Newport Lighting is celebrating a decade in the local lighting sector. We had a quick chat with founder and owner Guy Harris about their 10-year journey.
1. 10 years young, how did Newport Lighting come about?
A change in employment circumstances necessitated becoming self-employed. My clients and suppliers drove it further. They believed it was time so I started my own company.
2. How has Newport evolved over the last 10 years?
From being a purely consulting and supply business we have evolved into a multi-faceted lighting consultancy, specifier and retailer. The biggest change was opening the shop in Bree Street. I had always wanted to venture into retail and when I was offered the premises in Bree Street it was a case of now or never. The shop has also created the perfect platform for my own product range.
Opening the store on Bree Street was a big one. Having our Sydney Max floor lamp, one of my own designs, on the cover of a major international décor magazine was also a thrill.
4. If you had to explain what you do in one sentence, how would that go?
Lighting problem solver, aesthete and finder of the rare and obscure.
5. Who is your favourite lighting designer of all time?
Ingo Maurer. A consummate artist and visionary with a wicked sense of humour.
6. How did your lighting fascination come about?
My career in design started in a showroom environment and I found I enjoyed dealing with people and assisting them with their décor and design choices. When I was offered the position at a lighting retailer it was an extension of what I was already doing just with a different medium. My training in interior design and architecture came in handy. Day to day interaction with my staff and clients feeds my passion for people and design.
7. As a lighting designer you split your time between designing lights that you retail from your store and creating lighting schemes for architectural projects, what thrills you most about each part of what you do?
When I unlock the shop door in the morning I have no idea what is going to happen that day. The great feedback we get from people in the shop and our clients.
8. What are your go-to rules when selecting lighting for a space?
- Decide what the space is going to be used for and how it will function then plan the lighting accordingly.
- Give yourself enough time to plan. Don’t leave your lighting till the end.
- Buy the best lighting you can afford. Good quality lighting is an investment that adds to quality of life.
- Factor in free standing lighting into your scheme.
- There is lighting beyond downlights.
- Don’t be a slave to trends – quality and good design are timeless.
9. What, in your mind, makes a great piece of lighting design?
Many factors come into play like clarity of execution, creative use of materials, quality of manufacture and also does it do what it’s supposed to?
10. Any future plans?
We’re releasing our popular 369 series with new shades in a selection of Skinny laMinx fabrics. We’re also thrilled about the arrival of new brands Linear Light and tossB to our showroom.
Contact: Newport Lighting.