Mad About . . .

Hektar Lamp from IKEA

20th August 2015

So we braved the weekend hordes and went to Ikea during a weekend. The 11yo’s room was nearly ready and we needed to get the storage boxes and lighting sorted out before he could move back in. Well, I say nearly ready, in terms of where we were a week ago it now has a roof, insulation and plastered walls and ceiling. The platform bed and desk need to be built and then the decorating starts.

from pinterest

Anyway, we went with the intention of buying the PS 2012 wall light for £42. Of course if I had read the small print online before going I would have realised that not only is it not in stock but there is no indication of when and if it might be in stock again. Harrumph. It’s a long queue for four plastic storage boxes on wheels, which will totally REVOLUTIONISE the mess in this bedroom thanks to my brilliant system that cannot fail…. *trails of miserably into silence*. I fear there is no storage system in the world that can dupe the 11yo into even a tiny semblance of tidiness.

Found on

Still, we were in the lighting department and we weren’t leaving without a light. And it was then I saw Hektar. Who, at £13, was significantly cheaper than the discontinued PS light. And, unexpected bonus, comes in dark grey rather than black, so it will go with the woodwork and is a slightly softer colour. So we grabbed two of those as himself didn’t like any of the desk lights available so we thought he could have a second one of those fixed to the wall over one end of the desk.



And then we saw the pendant light. Not the giant mahoosive one, which is stunning but too big, but the moderately sized one. And, as I had already bought two metres of steel grey twisted cord flex, the decision was made. This will hang from the centre of his ceiling but be looped across to hang low (ish) over the other end of his desk.

I know, I know, I’ve broken all my rules of matching, but hell it’s an 11yo’s room and it’s a fantastic light (especially once the cable is changed) and it cost £18. Which goes someway to offsetting the new roof in there. Oh the walls, ceiling and carpet. And, it was my rule so I’m breaking it. (There’s a floor lamp in the series as well. Also cool).


Although I may yet succomb to the £85 lure of Alwyn the turquoise toucan lamp, which would look totally amazing in there. I might have to get the 11yo to move out and turn it into my office.


The room is being carpeted a week today (relevant only to those who read these posts on the day of publication) and the big reveal will, er, be revealed soon afterwards.

UPDATE: Here is his finished bedroom and in a further twist of fate, some of you may have noticed the fabulous illustration of me that is on the side of this blog. Here it is again and you can see that in the background is the Hektar lamp. This was drawn at a talk I gave on how to create a moodboard for the Motorola Pop Up Design School and I was sitting right in front of the floor version. I love this image and am thrilled to be sharing the limelight with Hektar.

Paul Kercal Illustration (2)



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  • AK 18th June 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Looks great! You mentioned the pendant light “is a great light, especially when the cable is changed”. What do you mean by that? I love the light, but not a huge fan of how it has a wire and a chain. Is there something you can do to change that?

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 19th June 2016 at 11:42 am

      Hi AK, my electrician managed to remove the original cable and replaced it with a fabric one from Urban Cottage Industries – they come in dozens of colours. This is normally a pretty easy job, but on the Hektar it was a sealed unit so it was slightly trickier and probably not something you can do yourself. My electrician was able to do it though.

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  • tiffa 12th May 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Kate

    Can’t seem to find any simple by stylish ceiling bathroom lights. Would really like to move away from downlighters and spotlights. Fritz Fryer have some lovely designs but a little too small for the space at 160-200mm. Any suggestions.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 13th May 2015 at 8:31 am

      I know the problem! Bathroom lighting is heavily regulated (for obvious reasons) and it’s about the IP (Ingress Protection) rules. I took this from The Lighting Company as it seemed well explained.
      For the purposes of the regulations the bathroom is divided into zones and the light fittings are given a two digit number known as an IP. The first number of the IP rating indicates the degree of protection against dust particles etc and ranges from 0 (no protection) to six. It is the second number that counts as this represents the degree of protection from moisture and goes from 0 to eight for a light that will be totally submerged in water.
      Zone 0 – this is inside the bath or shower tray itself and any light here must be low voltage and rated IPx7 (the x is used here because the degree of dust protection does not apply to bathrooms and any number will be ok). Lights rated IPx7 will provide total protection when immersed in water.
      Zone 1 – is above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25 metres above floor level and a light fitting with a minimum of IPx4 is needed here.
      Zone 2 – an area stretching to 0.6 metres outside the bath and above the bath or shower if over 2.25 metres. A light fitting of at least IPx4 is needed. Zone 2 also includes the area above the sink in a radius of 0.6 metres from the taps.
      Right – still with us? So in terms of the Fritz Fryer lights – if their bathroom range lights are too small – think of hanging two or three in a cluster at different heights? Or, if they have a bigger one that you like then they will convert it to a bathroom light. The Lighting Company (link above) have pages of IP4 to choose from. Also I have just spoken to my electrician who says it’s not possible to convert an ordinary light to a bathroom light (unless you are a manufacturer) as the fitting has to be in a sealed unit for safety reasons. I looked at Heals lights and some say “not for bathroom use” and some don’t – so if there is one you like you could ask them if it’s bathroom safe. I’m aware that that’s probably not the answer you wanted but I hope you can find the light you want. I will keep an eye out for anything that might suit and be guided by the clear glass globes from the Fritz Fryer site for style.

  • Dawn Blanchard 12th May 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Love these fun finds!

  • Fiona Duke 12th May 2015 at 7:39 am

    all sounding fantastic and can’t wait for the big reveal – i am sure it will look effortlessly amazing
    (even though we know how much work goes into making it look so effortless !!!!)

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