by Cassidy Mantor
Light is synonymous with hope, inspiration, and brilliance. Whether it is natural light through windows or decorative lighting inside our homes, we get more things done with proper lighting. Western Home Journal is proud to feature three illumination experts whose work will help you see lighting differently: Hammerton | Elume Distinctive Lighting | SOLUS
Salt Lake City-based Hammerton employs a team of 90 artisans who create exquisite custom lighting pieces uniquely suited for the special characteristics of Park City homes. They operate one of the largest metal and glassblowing studios in the country and invite local customers to visit. The team at Park City-based Elume Distinctive Lighting sells Hammerton, as well as other brands that elevate a home’s interior and exterior lighting to an art form. Finally, Park City-based SOLUS uses smart lighting and motorized shades to program scenes for the ultimate mood lighting.
Hammerton Artisanal Illumination:
World-Class lighting | Crafted Locally in Utah
When it comes to decorative lighting, Park City’s distinctive architecture poses a number of challenges. High ceilings, oversized spaces, and open floor plans in these homes require boldly scaled fixtures that accommodate unusual spatial and mounting considerations. In addition, the frequent use of natural materials such as reclaimed woods and hand-hewn stone yearn for distinctive lighting that’s a cut well above the standard acrylic drum.
Hammerton, a Salt Lake City-based decorative lighting manufacturer, is intimately familiar with the Park City aesthetic. Established in 1995, the company initially grew in lockstep with the explosive development of luxury ski resort communities across the Intermountain West. Co-founder Levi Wilson, an artist and metalworker by trade, astutely identified the local market’s desire for beautifully handcrafted, nature-inspired steel fixtures that brought the outdoors inside and elevated lighting to a sculptural art form.
Levi’s original Log & Timber chandeliers, showcasing tree boughs, pine cones, acorns, elk heads, and landscape silhouettes, all meticulously crafted in hand-sculpted steel, were the hallmark of luxury lighting in the Mountain West well into the 2000s.
Today, Hammerton employs 125 people at their 50,000-square-foot Salt Lake City facility, including over 90 artisans in metal, glass, paint, and assembly shops. The company’s production processes combine time-honored craftsmanship with modern manufacturing methods. In the metal fabrication shop, anvils and forges sit next to laser cutters, CNC mills, press brakes, and other high-tech precision equipment.
Hammerton’s artisan glass shop is one of the largest in the U.S., producing more than three tons of blown, cast, and kiln-fused glass each week.
CRAFTSMANSHIP ROOTED IN NATURE
Unlike its early days, the company’s current lighting designs emphasize contemporary and modern styles in artisan glass as well as a wide range of other materials. Hammerton’s aesthetic, however, is still firmly rooted in the natural world.
“Nature is the foundation of great design,” says Levi, who is the company’s VP of Design. “Biophilia is the hip new term used today, but the concept has been around for centuries. Filigree is a great example of this. Art Nouveau and Art Deco are also splendid examples of nature-inspired design.”
“Much of our design work these days explores the relationship between nature and science,” adds Levi. “It’s often expressed through a symbiosis of organic and geometric design.”
Levi has an exceptional ability to translate ideas from conversations with interior designers and homeowners into freehand technical sketches drawn precisely to scale, in beautiful proportion and perfect symmetry. Hammerton product designers, engineers, and artisans then bring those concepts to life.
“Much of our design work these days explores the relationship between nature and science. It’s often expressed through a symbiosis of organic and geometric design.”
–Levi Wilson, Co-founder, Hammerton
CUSTOM-WORK SUITED FOR RESORT MARKETS
What makes Hammerton particularly relevant to resort markets like Park City is its deep expertise in custom design and manufacturing. “Custom work represents a significant portion of our residential business,” says Paul Verbecky, General Manager of the Hammerton Signature brand. “Off-the-shelf lighting is typically too diminutive in scale for Park City homes. Most decorative lighting is manufactured offshore, so fixtures are deliberately smaller in scale to minimize material and freight costs.”
The standard industry definition for custom lighting assumes a limited choice of finishes, shade colors, and rod lengths. Hammerton’s definition is “anything is possible”. Fifty percent of the company’s production involves some level of custom design, from modification in size, shape, and scale to customer-specified materials. About ten percent of production includes one-off designs created from scratch.
Installation is another important aspect of custom lighting that makes Hammerton uniquely suited for Park City homes. Exposed beams, sloped ceilings, and distinctive features such as open stairwells and stunning window views are common in luxury mountain markets.
“If you’ve ever tried to hang a light that is not designed to have the canopy mounted on a sloped ceiling or a narrow beam, it can be a nightmare,” explains Paul. “Determining fixture scale, drop, canopy size, and position for large entries and custom stairwells is also a huge challenge. These are just a few reasons why custom lighting is ideal for the Park City home.
“Touring Hammerton is a magical experience. It’s a little like Disneyland, with sparks flying.”
–Paul Verbecky, General Manager, Hammerton
Hammerton offers two brands for residential lighting applications: Hammerton Studio and Hammerton Signature. Fixtures from each brand can be ordered with a wide choice of options, or they can be used as jumping-off points for a more involved custom design. Hammerton processes between 100 and 150 custom quotes per week, which translates into thousands of custom manufactured pieces each year.
The engine behind this design horsepower is a talented team of industrial designers and engineers who make up nearly 20% of Hammerton’s workforce. Each individual understands the complexities of manufacturing products to meet a unique set of aesthetic and functional requirements.
Hammerton’s most popular lighting designs make innovative use of lighting technology to seamlessly blend aesthetics and function. The iconic Gem collection features an asymmetrical shade design in thick, hand-blown glass that’s lit internally with an LED chip. Eliminating the presence of a functional filament bulb showcases the artisanal glass as the focal point. The “Gem” shade becomes the bulb itself, elevating the entire fixture to a work of art.
“Hammerton dispels several myths about custom lighting,” Paul says. “In fact, custom lighting doesn’t have to take several months, it doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive, and you don’t have to be a lighting expert to be assured that you’ll get what you want.”
Hammerton bridges the design gap by providing consulting services to bring a client’s vision to life, taking into account all design requirements. When a client approves a specification drawing, they understand exactly what the fixture will look like, how it will illuminate its space, how much it will cost, and how long it will take to manufacture. Most custom orders ship in less than ten weeks.
Park City clients have the added advantage of visiting Hammerton’s Salt Lake City facility for a manufacturing tour and a design consultation. Customers are often inspired by their visits and are able to see new potential for their lighting projects in the creative environment of Hammerton’s shop.
“Touring Hammerton is a magical experience,” says Paul. “It’s a little like Disneyland, with sparks flying.”
To learn more about Hammerton, visit hammerton.com or call 801.973.8095.
Lighting as an Art Form
Layers of Illumination: Elume Distinctive Lighting
Elume Distinctive Lighting uses lighting as an art form in truly unique ways. Owner Jennifer Brassey cites layers of light as the key to Elume’s approach. Her creative team describes their design process as “painting with light.”
One of the most important layers of light is architectural lighting that frames the room and highlights the structural elements. That sets the stage for the rest of the lighting in the room including decorative, accent, and task.
Jen explains, “Layers of light will always be more pleasing than just one light source. When every layer can be dimmed individually, you have the most flexibility to create the mood. You will always want a different ‘scene’ when entertaining than for meal prep or house cleaning. We believe that quality of light equals quality of life. When you get the layers right, it is amazing how it just ‘feels’ better to the occupant.”
Lighting as art comes into play through design choices made by Elume’s team. Sometimes, the team will make the lighting the focus of the room. Other times, the subject being illuminated is the focal point. The artistic expression comes together when there is both brilliance and balance.
Elume design team member and certified ALA Lighting Specialist Cora Bicknell believes in timeless design. She follows the principles of visual design: proportion, balance, and repetition as she layers general, task, and accent lighting into a space.
Although most of Elume’s projects are trending to ultra contemporary right now, the team also works with homeowners who want their Park City homes to be their “mountain homes” – complete with more rustic lighting.
“Every project is different,” says Cora. “We always try to make the lighting personal. Our customers are not building a house – they are building a home – and that is very personal. Finding the ‘style’ starts with architecture. We then develop a theme to function as the cohesive element throughout, and then we source quality fixtures to bring it to life.”
Elume’s design philosophy is that every home should have some lighting fixtures that are spectacular and memorable. Typically, those will be at the entry, so that the lighting delivers a ‘wow’ factor immediately. The great room and the dining area are also ideal for statement lighting. In addition to common areas, Elume considers the powder room a place to have some fun with lighting. Whimsical or dreamy lighting in that more intimate space becomes a conversation piece.
“Layers of light will always be more pleasing than just one light source. We believe that quality of light equals quality of life.”
–Jennifer Brassey, Owner, Elume Distinctive Lighting
Every designer on Elume’s team has their own personal process and style, but the ultimate direction each project takes is entirely dependent on the client. The Elume team enjoys when a client is open to taking chances with lighting.
One of the trends Elume is seeing now is hanging two oversized pendants over the kitchen island, rather than three or five mini pendants. The bigger the better. Ceilings in Park City homes are typically very high, so there is a large canvas to work with for lighting.
Elume designer Jerrica Jordan says that an important place to start is with color. She considers finishes, flooring selections, and wall colors in the home. She then moves onto more technical details including size, ceiling height, and specific function of the space and fixture. “I’m very visual,” explains Jerrica. “Starting with color helps me narrow the search without getting bogged down with the multitude of possibilities out there.”
Elume stays up to date on new lighting innovations by traveling to the Dallas Lighting Market every year to see the new fixtures in person. Cora likes to tune into cultural clues and observe what the younger generations like since they are early adopters and trendsetters.
Cora says, “It’s also important to watch the fashion that clothing designers are doing now. That always gives some clues to what will trickle into interiors. European lighting and design trends are typically on point as well.”
The Elume team also pays attention to trends that are purely local, especially architecture and materials. Jerrica adds, “I’m always gaining inspiration and learning from ideas on Pinterest, Houzz, and lots of HGTV. My favorites are Property Brothers and Fixer Upper.”
When asked about challenges to lighting, Jen explains that overly tall ceilings and sloped ceilings are the trickiest for installations. Sometimes the slopes are running the wrong direction for a fixture. Another consideration is how to install a beautiful fixture in a great room or dining area without obstructing the client’s amazing view of the mountains.
Jerrica loves working in spaces with a lot of natural light. “In those spaces, it’s important to think about the space at night so that it will still be functional,” she says. Her goal transforms to how it looks in the daylight in more of an artistic sense. “In a space with great natural light, illumination doesn’t have to always be functional. It will serve more as artwork than a light fixture.”
Elume’s designers are true artists. Cora loves to light walls. Textured walls like stone can become brilliant with lighting techniques like grazing and wall washing. “I love adding contrast to texture,” says Cora. “I paint with light. There is nothing as dramatic or psychologically soothing.”
“I paint with light. There is nothing as dramatic or psychologically soothing.”
–Cora Bicknell, ALA Lighting Specialist, Elume Distinctive Lighting
Dining rooms are Jerrica’s favorite because there are typically more options for fixtures. Jerrica says, “It’s fun to work with clients to find the perfect statement piece that people can show off at dinner parties.” Jerrica also likes to incorporate recessed cans and dimmers to allow for many options to create the perfect dining ambiance.
People are becoming more focused on creating a personal oasis at home. Elume’s team loves using lighting to elevate the overall feel of a room. Bathrooms become spas and transform an entire experience from mundane to luxurious.
One tip from Cora to accomplish the spa environment at home is to consider “grazing” the master bathtub with light, instead of having one recessed light or fixture over the tub.
Jerrica loves using accent lighting to create a Zen-like bathroom. Some of her favorite approaches include adding a strip of LED tape light to the underside of a floating vanity or in the toe kick area. She also notes that it is important to make sure that every layer of light can be dimmed individually. She says, “It makes the space feel instantly more resort-like.”
Elume’s breadth of work is truly distinctive. When asked about work she is particularly proud of, Jen reflects, “Many of our custom stairwell fixtures have been hugely impressive; however, there have been some amazing dining fixtures as well. Once, we lit a stairwell with small white glass cubes hanging along the window span that appeared to be birds in flight. That was cool!”
Elume’s creative design team consists of Jerrica, Cora, Candice Winterton, and Rebekah Gonet. They bring the magic, as Jen says, while she runs operations. Jen also handles the marketing, the showroom, and some other creative aspects. While she is based at Elume’s showroom in Park City placing the orders, her husband and business partner, Joe, is in Salt Lake City receiving them.
For information on Elume and to schedule a consultation, call 435.647.2997 or visit elumepc.com.
Setting a Lighting Scene:
Integrating Smart Lighting & Motorized Shades by SOLUS
“When we design these systems, we consider the way light feels in a space so we can create a unique experience for the homeowner.”
–Ginger Scurti, Designer, SOLUS
SOLUS is the premier window treatment company in Utah, specializing in motorized window treatments and programmable smart lighting. SOLUS integrates smart home technology for lighting and shades so that with a touch of a button, a homeowner can set a perfectly calibrated scene for any moment at home. SOLUS makes lighting beautiful spaces easy.
SOLUS’s products bring a level of modern sleekness to lighting control systems. Their wide variety of designer keypads sourced from multiple manufacturers complement the design of any room. SOLUS also specializes in shade systems that can be concealed in walls or ceilings. The company features luxury brand names like Lutron, Crestron, Screen Innovations, Insolroll exterior screens, and Hunter Douglas shades that are perfect for creating softer lighting and adding privacy at home. When open, SOLUS shades do not obstruct or interfere with a home’s views.
SOLUS’s business is comprised of both motorized shades and smart lighting. SOLUS’s roller shade systems can be engineered to accommodate uniquely shaped rooms and window sizes. Ginger Scurti, SOLUS’s design lead in Park City, says, “When we design these systems, we consider the way light feels in a space so we can create a unique experience for the homeowner.”
As an industry partner, SOLUS’s design team works with the trade and effectively brings to life the vision for any space. SOLUS has established relationships with developers, designers, architects, and engineers who trust their expertise. SOLUS’s passion for exceptional design and workmanship helps it create and install fully-integrated smart home systems that are energy-efficient, offer sun protection and security, and are luxuriously convenient.
As a design-oriented trade partner, SOLUS has the ability to provide CAD drawings, 3D renderings, and sun studies to enable project visualization. SOLUS can assist with design concepts and options to find solutions for challenging applications, such as artfully designed signature windows from architecture firm Michael Upwall Design. SOLUS has a track record of expertly partnering with the Upwall Design team to integrate motorized shades into windows that are 30 feet tall, that have asymmetrical dimensions, and stand at different angles.
Using comprehensive sun studies in the design process helps SOLUS determine how to program shades to deliver appropriate solar protection in the home. As Ginger explains, “We can program the shades to follow the sun’s movement based on the direction of the home so that shades can open and close to varying degrees during the different seasons. This way furniture, rugs, and other high-end interiors are adequately protected from harmful UV rays throughout the year.”
SOLUS will calibrate the settings throughout the year for perfect light all the time. This protects furniture and also allows for a more balanced and enjoyable experience in the home, whether for a holiday ski trip or a summer visit to the mountains.
SOLUS’s lighting control product offerings particularly resonate with interior designers because they eliminate the bank of old-school bulky switches. Instead, one sleek keypad controls the whole room and can be selected in a finish that matches the house’s theme.
For homeowners, pre-programmed scenes simplify the old process of having to turn on all the lights manually. Ginger explains the technology by saying, “With the push of a button, you tell the house what you’re doing and what mood you’re in, and the lighting turns on for that scene. We can also tweak things remotely if your preferences change.”
Once the design is approved, SOLUS is in constant communication with on-site contractors to ensure appropriate installation. SOLUS has dedicated project managers who provide smooth and worry-free transitions from plans to implementation. They coordinate schedules with trade partners to eliminate delays and keep projects moving on time. They also provide quality control, personnel, and project oversight from start to finish.
Ginger frequently meets with project engineers during the building process. Her goal in those meetings is to make sure the plans factor in all mechanical considerations. “We simply guarantee that everything runs smoothly,” she says.
SOLUS acts as an intermediary between the design team and the architect, contractor, and electrician to ensure a seamless installation. The team will review blueprints to ensure proper pocket placement and dimension specifications. It will provide supplementary information including design sketches, technical data, wiring diagrams, and product comparisons for window treatments to round out its trade partnership.
Lighting affects mood, how we experience a space, and our overall feeling of well-being. SOLUS architectural lighting systems are carefully designed lighting programs that enhance and illuminate the details and character of a home. SOLUS’s lighting programs improve the at-home experience by providing additional security and convenience, as pathways are illuminated. The whole house can turn on or off with the touch of a button.
Good lighting can awaken color, enhance the mood and design of spaces, and allow the artistry of the architecture and design to be fully realized in every space. Whether relaxing in a cozy reading nook or highlighting an art collection, clients can work with SOLUS to program perfect lighting scenes.
“Motorized shades have become synonymous with convenience, functionality, and luxury. Solar fabric shades help you control light levels, ensure privacy, protect against UV rays, and reduce energy costs.”
–Ginger Scurti, Designer, SOLUS
SOLUS offers roller shades, exterior roller screens, woven and fabric Roman shades, and motorized drapery. The company works to integrate the systems for motorized shades and drapery in modern large windows. Eliminating cords and chains on modern windows provides a softer aesthetic and also improves safety. SOLUS’s motorized drapery has evolved into a standard of modern architecture.
Ginger notes, “Motorized shades have become synonymous with convenience, functionality, and luxury. Solar fabric shades help you control light levels, ensure privacy, protect against UV rays, and reduce energy costs.” Motorized Roman shades are another option. Top-trending styles include flat fold, ribbed, relaxed, hobbled, and classic designs in natural weaves and textiles.
Moving to the outside of the house, exterior roller screens are another option that SOLUS offers. They provide a clean look to an outside living area or building façade when closed, and also easily open a home to the outdoors. As Ginger explains, “They effectively reduce heat, sun, and pesky bugs.”
SOLUS integrates its smart illumination technology to deliver convenient features with a modern twist. Ginger says, “We are far more than just order-takers or installers. We are a design-oriented team of industry experts focused on creating beautiful and better-functioning homes. We offer push-button convenience to create the perfect setting for every mood.”
SOLUS frequently adjusts programs to meet occupancy schedules. Having a fully automated system means that it is easy to make changes and adjust programming to intuitively fit unique lifestyles. The possibilities of comfort, convenience, and luxury are endless with SOLUS’s integrated lighting and shade technology.
Explore SOLUS in its Park City showroom. Call 435.608.1363 or visit solusliving.com.