A Conversation with Bettina Routh

Bettina Routh, LLC, Greenwich, CT, (203) 661-1122 

1. What inspires you?

Great architecture inspires me. If an architect has provided high ceilings, the right amount and correct placement of windows in each room (too many can be a designer's nightmare), generous moldings, casings and door openings, and good room proportion, the interior design flows easily from there. Symmetry that provides a beautiful vista from one room into the next is an architectural gift and a wonderful vignette opportunity for the designer.

2. Favorite part of home to design?

Hands down, my favorite part of the home to design is the Master Bedroom. It is the most personal space in a home, so you need to know your clients very well. This room is all about comfort and relaxation, where the lighting, acoustics, and bed are located becomes the most important element.

3. Tried & True tricks you use to update a house

If you are trying to update with minimal messy (and expensive) construction, I like to make sure that baseboard and crown moldings are generous, bookcase shelves are nice and thick, and that hardware on curtains, bookcases and doors, are of excellent quality with the metal finish that you really want. Don't feel that you need to be stuck with the cheap brass hardware that the builder or owners before you had chosen. Don't skimp when it comes to the hardware, moldings, and light fixtures in your home as they are like the jewelry in any room.

I also love to paint the back interior of bookcases in a rich color to add depth and show off your books and objects. This gives you an opportunity to add just a splash of color in perhaps an otherwise more neutral room.

4. Paint Colors you like to use

One of my all time favorite paint colors is Clunch by Farrow & Ball. It is the most perfect neutral that seems to adapt with the weather. It is beautiful in any kind of room on a bright sunny or stormy gray day. Clunch is also the perfect wall color as a backdrop for artwork.

5. What is your favorite UECo. light and why?

It changes constantly, but currently my favorite is the Virginia Hanging Lantern. It is the perfect combination of a classic shape with an updated modern twist. I will be installing two of them, oversized with restoration glass, in a barn-style great room with a 22 foot high, white-washed wood-planked ceiling. Even as large as they are, they feel light and airy and won't over power the room - can't wait to see them hanging in the space.

6. How have you incorporated UECo. into your installations?

I've used many hanging fixtures over kitchen islands and staircases. The ability to custom color the lanterns with a painted metal finish has allowed me to customize fixtures to work with kitchen cabinets, wall stencils, etc. when other metal finishes may not work. While I have used several wall mounted fixtures, I particularly love the soft light of the Belle Meade wall sconce, which I used in a banquette niche. (see photo)

7. Three Luxury Elements to include in interior design?

1. Fresh flowers, always
2. One chair or ottoman covered in splurge fabric (ie. An embroidered fabric, a great leather, or any fabric by Robert Kime)
3.A valuable piece of art in an unpredictable place

8. Favorite place to visit for design inspiration:

Venice: for the rich art history, wonderfully chic Italians, and Fortuny fabric.

9. Six Favorite fixtures If I can only choose six faves, they'd be:

Virginia Lantern, Piedmont Lantern (oh so versatile!), Andrew reflector sconce (especially wonderful in dining rooms), Maxine Up-Down (great on bookcases), Garrison (nice solution for people who don't like sconces with shades, but also don't like seeing a bare bulb), Melissa Table and Floor Lamps. 

Virginia Piedmont Andrew Reflector Maxine Up Down Garrison Melissa

Super Sized Cirque Lantern

The Urban Electric Co. was recently commissioned by a luxury hotel in Monarch Beach, CA to create a 7.5 foot version of our Cirque Lantern (normal size is 11X18 inches). It was an impressive process to watch it as it was being constructed, but now even more striking to see post completion. Thank you to our amazing production & engineering teams for making our clients' requests come to life!!

We hope to be able to show you photos post install. Stay Tuned.


A Conversation with Jessie Davidson

Jessie Davidson Interiors, Ltd. - Lake Bluff, Illinois -

My favorite UECo light:

It is tremendously difficult for me to choose just one, because there are so many well designed lights in the UECo line. A few that come to mind without thinking very hard are the Chisholm Hall Lantern, the Belmont Lantern, the Melissa Sconce and the Olga Sconce. Each of these has a very traditional beginning with an unexpected twist and that is exactly the way I like to design interiors. The Belmont, for instance, has a classic body but with this amazing pineapple leaf top that sets it totally apart. The Melissa sconce is very straight forward and rather transitional, but with a lovely, perfectly pleated silk shade. It fits well into just about any environment, be it traditional, transitional or contemporary.

Incorporating UECo Lights:

The Melissa Sconce is absolute perfection for small powder rooms where you want to support a gracefully high ceiling without overpowering the space. My Six Picks of favorite UECo lights:


Melissa Wall
Dover Bell

Design Philosophy:

A home done in good taste inspires, comforts and delights the beholder without being overpowering in its statement, or possessing overpowering elements. I like to build from a foundation of classic design with serendipitous elements and punctuation splashes of color. The end result is always fluid, inspired, joyous, and unpretentious. The end result also always reflects the lifestyle of the owner.

My Design Inspiration:

I will always go back to the grande ladies of design, Nancy Lancaster and Sister Parish. I also think the work done by Madeleine Castaign is an absolute kick!

Favorite Design Books:

Briger & Briger, Comfortable & Joyous Homes

Paint Colours:

Farrow & Ball Pale Powder is fantastic on ceilings. I also love their Lamp Room Grey for walls. It's very soothing and calming.

Essential Elements to Include when designing:

Build a solid foundation, choosing well made, lasting designs for your basic pieces. This is like building the bones of a the same with your interior spaces.Either create proper curtains for your windows or wait until you can afford to do so. DO NOT put up blinds and valances just to "decorate" a window (such a waste of hard earned money!) Incorporate your favorite things. Recovering your grandmother's settee and displaying her silver tea service will make your space more personal and intimate.

Some thing people may not know about your firm:

While we are small in staff, we are quite capable of handling large projects and love working out of town! Be sure to see our Maine project on the website.


A Conversation with Patricia McDonagh

Patricia McDonagh Interior Design - Boston, MA -

What is your favorite UECo light and why?

My favorite UECo. light is the Chisolm Hall lantern. It is so versatile and can be used in a modern, transitional or traditional setting. The metal candle sleeve is chic, while the wax candle sleeve brings more warmth and tradition. We have done them in blue, dark green- whatever the mood requires!!! Runner up is punch for its graphic impact, sense of humor, and uniqueness!

How have you incorporated our lights into one of your installations?

I have used the Chisolm Hall lantern in both modern and traditional entries for a "wow" factor that does not overwhelm the architecture but makes it look better and stronger. I love using the Lillibette lantern in a small space/ vestibule; the ice glass and nickel finish look beautiful reflected in a mirror and the scale and form are wonderful. The Melissa sconce looks wonderfully clean in a bathroom setting and adds the perfect amount of elegance and drama without clutter or overdesign. It is a perfect complement to quiet tile/ stone, and nickel plumbing fixtures.

Who is your design inspiration?

My design inspirations would be Axel Vervoodt for his balance of organic and manmade beauty and Robert Adams for his use of classicism and light. His spaces really have the ability to lift the spirit. Last but not least, my mentor Charles Spada for his ability to edit and a unique eye for art and antiques!

Top 3 Design Resources you can't live without?

Urban Electric since the lighting fixtures can really make or break a space and these make it – there is something for every project and setting.

Waterworks' plumbing, tile, and accessories make for a well furnished bath with staying power.

Antiques on 5 for the most unusual and unique antiques and accessories – a piece from here takes a room to a different, more artful and less decorated level.

Some thing people many not know about your firm?

What people might not know about our firm is that we often find design revelations at the end of a yoga class!!! The practice helps us bring balance to our clients homes as well as ourselves and it sharpens our instincts for mindreading!!!

Tips you have learned from experience?

Don't buy something just because it is on sale!!!! If it is not right for your space, the price does not matter!!!

Ideal client relationship?

The ideal client relationship is when a client completely trusts your instincts.

Favorite six UECo. picks?

Melissa Wall Lauren Andrew Reflector Chisholm Hall Chloe Punch
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