On the 9th July, Michael and I packed up the Lightmaster Mercedes with various brochures, samples, lighting design plans and other bits to head over to an open day at a beautiful Carpenter Oak project in Rushden, Northamptonshire. The Spillane House was completed in 2015 and won the “Best Oak Framed House” award in the same year!
The purpose of these open days from a Lightmaster point of view is to showcase our products set within the home environment. The downside for us is that the majority of the potential clients attending the open day, don’t even have a plot to build on, let alone architects plans to work with. While it’s sometimes tricky getting people who don’t have a building plan to think about their lighting, it is good to get the chance to explain that it shouldn’t be left to the last minute. So many people think that lighting is just a symmetrical grid of downlights or a single, central pendant. It’s great for self builders and developers to see what can be achieved with an LED lighting design such as the one in the Spillane house. It’s especially great for us working on oak framed houses, as the lighting really needs to highlight the wood.
We arrived at 9am and set up in the dining area of the beautiful, open plan ground floor. The Carpenter Oak team, Lee, Jamie, Will and Sarah had arrived early and were setting up their frame examples and different oak finishes along with plenty of delicious nibbles brought up from Devon.
The day was split into six one hour chunks with around four potential clients in per hour. While many of the guests were still only browsing for an oak frame, there were three or four clients who were at the building stage, nearing first fix electrics.
Max from Roderick James was also there to discuss the architectural aspect of the Spillane’s build along with Mike Fleming from Glosford Timber Solutions who did all the SIP’s (structural insulated panels) for the house.
David and Jenny Spillane have opened up their home for open days before but this one was even more exciting, as their second self-built house (which is right next door) is only a few weeks away from completing! It has the same size and style of frame from Carpenter Oak but has slightly larger square footage built from SIP’s. We were able to show customers into both homes and explain the similarities and differences between the two.
With the lighting design the second time around, the clients were much more knowledgeable as to what had worked in the previous build, what hadn’t worked so well and what they’d like to do differently. For example, there’s a lovely curved wall on the ground floor of both houses. In the first house, it’s unlit. However in the second house to make more of a feature, the lighting designer has used five uplighters along the base of the curve with a thin beam angle to shine up the wall.