor rooms and adds an unexpected dose of decor to exterior spaces. 

 

SLOANE

Timeless and incredibly versatile, the Sloane features the kind of fundamentally beautiful design that lets the details sing. A great fixture to play with mixed metals or a bold painted shade.

 

LANESBOROUGH

The perfect detail to crown shallow or low ceilings, the Lanesborough is low on profile but large on presence. Contrasting glass panes provide limitless options for personalization.

 

PEEL

The Peel lantern features a rounded shield of glass cradled by a brass-accented frame.

 

CHILTERN

Expansive in scale and impact, the Chiltern packs a wealth of finely tuned details within its grand proportions. Each of its slender arms emits softly-diffused light that shines down on kitchen prep, billiards play or boardroom negotiation with equal elegance. 

Thursday
Aug232018

5 Questions with Estee Stanley

We chatted with Los Angeles interior designer Estee Stanley of Hancock Design and Estee Stanley Design to learn more about the inspiration behind the recently opened Sherman Oaks bistro Petit Trois, where our Rex Wall sconces are installed in the main dining room and bar.

Photography by Wonho Frank Lee.

1. How does the aesthetic connect with the food?

Chef Ludo Lefebvre really wanted you to feel like you were in Paris no matter where you happened to be, so his food is great Parisian bistro fare. On our end, we really wanted to support that—to make the guests feel transported to another country through design elements the way they are through the food.

I knew I would be able to find something that felt special with The Urban Electric Company. Most bistro lights are small glass bulbs and we liked that, but we also really wanted something that felt a little more contemporary for this space. The Rex Wall sconces we used really deliver that sense of place. 

2. What design elements do you view as most fundamental to hospitality?

Service, customer attention and timing. And, as far as design goes, it’s about comfort. I never want people to want to leave—and more than that, I never want them to feel like anyone at the restaurant wants them to leave. 

Photography by Wonho Frank Lee.

3. If you could eat one thing from this restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?

The omelette. Crepe-like and thin, served with the most amazing green salad and a baguette.

4. If you could take one element from the design of this restaurant and use it in your house, what would it be?

The wallpaper—this leaf-themed William Morris wallpaper; I actually do have it in my house!

Photography by Wonho Frank Lee.

5. Better restaurant keepsake: matchbook, coaster or cocktail napkin?

Matchbook 

More about Estee Stanley:

Estee Stanley has designed some of the city’s most gorgeous homes ranging from modern, to Spanish and traditional. Her work has been featured in AD, Luxe and many more. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.


Thursday
Aug022018

The Skinny on the Skinny Sconce

Skinny sconces aren’t just a decorative lighting element—they’re as crucial to a room’s overall aesthetic and fundamental design plan as, say, a pendant that hangs over a kitchen island or a dining room chandelier.  Why?  Below, our thoughts on the specific virtues of this essential lighting category (and emerging trade staple).


Hedges in hewn brass with Farrow & Ball Studio Green accent.

Skinny Sconces offer a creative, fresh and less expected approach to statement lighting.  Skinny Sconces elevate a space both physically and aesthetically (ie they bring the eye up).  Skinny Sconces have a unique size and shape that gives them undeniable presence, makes them feel inherently special and enhances their versatility without sacrificing impact.

 

Left: Marlborough in hewn brass with antique mirror on cobalt blue inlay and partially etched glass. Right: Push in RAL 9010 Pure White.

Skinny Sconces adapt seamlessly to new uses and configurations as spaces and styles evolve over time.  Skinny Sconces confer a bespoke vibe that easily and instantly elevates any space (without the added effort or expense).  Skinny Sconces save space and solve problems without sacrificing impact. 

 

Push in polished nickel.

Skinny Sconces serve as both an instrument of creativity and an element of cohesion—often at the same time. Their unique shape and size make them a great way to add visual continuity throughout an entire house while their multi-functionality ensures the effect feels fresh and original each time.  Skinny Sconces literally work everywhere.

 

Left: Finn in white with hewn brass accents. Right: Hedges in black with polished nickel accents.
Friday
Jul272018

An Interview with The Entrepreneurs Podcast

Have you ever wondered how our founder, Dave Dawson, built The Urban Electric Company?  If so, then listen to his newly released interview with host Matt Alagiah on this week's episode of Monocle 24 Radio's The Entrepreneurs podcast. 

In this weekly podcast of the most inspiring people, companies and ideas in global business, Dave explains how and why he took a leap of faith and left his legal career to launch The Urban Electric Company 15 years ago. And we sure are glad he did!  

Listen to the full interview here.


Thursday
Jul192018

A Note on Company Culture with Editor at Large

In part two of his case study series with Editor at Large, The Urban Electric Company's founder, Dave Dawson, shares his reflections on company culture after 15 years in business. 

Like a lot of American craft companies, we are a people-centric business—not just because payroll is by far our largest expense and investment, but also because our success and sustainability relies almost exclusively on the passion and creativity of our team. Our care for this strategic resource is mission-critical.

Consciously or not, every company has a culture that’s built around some centralizing principles—sometimes these are uplifting and positive, oftentimes negative and destructive. Knowing that a culture will take root, whether you choose it or not, a smart company proactively selects constructive and “leverageable” principles. At Urban Electric, we’ve chosen to centralize our culture around mission and value.

At a very fundamental level, I believe the currency people value most in a career (apart from a paycheck, which, presumably, they can get lots of places) is to: (a) feel valued and (b) have a sense of mission in their work. These two things, though intangible, matter more to your employees than any benefit you can give them. They’re more important than a nice desk, a benefits package or a company picnic. When people believe in the collective company mission and feel that the organization believes in them, they’ll run through brick walls.

There is hardly anything more powerful than a group of passionate people who have rallied around a shared mission; part of our mission is to revive and sustain artisanal craftsmanship in this country. That’s a bold mission for a little company like ours, but it elevates our viewpoint to something larger than our individual selves. It also provides inspiration for our daily work.

Read the full article here.