ISSUE 35  |  The Organized Life

Design Sleuth: The Tolomeo Light Takes a Turn

September 05, 2014 3:00 PM

BY Izabella Simmons

Mirko Beetschen and Stephane Houlmann of Zürich’s Bergdorf Agency for Concepts and Communication recently collaborated with architect Nick Ruef on the remodel of a 200-year-old chalet in the Bernese Oberland. The result is a perfect juxtaposition of new and old, full of charm and character. After poring over the project more than once, a detail caught my eye: Several of the rooms feature Artemide’s classic Tolomeo Wall Spot Light installed upside down, so that the design takes on a different look and is more maneuverable. Inspired by their genius idea, I ended up doing the same in my bathroom. Here’s their project and mine.

Photographs via Bergdorf Agency for Concepts and Communication, unless noted.

Above: A kitchen nook lit by two inverted Tolomeo lights in the chalet.

Above: Installed upside down, a Tolomeo lamp is used as a bedside light.

Above: Another Tolomeo light crops up above the mirror in one of the chalet bathrooms–this one, too, is inverted. (Like the palette and design elements? See Steal This Look: An Attic Bath in a Spectrum of Greens.)



Above: An Italian design classic, the Tolomeo Wall Spot Light from Artemide–installed here the correct way–is widely available, including from Y Lighting for $240.

Above: Inspired by the chalet project, I installed our bathroom lights upside down and directly on a mirror wall. By inverting the S bracket (the part that attaches to the wall), and by turning the shade 180 degrees, the lamp gets a new look and function. In the original, the shade’s movement is limited, but the new orientation increases the handle’s range of motion, enabling the shade to move freely. Photograph by Izabella Simmons.

Want to see more of the remodeled chalet? Go to 40 Shades of Gray: Unexpected Color in the Swiss Alps. Into grays? Here are 10 Shades of Gray picked by members of the Remodelista Architect/Design Directory. And see Gardenista’s Palette and Paints posts for more color inspiration.