This Easter, we are “Nuts about Chocolate”, not the sweet tasting, sugar rush inducing, mouth-watering one, but the new colour launched by Spanish lighting design company LZF.

LZF launch a number of new colours every couple of seasons and we were interested to find out the process behind their colour choices. We recently caught up with Sandro Tothill, who together with his wife Marivi Calvo, is the genius and driving force behind this inventive brand.

We got straight down to business with Sandro and asked about their chocolate choice and why they decided to add this option to their colour palette?

“The chocolate colour came about because we were receiving more and more requests from people for dark wood veneers. The challenge for us was to create a chocolate tone that let the light come through and looked good when illuminated. It was a difficult task to find a chocolate tone that allowed the light to filter through it, so it took a bit of experimentation”

Interested to know the process behind their colour choice, we asked Sandro if they follow the predicted colours of the season as per the major fashion brands?

“When it comes to colour, we don’t follow fashion. We don’t have colour meetings but we work to what we think will be popular. Different colours sell better on different continents. Red and cherry is popular in the North American market while white, yellow and oranges sell well in Europe. While white is universally popular for most people we find that beech and cherry, which are natural veneers, are growing in popularity”

We’re always encouraging people to add warmth to their rooms with our light fittings. Ireland is a cold country but people are reluctant to use bright colours with white a big seller in the showroom and on our online shop, why do you think that is?

“White is a safe colour, typically, and we find this right across Europe. People can be afraid of too much colour. Unlike shops and more commercial projects, where the need to stand out can lead to experimentation, home owners often are less adventurous so picking white plays it safe with their colour scheme. We are seeing a shift in Ireland however with increases in the demand for cherry, grey and red.”

How many colours do you currently have and do you create bespoke colours for projects if a client requests it?

“While we like to have variety, we don’t choose a lot of colours. We currently have 11 colours available for the LZF products. That said if a client has a specific request, as was the case with Google, where they wanted purple, then we will work with them. We may create a colour for a specific project and then decide to add it to our collection if it is well received. Turquoise blue and sky blues are good examples of colours that were added to our catalogue after being used for a collection”.

Wood veneer is not something that is commonly associated with lighting, is it a difficult material to work with and what is the colouring process?

“Our veneers mainly come from the FSC certified controlled Poplar tree forests in the United States. The veneer is cut first, then the colour is stripped from it and they are dyed with vegetable dye, the same natural colouring that is used in certain clothing. Some of our veneers, such as the Cherry or Beech, use the natural wood colouring and are not stripped back. The veneers are typically made for furniture and not for lighting, so we get samples first and experiment to see how they will look when lit. We need to determine how good the veneer carries light, that’s the most important consideration. If it looks well on, it will look well off”.

Sandro was speaking to us as part of our “Nuts about Chocolate” Easter promotion. From the 17th of April right through to the 21st Willie Duggan Lighting are offering 15% off all LZF Nuts, and if you buy a chocolate one, we’ll add an Easter surprise. Visit our online shop for more details. Happy Easter.