3 Apr 2020

Design Classics – The Special Edition Original BTC ‘Hector 30’ Table Light.

I’m sure that we’re all familiar with the famous William Morris quote “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’, however, did you know that the quote continues…  “…The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”

It’s a mantra that I live by, and one that is of particular importance during times when being in our homes is so important to us.

As I write this, we are currently in a state of national lockdown due to the worldwide pandemic that is the COVID-19, and therefore, staying within the confines of our own homes is of the utmost importance in the attempt to ‘flatten the curve’ and stop the spread.

To some it may seem like a strange time to be writing about the design and interior details that feature in our homes,  but it is exactly at times like these that our home surroundings become particularly important to us, and why Mr. Morris’s famous quote resonates with so many of us right now.

There is nothing trivial about the proven benefits of feeling happy and content within ones surroundings.  Large or small, owned or rented; our homes should be our havens – our little oasis of calm and contentment.  A place to cast our eyes upon the beautiful and personal objects and colours that make us happy, bring us comfort and peace of mind, and hopefully allow a respite from the turmoil that so often surrounds us….

Whilst it’s important to sit back, take stock and be thankful for what we already have.  It also cannot be denied, that if and when we feel the need to make changes, it is a good time to support local industry – in my case British industry – when and where we can.  As an interiors obsessive, the most obvious way for me to do this, is through ensuring the careful curation and thoughtful research of the products I choose to bring into my home.

As you may know, I am a great enthusiast of mixing old and new, vintage and antique, in order to come up with my own unique version of a timeless interior style.  However, I do have a formula, and the overriding key criteria for what makes the grade in all of my choices are quality, traditional craftsmanship and classic style…

Thus, finding myself in need of a new hallway lamp, and as a long term admirer of the classic and quality designs at Original BTC, when I heard that the company were celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2020 with the launch of the special edition Hector 30, it was the beginning of a design match made in heaven…

One of the lighting manufacturer’s earliest designs, the Hector is still crafted by hand and using techniques unchanged for 30 years and in the original factory where the first prototype was produced.

In fact, the Hector 30 shades and bases are slip-cast moulded by hand, then smoothed with sponges before firing, with each component passing through the hands of ten craftspeople, over a period of six days.   Now if that isn’t thoughtfully and carefully considered manufacturing,  then I’m not sure what is!  

The first light ever produced in bone china – a feature which particularly appealed to me and fits in perfectly with my classic style – the now-iconic Hector has been updated with a deliciously vintage feeling satin brass stem and retro black cotton braided cable, replacing the original satin chrome and sand and taupe.  

As a self confessed china addict, it was certainly the unusual bone china design detail – so rarely seen in contemporary lighting – that initially caught my attention.  The story behind the bone china shade is also a testament to founder Peter Bowles passion for exploring new ways with utilising traditional materials and skills…

Drawn to bone china’s translucency, Peter approached a Stoke-on-Trent tableware factory with the brief to produce a domed lamp shade and matching base. “Accustomed to making teapots, the factory manager thought I was a little barmy – but the fact the Hector is now sold in over eighty countries does suggest I was onto something,” he says – and quite right too!  

For Peter, from the earliest days, quality and mix of materials was key. Unsatisfied with the finish of commonly used plastic lighting flex, Peter replaced it with woven cotton braid snipped off the family iron, now one of the brand’s best-loved and instantly recognised features, and an element that gives the lamp the beautifully retro feel that allows it to fit perfectly into my vintage mix style of decor.

The Hector 30 is seen here unlit, under the steady gaze of my children’s Great, Great Grandfather, painted by their Great Grandfather, who was incidentally also named Hector!

I am particularly delighted with the way that the Hector 30’s  unflouncy retro lines compliment this particular area of the landing without adding any unnecessary fuss or frills.  I wanted a timeless design that would give a nod to my love of vintage style, but without being too obvious or overtly feminine.  The finished result suits my intentions perfectly.

It comes as no surprise that – British, Timeless, Classic – the Hector is quite literally what Original BTC stands for!

Until Next Time,

This post was kindly sponsored by ORGINAL BTC

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