Middle Colenso Farm industrial lighting

5 years ago Residential

As featured in The Telegraph Magazine, Homes & Antiques and Good Homes, Christen Pears’ 250 year-old renovated Cornish farmhouse is the perfect setting for her favourite mid-century designs. Alongside iconic furniture pieces from Arne Jacobsen, Borge Mogensen’s and Hans Wegner, the gently rustic space is furnished with vintage finds and a selection of skinflint’s original restored vintage lighting.

In the kitchen and living areas, the ceiling was removed to create a double height space with exposed beams - the perfect setting for one of our XL Eastern Bloc black enamelled industrial pendants, providing statement lighting above the kitchen island unit. The light was salvaged from a factory on the border of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Balancing the space, a row of three dainty 1930s British opaline pendant lights provide illumination for the kitchen counter.

In the bathroom, a teardrop-shaped vintage Czech opaline pendant light with its original black Bakelite cap complements the black stone basin nearby. The glass provides an even, subdued glow of light when illuminated.

Meanwhile, a number of angled enamelled pendant lights by British manufacturer Benjamin are put to good use in Christen’s pilates studio, illuminating the large space below.

We asked Christen Pears to tell us more:

skinflint: How would you describe your interior style?

Christen: I don’t like my rooms to look over-styled but rather as if they’ve evolved naturally. I suppose my style is closest to what Josef Frank called Accidentalism.

What are your top tips on decorating a home?

I gravitate towards vintage furniture and lighting - pieces with history and patina. They also tend to be fantastic quality; they have to be to have lasted this long. I particularly like the mid-century aesthetic and I’m a big fan of salvaged and reclaimed items.

Tell us more about the skinflint lights in your home...

The scullery is actually the newest part of our house but I deliberately wanted to create a traditional below-stairs kind of space. The built-in cupboards are made from old floorboards salvaged from the upstairs of our house. The taps, sinks and kitchen units are also reclaimed so our skinflint lights were the natural choice for the space. We originally had the shades that are now over the sink in our living room but moved them to the scullery after we renovated. The ceiling is very high so we needed a light that wouldn’t be lost in the space. The large factory shade is perfect and makes a really strong statement.

What about the vintage Czech opaline light in the bathroom?

The bathroom is quite minimal in style so I was looking for something quite simple but elegant.

...and the angled shades in the pilates studio?

Over the years I’ve spent many hours in grotty, sweaty gyms so I wanted my studio to be different. Not only do the angled shades look brilliant, they're the ideal choice for the sloping ceiling. We placed them at the apex of the ceiling, above the mirrors, so they illuminate the rest of the room.

Products used in this Project

Elegant glass & bakelite teardrop pendants

125 left

British glass pendants. Circa 1930


XL Eastern Bloc industrial lights

113 left

English Enamel Factory Shades


Vintage substation pendants by Benjamin