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Lighting effects in Valvona & Crolla, Edinburgh

On a recent trip to Edinburgh I made sure I stopped off for a coffee at the Vincaffe, run by Valvona & Crolla, an Edinburgh institution whose deli was described as “arguably the best Italian delicatessen north of the Alps” in the Wall Street Journal. The cafe and restaurant is located on an unassuming pedestrianised lane behind Harvey Nichols. Although one goes to Valvona & Crolla for the food, I was struck by these decorative pendants, which provided a great photo due to the mirrored panels beyond.

On further investigation I discovered these were bespoke Mark Stoane lights, a company who have provided lights for a number of high profile projects including the new V&A Medieval and Renaissance galleries. I think the image shows not just that good light fittings are important, but also that their effect can be dramatically enhanced by creative positioning and their relationship with surrounding materials. Although photographs of a lit scene such as this can be seductive enough on their own, the camera can change the colour and intensity of the light. So in areas where lighting is important to get right, we often go to showrooms or past projects with clients to really experience the quality of light in person.

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