Interior Design work is primarily predi-cated on 2 aspects: light and material-ity. When designing any space the starting point is to know how will be lit. In order to understand this, it is necessary to look at how the light will fall. This is governed partly by the materials used. Locality, aspect, climate and other effects also influence the light of a space.


With projects stretching across many climatic zones this results in vastly different lighting conditions. We often talk about the colour temperature of a space. Cold insipid northerly lights found in Scandinavian countries make for very blueish white lights that work well with woods and, warm stones and rich colours. The intense light however of countries within the GCC region are exceptionally harsh. This allows for the use of very small openings providing enough light to light up a space and to great dramatic effect. Often its a matter of tethering and taming the light source in these is conditions.

We test the way the light will fall and its intensity using a variety of software including Autodesk Maya and Ecotect to give us initial ideas of how the spaces will behave under daylight conditions. The lighting of spaces through artificial sources is a tabula rasa for the architect to create drama and pleasure in every facet of every space. Light sources serve to deepen or flatten a space, elevate or squash it, punctuate it, or unify it, depending on the desired effect. A lot of the inspiration for the use of light comes from the way light is used on film. Cinematography provides an excellent examples of how to light spaces for dramatic effect. Films of Hitchcock and Orson welles, to name a couple, used light to both tell a storey and to hugely amplify the emotions that a space exuded. These spaces have huge contrast : areas of complete darkness let rooms fade out to nothing at the edges, whilst they contain points of extreme intensity capturing every detail on the protagonist’s face.

We try to install a sense of the cinematic within the projects by using where possible low level lighting streaming across warm natural surfaces. We brake up the spaces using columns, dwarf walls, screens, areas of planting, changes in materials and textures, all to help with a sense of endless space and drama.

The mixture of natural and artificial light, combined with a great precedence for effortless functionality are the driving forces behind interior design at Sloane Developments.