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Strong interior design and well thought out lighting systems are vital for clubs and bars to create a welcoming environment that keeps customers coming back. Mark Sutton Vane, director at Sutton

Vane Associates, says even before the credit crunch, hotels, business centres and even museums were beginning to look at ways to use space more effectively and earn extra revenue. ‘What a great many have discovered is that lighting can provide an efficient and flexible way to transform a space. A combination of carefully chosen fittings and controls can turn a large conference room into a more convivial and cosy space for a reception or evening event through the use of zoning and using light effects to create atmosphere,’ he says. ‘Whether you are lighting a dedicated bar

or restaurant or an area that has that role, temporarily the same rules of good lighting practice apply. For example, indirect and concealed lighting provides atmosphere while downlighting can be used to create a focal point at the bar. The use of lighting controls is increasingly important both for flexibility and energy saving,’ continues Sutton Vane. Conceived to give designers scope to

create spectacular centrepiece luminaires within sensible budgets, the Welcome shade collection from Chelsom has grown from strength to strength.

The company enjoys the challenge of taking concept sketches right through to successful installations, creating statement pieces to suit budgets large and small, and over the past 12 months Welcome shades have been installed hotel foyers and receptions, stairwells, restaurants, spas and casinos worldwide. One such project is the Sofitel, Heathrow

Terminal 5. Created by designers KCA, this contemporary interior scheme features Chelsom lighting throughout all of the 605 bedrooms and suites, as well in the Brasserie Roux Fine Dining Restaurant and Sphere Bar. Giant bespoke drum shades in rich black fabric with cream diffusers were specified for the Brasserie Roux dining room and vast rectangular box shades with blue linings and brazil nut fabric outer shells were designed especially for the bar areas. ‘We are still continuing to see high demands for bold and brightly coloured bespoke shades in restaurants and hotel public areas,’ explains Will Chelsom, director at Chelsom. ‘It is not surprising as the large shade is a very cost effective way of creating a big design story whilst also filling large spaces. At Chelsom we are able to help interior designers by

‘Indirect and concealed lighting provides atmosphere while downlighting can be used to create a focal point

at the bar.’ Mark Sutton Vane, director at Sutton Vane Associates

showing new innovative ways of manufacturing these shades and by adding design features such as pleated diffusers. We give architects, designers and of course hoteliers and restaurant owners many more options to work with. ‘We also supply a lot of cascading glass and crystal chandeliers to this market and the beauty of this is that designers can take our original concepts and design them as per their specification. At the end of the day we are manufacturers and we are able to produce these styles of fitting as per designer drawings.’ The new Hakkasan restaurant in Abu

Dhabi is situated within the prestigious Emirates Palace Hotel, and includes a bar area. The interior design was taken on by Gilles and Boissier and Firefly Lighting Design was asked to come with the lighting design concept. Blue glass around the walls is backlit and the dining tables have decorative pendants. The bar is brought to life with the latest energy efficient linear LED equipment and moving water effects are projected onto the back bar wall. ‘The brief was to create a slightly updated version of the classic Hakkasan look, with the usual mixture of sci-fi (blue


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