Q&A with Manja Swanson, Chief Creative Officer of Lamps Plus

Photos: Lamps PlusWhich artists/designers continue to inspire your work?
There are so many talented people and companies that continue to inspire me on a daily basis. It really depends on my current projects. The great thing about my job is that on any given day I get to pull inspiration from all over. In the morning I might be meeting and discussing the Bauhaus movement and how color blocking was used, then at lunch I might have a meeting about color and we’ll discuss how 80’s bright neon colors are influencing home décor, then move on to a meeting about pattern and if we should use more Baroque patterns. So, it really does depend on the current project.

What upcoming trends do you see for 2013?
There are so many trends happening right now. If I had to choose just one, I would say a return to glamour and tradition. I call this the quiet elegance, it's simple but deep down luxurious. 
You can get this look by choosing lighting with aged gold tones or a gorgeous crystal chandelier.

What’s your favorite piece you have designed?
My current pieces are usually my favorite. The latest are repositionable ceiling medallions. They are based on original hand-painted artwork that we created in-house. I love that they provide a finishing accent to a chandelier and provide an instant visual impact. It's perfect for dining rooms, foyers, bedrooms…

Where do you feel most inspired?

My garden. I love to garden and nature is a great place to draw upon for inspiration. The colors and texture in nature provide endless possibilities.

What is your idea of a well lit room?
A room lit for the function happening within it. Functionality should be at the top of the list when choosing any type of lighting. Determine the purpose you need the lighting to provide. Most rooms require three basic types of lighting: task, ambient and accent. Task lighting provides illumination for specific tasks, such as cooking or applying your make-up. Ambient lighting, which provides overall illumination, is good for a laundry space or garage. And accent lighting is used to draw your eye to details around the room like paintings or interesting architectural details.

What lighting looks do you love?
I've learned to appreciate all styles of lighting. I really enjoy art history and the story that is happening during certain movements. Once you start digging in and finding out the stories, it becomes addicting and you just want to know more and more.

To view the gold-toned selection Lonny picked out above:
Graham Natural Iron Brass and Marble Table Lamp; Lamp Plus
2. Jonathan Adler Sputnik Flush Mount Brass Ceiling Light in Brass; Lamps Plus
3. Mary McDonald Directoire Black 13 3/4" High Brass Wall Lamp; Lamp Plus

4. Mary McDonald Ondine Brass and Black Floor Lamp; Lamps Plus

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