Although it is common for home furnishings to be inspired by catwalk fashions, it is rare for them to be influenced by fashion accessories such as jewellery. Recently, however, there have been more collaborations between jewellery experts and furniture and lighting designers.
The results of these cross-pollinations of creative disciplines are striking, quirky and never ordinary. The intricate techniques and precious materials traditionally associated with jewellery making help to bring new levels of embellishment to furniture and lighting pieces. These often elaborate jewellery features allow us to adorn and dress up our homes in the same way we might accessorise an outfit. This concept of beautifying our living spaces is what makes these collaborative projects exciting; together, jewellery and homeware designers are able to create pieces that are beyond their own individual skills and imagination.
One of the first collaborations of this type that I became aware of was between the avant-garde jewellery designer Manuel Bozzi and the designer Archirivolto. Together they created the Punk Jewelry Chair, meticulously reproducing Bozzi's complex design onto the backrest of 200 limited edition chairs using laser techniques from hand drawings.
A few seasons ago, Jimmie Martin and the jewellery designer Hannah Martin collaborated on the Feathered Chair, an extraordinary piece of furniture that appears to be the physical manifestation of Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven. The chair is densely upholstered in lustrous black feathers and a large black bird with a gold beak perches on top of the backrest.
More recently there has been a trend towards lamps, chandeliers and sconces that look like large pieces of jewellery. This is a definite shift from simply adorning lighting or furniture with jewellery-like details, and manifests itself in surreally scaled necklaces, brooches and earrings that light up. Penelope Batley's witty Big Bling necklace lights and Chandelier Earring lights capture the playfulness and childlike delight of discovering a familiar object in gigantic proportions.
Beyond the simplicity of Batley's oversized work is the incredibly ornate work of the couture jewellery design duo at Erickson Beamon. Together, Karen Erickson and Vicki Beamon created the Glam Rock Chandelier. Dripping with strings of Japanese pearls and Swarovski crystals, it looks like an immense Edwardian choker. Their House Jewels collection epitomises the concept of dressing up rooms with practical jewellery-like products.
But the new Eternity Sconce from the Portuguese company Koket is the most dazzling. Encrusted with crystals skilfully held in circular brass settings, this extraordinary source of light looks like a huge jewelled brooch mounted on the wall. The lights are manufactured by master artisans and jewellers under the creative direction of Koket's founder, Janet Morais. The sophisticated splendour of the Eternity Scone will bring a radiant brilliance to any room in your home.