The List’s Project Spotlight column features unparalleled projects created by our forward-thinking List members. By going straight to the source—and having the designers demystify the methods behind their designs—we hope to enlighten and inspire our creative audience to further push the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of design.
Blueprint Lighting‘s Josh and Kelly Aaron didn’t intend this. As Kelly told us earlier this year, the firm was borne out of a career in selling midcentury classics, a need for reproducible, deliverable fixtures that benefit from modern engineering standards, and a somewhat confused auction purchase. Following that, the husband-and-wife team have made their mark by designing, producing, and marketing their own brand-new midcentury classics.
But it’s not just the style and quality of their wares that have interior designers and direct consumers alike plunking down for their made-to-order chandeliers, pendants, and sconces. Even though its pieces are handmade, Blueprint is able to meet its commissions with surprising alacrity—a speedy quality prized in a field where time can very much be money and is always of the essence.
Below, Josh Aaron discusses not only how Blueprint delivers its works so quickly, but some of the company’s recent projects and what comes next for the firm.
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Project Description: A recent project that comes to mind was the Douglas Elliman project at 49 Chambers Street [in New York City]. The model apartments were being designed by Amy Kalikow, who we work with often. We ended up doing several pieces for the project with our Counterbalance fixture being the real showstopper. Counterbalance is our best seller. It’s a perfect mix of mid-century inspiration and contemporary architecture. Amy needed one with custom dimensions so it would perfectly fit the space. She also requested a custom enamel color that matched other elements in the room, which we then created for her.
Challenges: We tackle many customization requests from Amy, from oversized canopies to accommodating for wonky off-centered NYC junction boxes to 30-foot drop rods to adding 12 extra sconces to a ceiling fixture because the space was especially dark. And, of course, there is usually a super-tight turnaround, which we can usually accommodate (within reason). If you have a drop-dead install date in three weeks, we can make it happen if you ask nicely. The secret to our success with short lead times is really about having good supply chain systems in place, keeping as much of our fabrication in-house as possible, some savvy sales forecasting, and a pinch of chaotic flying by the seat of your pants. That’s how we like it!
Takeaway: Telling a client they will get their fixture in 8-12 weeks (or more) has just never felt good to me. We really want designers to understand how flexible we are in terms of customization like metal finishes, colors, and dimensions, and how quickly we do it. It’s always been the focus of our business and our clients love us for it.
What’s Next: As for what’s to come at Blueprint Lighting—the most important thing is that we are having a blast doing it. Lots of gear shifting. Our brand, like our taste, is constantly evolving. We are playing with a bunch of new shapes and materials lately. There are definitely some great contemporary lines coming this fall and of course, new colors! You’ll have to stay tuned for what’s next.
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(Photos: Tim Lenz Courtesy Blueprint Lighting)