Founder and owner of Victoria Jerram Limited. An architectural lighting design consultancy offering a full range of lighting design services for commercial and private clients in the UK and abroad.
Tips and Tricks for Luxury Lighting from the Goring
Built by owner Jeremy Goring’s great-grandfather in 1910, The Goring is the last family run five-star hotel in London. The hotel is believed to have been the first in the world to offer ensuite bathrooms and central heating in every bedroom and its proximity to Buckingham Palace makes it a Royal favourite, with the hotel receiving its Royal Warrant in 2013.
With only 69 luxury bedrooms and suites, The Goring combines an intimate atmosphere with personalised service exemplified by its footmen. The interiors are enhanced by The Goring Gardens, one of the largest private gardens in the centre of London.
In 2015, Victoria Jerram was brought in by designer Russell Sage to improve the lighting in the Reception and Lobbies and has been advising The Goring on their lighting ever since. Refurbishments have continued with The Drawing Room, The Breakfast Room, the Bar and Lounge, the Gardens, and the new Siren restaurant which opened in 2019 with Nathan Outlaw as executive chef.
Here are Victoria’s top lighting tips and tricks for recreating luxurious hotel style lighting in your own home:
Lighting should not be an after-thought! All luxury hotels use lighting designers to help achieve the most from the lighting. Hotels, even five-star ones, are always on a budget, but they know what a difference good lighting can make for their guests’ experience. With a little foresight you can achieve the same at home; by thinking about and planning where you need light before your electrician has even started work.
The three basic types of lighting to consider are Task, Accent and Ambient. Task lighting adds extra brightness in a specific location where you may need to carry out a task such as working at a desk. Accent lighting boosts the feeling of space by highlighting particular points of interest in the design. Lastly, Ambient lighting is general lighting for the space, setting the overall mood and illumination level.
At The Goring, we made the fixtures work hard and function as two layers of lighting at the same time. For example, the chandelier over the Reception Desk is used for both ambient and accent lighting. Similarly in the Lounge, floor lamps are used both as ambient and task lighting.
2. Make sure the entrance makes a good first impression
Your entrance hall should be well-lit and inviting – we used two large chandeliers, one hung in the entrance lobby, and the other hung over the Reception Desk. Here is the place for your statement piece: this is what your guests will remember.
3. Lighting fixtures should be discreet like The Goring’s footmen
The rest of your lighting should fit in with the architecture and the overall look and feel of your home. We designed ambient lighting in the form of hidden cove lighting and miniature downlights. Reserve any additional statement pieces to emphasise specific elements of the décor or architecture, for example the fabulous bespoke Lobster Pot chandeliers by Nocturne in the Orangery. Remember, lighting is primarily there to make the space feel right and not as an end in itself.
Hotel lighting needs to adapt to the use of the space, from brighter cooler breakfast service lighting to warm, intimate lighting in the lounge for an after-dinner nightcap. We achieved this at The Goring through the use of a lighting control system that automatically sets the correct brightness levels according to the time of day; and changes the colour temperature from Cool White (5000K) in the mornings to Candlelight White (2200K) in the evenings.
The impact of Corona virus has meant that our homes need to be equally adaptable; supporting remote working as well as home living and being a place for sleeping and eating. How can we change our lighting to help us switch off at the end of a day working from home? A home automation system is out of reach for the usual budget, but dimmer switches are easy to fit by an electrician and we can all change a light bulb: new technology means that light bulbs are available with integral dimming operated by repeatedly pressing the wall switch, and “Dim to Warm” functionality which reduces the colour temperature of the light when it is dimmed, from Warm White (2700K) at 100% to Candlelight White (2200K) as you approach 0%.
Lastly, make sure that every part of your home is well lit. It is easy to focus on key rooms and forget about smaller spaces like your bathroom. We advise using the same quality light fittings throughout, with a colour temperature to match the other areas. As much attention was lavished on The Goring restrooms, with wall lights and backlit mirrors, as in the rest of the hotel.
If these tips inspire you, why not visit The Goring when it re-opens on 4 September 2020?
Contacts and Credits:
Victoria Jerram: VictoriaJerram.com
Russell Sage Studio: russellstagestudio.co.uk
Nocturne Workshop: nocturneworkshop.com
The Goring Hotel: thegoring.com
Photography Credits: Nick Rochowski