Lighting a space is something we do everyday but creating art in the form of lighting is something really special. Wine Republic in an artisanal local bottleshop nestled on bustling Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. Tom O’Mara and Fiona Lim enlisted Lights Lights Lights to help bring their dream to reality when opening the store. 6 months in we sat down for a quick chat with them to reflect on the project.

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So firstly, tell us a bit about yourselves and how you came to opening a boutique bottle shop?

We come from corporate backgrounds in finance and law, but have always had a strong life-long interest in wine and a desire to branch out into an entrepreneurial venture.

The idea for Wine Republic came about as we wanted to create a fantastic local bottleshop with a great hand-picked range of interesting producers.

In terms of the fit-out of the store, what was your brief?

The premise of Wine Republic is to give create a casual, relaxed environment that customers enjoying shopping in, that also reflects the local artisanal flair of the Fitzroy area. Overall the brief for the store fit-out was a complex balance between genuine artistic design composition and allowance for the application of retail merchandising.

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What was the brief for the lighting feature and where did you draw inspiration from?

We wanted a central light feature for the space to sit above our tasting table as the centrepiece of the store. The creative team at Red Design Group developed the idea of a “floating wine cloud” made from wine bottles to create a sculptured undulating perspective.

What challenges did you face along the journey of the lighting installation?

Creating a bespoke light feature comprising 1,000 wine bottles suspended from the ceiling of a retail store is somewhat unusual and so our major challenge was finding a commercial lighting partner with the vision and creativity to bring the idea to life.

We had used Lights Lights Lights previously when we renovated our Victorian terrace house in Carlton North and were very impressed with the service George and Danielle provided on the project. We contacted the team and after talking through the issues on-site it became clear that there was a dedication to finding the right solution to implement this challenging concept.

What are your thoughts on the finished feature?

The piece beautifully complements our retail space and acts a key talking point and point of difference for our design.

I’d leave it to the visitors to our store to give the final word: their reactions range from long stares of amazement to photographic sessions with their mobile phones. The response has been universally and overwhelmingly positive.

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