ISSUE 19  |  The Wedding Party

Studio Visit: Glamorous Lighting from Michelle James in Red Hook

May 11, 2015 6:00 PM

BY Julie Carlson

Michelle James, a former fashion stylist and jewelry designer, segued into lighting design when she overhauled her turn-of-the-century Brooklyn brownstone in 2010. Unable to find lighting fixtures to fit her exacting standards, she was inspired to create her own using vintage parts (in homage to the history of the house), which she made in her basement workshop. James recently moved her studio into a high-ceilinged, light-flooded space in Red Hook, where she and her team assemble her one-of-a-kind pieces. 

Photography via Michelle James.

Above: The showroom area of the new Red Hook studio features several fixtures at various stages of development. “I used Benjamin Moore Simply White and Witching Hour on the accent wall. The antique brass Martini Side Table and the Tangier Bronze Stool are from West Elm; the sofa was a gift from a friend.”

Above: A weighty chandelier made from a mix of vintage glass globes. For a similar design, see the Brilliant Five Globe Fixture with Vintage Jewelry Elements.

Above: Another view of the reception area. The showroom is open by appointment; for a visit, contact Michelle James Interior and Lighting Design.

Above: The Brutalist Wall Sconce with hammered antique brass finish.

Above: Tools of the trade on display.

Above: Simple pipe and plywood shelving holds a selection of glass elements sourced on eBay and Etsy.

Above L: The Brilliant 5 Cube Glass Fixture with Vintage Glass in situ. Above: Glass globes ready for assembly.

Above: The 9-Arm Fixture with Vintage Glass Jewelry and blackened and natural brass finish components.

Above L: Michelle in her studio. Above R: An Art Deco Chrysler Glass Globe Pendant illuminates a hallway. See more at Michelle James Interior and Lighting Design.

Take a tour of Michelle’s Brooklyn brownstone: At Home with a Brooklyn Fashionist-Turned-Lighting-Designer