The streets of East London have plenty of boutiques and galleries, but an old-fashioned general store, complete with a mahogany counter and sawdust floor, is an unusual sight. For London Design Festival 2012, rising English design star Lee Broom completely transformed his Rivington Street showroom into The Crystal Bulb Shop using vintage and upcycled materials. Read on for a closer look!
The wood paneling and fixtures included reclaimed parts of an English pub that were previously used in another incarnation for Lee Broom’s highly successful solo show at Milan’s Salone del Mobile. Other props and display materials, including wooden fruit crates and a beautiful vintage scale, were sourced from flea markets and secondhand shops.
Lee Broom’s meteoric rise on the UK interiors and design scene started four years ago, when he launched his eponymous studio. He started out in theatre school before working with Vivienne Westwood and studying fashion at Central St Martins, and then transitioning to interior design. His sense of theatricality and drama is evident every time he transforms his showroom for the London Design Festival.
The Crystal Bulb Shop featured over 200 Crystal Bulbs, which we’ve previously highlighted on Inhabitat. The Crystal Bulb’s detachable cut lead crystal globe encases a G9 LED Lamp. The design is a natural evolution from his acclaimed Decanterlight collection of one-of-a-kind pieces made from recycled lead crystal drink decanters collected from antique markets. With the supply of vintage decanters dwindling and the cost going up, it made sense for Lee Broom to develop a light that could be more easily produced and made more widely available.
The bulbs are made in Cumbria, North West England – once a manufacturing hub for lead crystal. The choice for local production is consistent with Lee Broom’s practice of championing the work of British craftspeople. Each bulb is individually hand blown by a craftsman at Cumbria Crystal, the UK’s only remaining producer of handmade English full lead crystal, before being cut with a crystal pattern and etched. Dazzling, indeed.
Photos by Charlene Lam for Inhabitat