Fairley: My work is built around scale, pattern, specific motifs, which I use over and over, and color. What makes this lighting collection unique to me is the color palette. These fun and bright, saturated colors are not easy to find in lighting.
Originally, I designed the Rothesay lantern for a historic home in Richmond, VA. The space was a center hall about 30 to 40 feet with a 12-foot ceiling. I used a Greek key motif. There’s a pagoda influence at top, so the orignal red was a nod to Asia. At the same time, it was a Richmond show house on the banks of the James River — you can’t be more Americana than that. So my color palette was a play on the traditional red, white and blue. I love the way it turned out. It’s simple, but the scale is significant. I wanted something that could be a showstopper.
We’re making it in a smaller scale for 8- to 9-foot ceilings. We’re also creating it in colors that coordinate with my fabric line, and there’s a wall sconce.
I love the architectural influence of historic Greek and Roman design. For one thing, they were so great at proportion, scale and order. The Greek key motif can be traditional or contemporary. It can be used in any kind of interior, and it appeals to both men and women.
Most of our custom furniture, lighting, and fabrics result because I either can’t find what I’m looking for, or I’ve already used the one or two that exist in the market. As a designer, you have to have integrity with your clientele. You can only use something a few times. You can change the color or the scale, but you just can’t keep putting out the same stuff over and over again. They’re paying us for unique design. So it helps to create something.
I’d like to have more lighting fixtures by the end of 2012. I have two new fabric patterns coming out this spring, as well as a wallpaper collection. And I’m doing a second fabric collection with Hickory Chair. We’re also expanding the offering and the colors of the Tobi Fairley Home Collection for the spring.