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A designers playground is lighting up its new Gastown neighbourhood.
“This is us responding to Vancouver designers’ needs to see more and do more,” says Lightform Communications Manager Cheryl Wilkinson of the brand’s new space in Gastown. “We found this building and it’s three times the size of our previous Yaletown location, so it’s quite spectacular.” Browsing around the new showroom, it feels as if you’re walking through an art gallery, admiring the exquisite nature of each piece. After wandering aimlessly past dozens of designs that range from sleek to whimsical, Cheryl offers me a tour to understand the layout and functionality of their showroom space. Despite its huge expanse, she informs me they only have about 10% of their inventory actually on display. This astonishes me, as I’m already over my head in lighting design inspiration.Beginning at the front of the store, Cheryl shows me their outdoor lighting space. Turf and a hammock set the tone and allow you to picture the designs in your own space. From animated lighting fixtures by Italian designer Ares to multifunctional pieces like the Dojo design by Metalarte that doubles as a chair or table, the showroom shows a variety of options for a patio or garden. Across the entrance, Cheryl leads me to some of the more practical lighting solutions, introducing me to architectural pieces – including a wide range of LED fixtures. To help designers understand the function and technology behind these pieces, the store has large wooden doors that open to reveal the wiring and drivers. “It’s not just the harsh, blue, cold LED that a lot of people think of, “ Cheryl informs me, “They can be quite warm.” Just beside the walls of new technology sits a large boardroom table that Lightform has set up for designers Q&As. “ We have an informal wine and cheese, and people really love it because it gives them the chance to talk to some really rock star designers.”Passing by a wall dedicated to bathroom lighting, we venture back to the front of store that features the future of lighting design. According to Cheryl, several designers are going back to the basics of good design: quality materials, simplicity and elegance. Parachilna for example is a Spanish manufacturer that combines hand-welded craftsmanship with LED technology. Other designers are pushing the limits of artistry, such as Delightfull who find inspiration in mid-century modern and jazz.Finally bringing it closer to home, Cheryl lets me in on Lightform’s newest partnership with Montreal-based Lambert & Fils. “They have an industrial modern aesthetic and the price point makes them really accessible,” shares Cheryl, “We’re really excited because it’s our first made-in-Canada lighting manufacturer and we’re really proud to be partnered with them.” Taking a final look around this amazing space, I can’t help but leave feeling excitedly inspired; it was a wondrous hour spent in the ultimate designer’s playground.Lightform Gastown is located at 425 Carrall St. and is open Mon-Fri 11am-5pm. Lightform Communications Manager Cheryl Wilkinson shows off one of her favourites: handblown glass fixtures by Parachilna that are formed by one continuous breath. Spanish manufacturer Parachilna is going back to classic design techniques with their hand-welded metal wire pieces using modern LED technology. Design company Delightful is inspired by mid-century modern and jazz. Several of this designer’s pieces were recently featured on the set of Fifty Shades of Grey. Lightform has set up a boardroom style space where they can host informal Q&A sessions for interior designers to meet the hot shots of the lighting industry. The shop makes a big statement right at the entrance with their massive wooden door, which became the design ‘pet project’ of the store owner during construction. A corridor at the side of the store features a wide variety of architectural lighting.