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Wednesday
Apr182018

Curb Appeal

We all know how important curb appeal is - here are some of our favorite examples of how exterior lighting can enhance and complement the architecture of a variety of home styles from around the country.

 

 1. 

Our Malplaquet pendants were customized to be wall mounted for this incredible Lake Tahoe home... perfectly playing off the steel frame windows and rustic wood siding. (Matt O'Dorisio)

 

 2.

Vic on Bracket lanterns complement the clean lines and play up the black and white accents of this Malibu home. (Landry Architecture)

 

 3.

A Rex Wall lantern looking smart on the exterior of Workstead House - a painstakingly restored Charleston residence. (Workstead)

 

 4.

An over-scaled Bohicket Wall lantern fits right in with the incredible architecture of this Connecticut estate. (Brooks & Falotico)

 

 5.

A Dover Ball pendant is the perfect alternative to a traditional hanging lantern on this cozy California bungalow.  (Tim Clark Design)
Tuesday
Mar202018

Charleston Antiques Show 2018

We were absolutely thrilled to be the Presenting Sponsor of the Charleston Antiques Show this year.  A showcase of 17th to mid-centry modern English, European and American period furnishings, decorative arts and fine art, architectural elements, garden furniture, vintage jewelry, silver and more, the show is a highly anticipated highlight of the Spring season in Charleston.  
 

 

For the entry lounge we teamed up with Jamieson Clair, Creative Director of Maresca & Associates Architecture, to re-create a traditional South Battery parterre garden.  A gorgeous black and brass pair of Hillgate Pocket lanterns from our new Exterior Collection designed by Micheal Amato flanked the tableau.   
 

 

In a tribute to Spring, the lanterns were enveloped in the most beautiful and lush floral display designed by the incredibly talented Sara Grimshaw of SYG Designs.  The display more than set the stage for the incredible collection of world class art and antiques that lay beyond.  

 

 

In addition to the Hillgate lanterns, patrons were able to get an up close look at the stunning Kronam Lantern designed by Steven Gambrel as well as our first ever shade collection in collaboration with Paris-based artist and fashion illustrator, Robert Escalera.

 

We'd like to extend a generous thank you to The Historic Charleston Foundation and all of those involved in producing such a memorable show!
Friday
Mar022018

Bright Ideas

 

Portrait of Robert Escalera by Mathias Casado-Castro, watercolor sketches for the spring 2018 shade collection, photography by Stuart Tyson Portraits, courtesy of Robert Escalera

Robert Escalera knows a thing or two about painting. Since developing a proclivity for drawing at an early age, “I began drawing fashion as early as Pre-K. Luckily, it turned out I was quite good at it.” Escalera has since studied at Parsons School of Design in NYC and designed for top fashion clients including J.Crew, the Gap and boutique labels. Today, sketching and drawing is integral to his creative process, and we’re excited to see his visions translated into a new medium for The Urban Electric Co.

 

Fashion sketches, courtesy of Robert Escalera 

As fashion is always at the forefront of design, it seemed only natural to partner with a leading visionary in the field who brings a sense of whimsy and wonder to his work that can translate to the home. “Lately it seems to be a ping pong game, fashion influencing home, home influencing fashion, it is an indicator of how people are living, how they want to be seen. And if you pay attention, you can get a sense of what people want to wear and to live with.” Escalera’s designs for this capsule collection embody the spirit of putting oneself out there. Lampshades have long been a decorator trick for adding color and personality to a space, and we feel Escalera’s prints do just that.


Shades launched February 2018 as part of the spring 2018 collection, photography by Stuart Tyson

We had a few moments to chat with Robert and discuss his work, life and what’s to come.

UECo: We’re thrilled to speak with you about the new collection. Being based in Paris, what’s a typical day like for you?

RE: My day starts at 7 AM taking the dog out for a walk, I like to use this time to take photographs. Then we come home I straighten up the house and commit myself to draw for at least three hours. Then a work out or swim and then hit the library for some researching. I also have so many friends from around the world that come visit Paris, so depending on who's in town, there's also lots of shopping and entertaining to do.


“I commit myself to draw for at least three hours.” - Robert Escalera, courtesy of Robert Escalera

 

UECo: Where do you like to go (locally or otherwise) to find inspiration?

RE: I’m lucky to live in Paris and have access to some of the most amazing libraries. I love the library, and I love riding my bike to the library. And, because I’m fairly new to the city, I find inspiration everywhere, but my life in New York was like that as well. Inspiration is everywhere you just have to look for it, but more importantly you have to have an idea of what you're looking for and be open to be surprised.

UECo: How would you describe your style?

RE: Small gestures that create a big impact. I try to get a tremendous amount of information across with minimal amounts of line. It also has to make me smile, there's a cheekiness to everything I do.


Watercolor sketches, “I draw faces constantly.” - Robert Escalera

UECO: Two of the patterns you created feature expressive portraits -- who are these individuals, and why did you decide to focus on them for this project with UECo?

RE: I draw faces constantly, they aren't specific people per say they represent the spirit, an attitude but I'm trying to get across. I suppose it comes from constantly watching, you notice subtle things about people's expressions, I find that endlessly fascinating, your face doesn't lie. The reason I offered up these portraits were because I think they're a real honest expression of what I do, and how I see. They're expressive but simple, they're colorful and chaotic but if you pay close attention you'll realize what little line work is involved.

UECo: The palette is restrained and exuberant, what do you think about when considering the palette for a piece, collection or collaboration like this?

RE: With the five pieces that I worked on for this first group of shades, I think the pattern really dictated the palette. It's one of those organic things, I sit with this array of materials but in my head I have an idea of what I want to put down, that informs my eyes and my hands where to go, what to grab. I think I've created a vocabulary of color with my style.

UECo: What do you love about the art industry?

RE: It never ceases to bore me, it inspires me to look deeper and work harder.

UECo: Any projects you’re currently excited to be working on now or for the future?

RE: I’m working on some apparel projects currently, and I’d like to continue to see where I can utilize my work in the realm of home furnishings. I'd like to find some new and unexpected applications for my work.

UECo: Where do you most envision the shade collection in someone’s home?

RE: The beautiful thing about prints and artwork in general is that it's personal, so where someone sees it living is a mystery to me, and that’s exciting!

Lightning round:

  • Favorite place to buy art supplies: ROUGIER ET PLé
  • Favorite coffee shop: I NEVER TOUCH THE STUFF, BUT I DO LOVE HIGH TEA AT THE MEURICE
  • Favorite indulgence: UTOPIE CHARCOAL BAGUETTE AND SEA SALT BUTTER
  • Favorite book: KEITH HARING JOURNALS, GIOVANNI'S ROOM (JAMES BLADWIN) AND ANYTHING DAVID SEDARIS
  • Favorite time of day: 2-5PM LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS ARE REALLY QUIET AT THAT TIME.
  • Favorite color: ALL OF THE ABOVE
  • Favorite meal: BREAKFAST FOR DINNER
  • Favorite place to work: MEDIATHEQUE FRANCOISE SAGAN

Follow Robert on Instagram @roberte64.

Learn more about the collection here.

Produced by Ben Reynaert.

Friday
Feb232018

First Glance: Robert Escalera

We are thrilled to introduce our first ever shade collaboration with Paris-based artist and fashion illustrator Robert Escalera.  His sophisticated and lively prints add an artistic flare to our Jax and Audley sconces.

 

 

Robert and our Creative Director, Michael Amato, met while attending Parsons and have remained close friends over the years.  When we began to consider expanding upon our ever popular COM shade offerings, the idea to collaborate with Robert was a natural fit.

 

 

Shades from left: Pigalle No. 1, Pigalle No. 2, Baleine, Porte Berger, and Lindos

 

We chose five of his gorgeous works of art and had them digitally scanned so they can be printed to order within our 2-4 week Quick Ship timeframe.  They make a truly unique statement and are a subtle way to incorporate Robert's original works of art into your interiors.

 

Tuesday
Jul052016

Eye on Design With Sandra Drews Lucas and Sarah Brooks Eilers of Lucas/Eilers Design Associates

Eye on Design With Sandra Drews Lucas and Sarah Brooks Eilers of Lucas/Eilers Design Associates Luca/Eilers Designs Associates L.L.P, Houston, Texas. www.lucaseilers.com

(1) What UECo light do you like to use the most and why?

We love the Venetian Lantern. It can be used in a variety of settings and can feel very custom by simply changing the interior color. Blackened Pewter is our all-time favorite UECo finish; the sample can be found on every designer’s desk in our office. Their many great finish selections set Urban Electric in a league all their own.

(2) Your six picks of favorite UECo lights?

 

 1. Parker Mirrored Wall sconce is so wonderfully sculptural, 2. Mrs. Potter Sconces are fabulous recessed into sheetrock walls, 3. Maxine Sconce, both sizes are great, 4. Urban Smokebell is mysterious and eclectic, 5. Virginia Lantern is a great scale, and 6. Shoreham Fixture is a much needed flush mount.

(3) What is your design philosophy?

To seek direction from our clients and combine their vision with our experience to tailor impeccable interiors that implement the principles and elements of design.

(4) What is something people may not know about your firm?

We just celebrated our 20th business anniversary by designing a Habitat for Humanity house for a wonderful family.

(5) What is your favorite part of a home to design and why?

The space that our client and their family will spend the most time is our favorite to design. This room differs from house to house. Thinking of how the space will be used and enjoyed is great inspiration for us. Some clients adore the dining room and look forward to all of the celebrations they know will occur there over the years. Others live in their kitchens, cooking and casually entertaining friends and family. Still others relish gathering around the fireplace in the family room with their feet propped up listening to music. In the end, they are all our favorites.

(6) Three design resources you can’t live without?

Matt Camron Rugs, Segreto Fine Finishes, and it goes without saying – Urban Electric!

(7) Best design tips you have learned from experience?

Never underestimate the importance of lighting. It effects the mood, color, and feeling of every interior space. Incorporate at least one piece of furniture or an accessory that has a story in every room. Remember that ceilings provide additional opportunities for design. Design around things that you love, you will never tire of them.

(8) What do you collect?

Sandy: 19th century iron building banks; Sarah: Tramp Art, Blue and White Porcelain

(9) What are your favorite paint colors to use?

Sherwin Williams Canvas tan (SW 7531), Farrow and Ball Hague Blue (No. 30), Martin Senour Pelham Gray Medium Light, Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies (OC-48).

(10) What are your favorite design books?

Rhonda Carmen’s Designer’s at Home; Leslie Sinclair’s two books: Segreto: The Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors and Segreto Style; Linens by Jane Scott Hodges.