Meet the Designer
Designer Guy Harris' go-to rules for selecting lighting for your home
Cape Town's Newport Lighting recently turned 10. Founder Guy Harris tells us more about his company's evolution and future plans
How did Newport Lighting come about?
A change in employment circumstances necessitated becoming self-employed. My clients and suppliers believed it was time so I started my own company.
How has Newport evolved over 10 years?
From being a consulting and supply business, we've evolved into a multi-faceted lighting consultancy, specifier and retailer. The biggest change was opening the shop in Bree Street. The shop has also created the perfect platform for my own product range.
Standout moments from the past decade?
Opening the store in Bree Street; having our Sydney Max floor lamp, one of my own designs, on the cover of a major international décor magazine was also a thrill.
In one sentence, what are you?
I'm a lighting problem-solver, aesthete and finder of the rare and obscure.
Your favourite lighting designer?
Ingo Maurer - he's an artist and visionary with a wicked sense of humour.
How did your fascination with lighting start?
My career in design started in a showroom environment. I enjoyed assisting people with their décor and design choices. When I was offered the position at a lighting retailer, it was an extension of what I was already doing.
You design for retail and for architectural projects. What thrills you most?
When I unlock the shop door in the morning I have no idea what is going to happen that day. I'm thrilled by the great feedback we get from people in the shop and our clients.
Go-to rules when selecting lighting?
1. Decide what the space is going to be used for and how it will function, then plan the lighting accordingly.
2. Give yourself enough time to plan. Don't leave your lighting till the end.
3. Buy the best lighting you can afford. Good- quality lighting adds to quality of life.
4. Factor in free-standing lighting.
5. Don't be a slave to trends; quality and good design are timeless.
What makes a lighting design great?
Many factors: clarity of execution, creative use of materials, quality of manufacture, and does it do what it's supposed to do?
We're releasing our 369 series with new shades in a selection of Skinny laMinx fabrics. We're also adding new brands Linear Light and tossB to our showroom...