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Just slightly ahead of its time

That some of Toronto’s best-known designers are choosing Lightmaker Studio pieces for their own homes, even if they can’t yet sell their clients on them, indicates that the design cognoscenti may simply need more time to fall in love with the handsome fixtures that pay homage to mid-century modern shapes without ever falling prey to retro kitsch.

The reserved reception, says co-owner Denise Murphy, may be “because the prevailing aesthetic is pretty traditional, and we don’t fit into that, or into super sterile European design.”

Lightmaker Studio was launched three years ago by Murphy, who also has an IT and project management background and her husband Michael Stamler, an industrial designer who worked for many years in IT (and still does on the side). Last year, they were joined by a young industrial designer, Alyaa Ashraf. Fixtures are assembled onsite with beautifully-finished solid brass parts and hand-blown glass globes and spheres.

These big, beautiful fixtures, which play with striking geometric and organic shapes, strike me as the most handsome ones I’ve seen since I fell in love with Zia Priven a few years ago.

There are encouraging signs, however, for Lightmaker. This was the third year they appeared at the Interior Design Show and there was lots of buzz. A growing demographic firmly committed to buying locally helps, says Murphy, and sales from New York, “which always wants what is new and fresh and different” are relatively brisk.

Take a look. I KNOW you’ll think they’re beautiful. Right?

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