Can you explain a bit about the background of Christopher Hyde, including when, how and why was it founded?
The company was founded by Christopher Hyde-Smith to fulfil his ambition to design beautiful handmade luminaires to adorn the most stylish interiors. Taking inspiration from the styles and motifs of the past he launched his first range of classic lighting. Part of the rigorous manufacturing process by skilled craftsmen ensures close attention to detail and a high-quality finish for each fitting.
Christopher was passionate about elegant lighting and often created one-off pieces. These bespoke pieces soon featured in grand hotels, Royal Palaces, as well as exclusive homes both in the United Kingdom and abroad. Over the years the business grew to become Christopher Hyde Limited in 1995. For a further 20 years, Christopher Hyde-Smith commanded his renowned luxury lighting brand until retirement.
In 2015 Christopher Hyde Limited was acquired by the renowned Lissauer family. With three generations of passed-down knowledge they could see the potential to further develop the Christopher Hyde brand. Mark Lissauer and his father have over 73 years of experience in the lighting industry. For the last 5 years their focus has been moving the business forward by bringing fresh perspectives and innovation whilst keeping many of the company’s core products, traditions and values.
Why lighting? What is it about lighting that excites you and where does this passion stem from?
Lighting has been part of my family’s history for generations. While I have only been actively involved in the business over the last 6 years it has always been a passion of mine. Lighting will never go out of style and, along with evolving technology, there will always be new developments within the industry to keep things exciting.
What does the company specialise in and what makes it stand out against other similar producers?
What makes Christopher Hyde so unique is our expertise in making individual bespoke designs in addition to our extensive existing collections. These are ideal for grand atriums, stairwells and vaulted entrance halls. We excel at manufacturing individually designed luminaires of the highest quality, tailored to our customer’s specific requirements.
Tells us a bit more about your designs and products in general and if they have any signature characteristics?
Majority of our fittings are made from solid brass with up to 18 different finishes.
Our Contemporary Collection comprises minimalist designs made from carefully sourced traditional materials such as genuine solid brass, crystal, luxury Italian leather, glass, chinette and linen giving each fitting a modern yet unique design. Using these traditional materials in our contemporary collection gives these modern fittings a classical Christopher Hyde twist.
The Classic Collection consists of more traditional and ornate fittings. Featuring quality details such as the ‘Cumberland’ an antique silver finished wall light with fine ribbon and decorative grape details. Designed based on nature, the Regence wall light includes characteristics of the Rococo period – this cast brass sconce is finished in French gold featuring the ‘S’ curve.
Where do you get inspiration for your collections from?
Inspiration for our collections come from various eras of art and design history, drawing influence from the Rococo, Baroque and Art Deco styles. Our designs are also influenced by the characteristics of London especially neoclassical architecture.
What’s your favourite collection and/or piece and why?
The ‘Wave’ light range stands out as it’s a unique range made from laser cut glass. Its then baked in a kiln to create a beautiful wave shape and is finished in either gold or silver leaf. This collection has been designed to be used as individual pieces or in a combination. The flow of the lines on the glass is graceful and allows the light to reflect off the surfaces in all directions.
Describe how the creation of the products unfolds, from the initial brief to the final sale and installation?
As each luminaire is tailormade to order the production of our fittings is an intricate process which is well worth the wait. There is a 12-week lead time once an order has been placed. During this time every care is taken to deliver the finest quality and detail from the initial concept down to the final quality check. As part of our personalised service we deliver directly to our customers.
Do you make any custom designs? Tell us about how this works…
The concept begins with hand-drawn sketches leading up to full CAD drawings for the most intricate projects. We have the ability to also create individual lost wax moulds for truly unique creations.
We offer an exclusive service to our customers. In the past we have had requests from customers who have chosen a luminaire but required adjustments to the dimensions to fit their space perfectly. In these instances, we have worked with our designers to achieve the desired outcome.
Tell us about the materials you use and why you choose to work with these specific materials?
Christopher Hyde fittings are mainly made from solid brass and finished with a top-quality patina. By using solid brass for both our contemporary and classic collections ensure these luminaires remain timeless no matter their design. With up to 18 different finishes from French gold to Pewter, and rose gold customers are able to design their own fittings right down to the last detail.
What do you hope to achieve through the designs and products in terms of their use in interior design? Are you trying to evoke a certain feeling, aesthetic, etc?
We see each luminaire as a piece of art. With two distinct collections we are able to offer fittings to compliment a variety of interior design styles. As each luminaire is handcrafted no two fittings are the same.
Tell us about some of the homes/hotels/projects you have outfitted with your products?
The locations that our fittings feature in are vast, from luxury boutique hotels, Royal Palaces and private residential homes all over the world. All our clients have a certain ability to visualise beautiful luminaires within their fabulous designs. We would love to tell you where they have been installed, our clients value our discretion! Safe to say from east to west and north to south you will find our fixtures lighting up amazing decors.
What’s next on the agenda, any new products or projects launching?
We continuously introduce new collections to Christopher Hyde Lighting to reflect the evolving requirements of our customers. Recently we launched a new collection of bathroom wall lights due to customer requests. This is the first collection for Christopher Hyde with an Ingress Protection rating 44. These wall lights are not only functional but have been designed with aesthetics in mind allowing them to be used in any room. Currently we have more wall lights in production as well as additions to our very successful ‘Victorian Lantern’ collection.
To find out more about Christopher Hyde, visit their website.