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Design Ideas for Outdoor Living on Small Lots

After eight years in New York transforming the apartments of Broadway stars, CEOs and tech executives interior designer Tali Roth has triumphantly returned to her hometown of Melbourne. Known for seamlessly blending high and low brands with vintage, Roth’s work skillfully marries mid-century modern poise with colourful contemporary joy a la Jonathan Adler (her teenage obsession). Roth’s latest venture? A Mitzi lighting collection that is timeless, tailored and fun—a lot like the designer herself. “People often think about lighting very one-dimensionally and just whack downlights in the ceiling,” says Roth. “But the most gorgeous interiors have layers in their lighting—meaning the light comes from different sources at different levels. Pendants, lamps, sconces. That’s how you make a mood.”

There’s no question that ambient light is the mood decider—it’s the difference between a romantic candlelit dinner and an uncomfortable hospital examination—but Roth takes it a step further than just installing dimmer switches. “Think of ambient, decorative lighting as sculpture,” she says. “You want sconces that are practical for vanities and bedsides, but could also just go up on the wall as art.”

Ahead, Roth shines a spotlight on five emerging lighting trends that are on her radar and offers a first look at her new collection.

Soft curves

During Milan Design Week this year there was no shortage of orbs from lighting designers like Lee Broom and Andrés Reisinger. Roth has noticed a plethora of curves in lighting design in recent years and has an affinity for them. “I’ve always loved Noguchi lights, especially the paper lanterns, and most of them are curved in some way,” she says. “Most rooms have sharp edges, so I like to use lights that are softer and more round than linear and straight-edged,” she says.

French-inspired rattan

Many people think of rattan as a coastal or ‘70s material, but when Roth sees it she immediately thinks of a French chateau. “Rattan lamp shades have a soft European aesthetic,” she says. “They’re beautifully simple and there aren’t many of them on the market.” Rattan can be elevated by styling with natural timber and stone, as seen in the vignette above featuring a travertine table.

Aged brass

When it comes to capturing comfortable warmth in a light fixture’s finish, Roth can’t go past aged brass. “Chrome and silver can feel a bit cold, like something more commercial or something in a bathroom,” she says. “But aged brass is soft. It’s not a hard, shiny yellow—it’s more timeless and vintage.”

Floral motifs

The boldest designs in Roth’s new collection feature flower motifs. “I really wanted to play with something that teetered on the edge of kitsch,” she says. “I was thinking about a ‘70s Twiggy flower power vibe.” Roth made the lights as large as possible and likes to style them in groups together, like an art installation. “You could use the sconces to flank vanities or artworks, or you could arrange the singular flower sconces on a wall to create a cool moment.”


Roth is a big believer in using repetition to create interest. “It doesn’t have to be the most grandiose light, but having several of them in a space creates a really strong aesthetic,” she says. Picture three pendant lights over a kitchen island bench instead of one on its own, or multiple sconces down a long corridor. “You could have the same light dispersed among paintings on a gallery wall,” she says. “Repetition creates an attractive, interesting point of view.”

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