As things are beginning to open up a little bit, we are venturing back to inside eating at 25 percent capacity. I was quite taken by this dim sum restaurant, called Palette Tea House, which we discovered in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square. Without the cacophony of people talking and dishes clattering, my focus went to the lighting. Most of the tables and chairs were pushed off to one side to allow enough space in between diners. Sections of the restaurant had these huge square and rectangular pendant fixtures, evenly illuminated from within. The warmer colors cast a pleasing glow onto the people below. They also helped create a more human scale by visually lowering the very high ceiling line. One other thing that they did was to help dampen the noise.
There is definitely a sculptural feel to the installation. I can’t pretend to know what the calligraphy says but I really liked the graphic quality of writing. It almost felt like I was flying above the tops of buildings. Or maybe it was just my excitement of being out of the house, near other people, after more than a year.
These fixtures are made from plasticized lamp shade material, backed with translucent liners, in hues of cinnabar red, smoked gouda yellow and a pale buttery white. Groups of LEDs bulbs within each of fixtures create the glow. They have a color temperature of 2700K and a CRI of 90. Each color dims as a group to give added dimensionality.
We were seated in a private dining room, where bottles of wine climbed the walls. Above us, a series of clear glass pendants hung at different heights above our table. The dimmable LED filament bulbs were used, both G lamps and T lamps (globe and tubular). For me, when pendant fixtures are clustered together, they make more of a statement. It feels more like an art installation. The mixture of cylinders and spheres added even more visual interest. Of course, my first inclination was to stand on the table with a spray bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels to dust them off.
The recessed adjustable fixtures, using LED MR 16s, direct light toward the brick wall and the tall racks of wine bottles. The color temperature of the recessed fixtures is 3000K, while the pendant fixtures use a 2700K.
I was also extremely impressed by the all-gender bathroom. That is not wallpaper or a painted mural. It is in fact mosaic tiles. Really fantastic, and easy to maintain. The pendant fixtures, flanking the mirrors, provided even illumination on people’s faces.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience. A little taste of how life used to be before the pandemic.