Beauty & Essex, US

December 9, 2016

Focus Lighting uses decorative lighting to bring a sense of class and glamour to The Beauty & Essex restaurant – the newest addition to The Las Vegas Strip.

The Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan is one of the latest restaurant / lounge destinations to hit the Las Vegas Strip. A sophisticated, jewel-toned spot featuring vintage décor, it offers New American plates, drinks and wine. The second of it’s kind, the Las Vegas branch is very much an extension of the brand, evoking in its guests the sense that they are dining inside of a well-curated jewellery box.

Staple features from Beauty & Essex New York, such as the functioning storefront Pawn Shop, Pearl Lounge, Mirror Bar, Locket Room and private dining room have been re-established in Las Vegas, while new features such as a 40ft long Locket Wall and a pair of ‘diamond rings’ in the private dining room, bring new life to the concept.

Focus Lighting was introduced to the project through the design architect Rockwell Group to implement both an architectural and decorative lighting scheme. The design intent was very clear from the beginning, with decorative lighting fixtures key to making the space feel like the inside of a jewellery box – they are used throughout as the apparent source of light.

JP Lira, one of Focus Lighting’s principal designers, was involved in the project from the beginning and told darc: “Our team worked closely with Rockwell Group to make sure every element of the design was executed as expected. Finishes in each room were carefully selected and then tested full-scale to assure their details were visible in low light environments.

“One early challenge was finding ways to use the Peacock Room’s existing light fixtures. We couldn’t remove or relocate them so we had to integrate them into the ceiling lighting design for the new floor plan.

“Additionally, working with extremely tight wattage requirements gave us fewer opportunities to use halogen and incandescent lighting, which was a challenge considering the client’s vision for the space called for a lot of decorative lighting and nice, low dimming.”

Both decorative and architectural lighting is used to reinforce the sense of luxury guests feel at Beauty & Essex. Customised decorative fixtures accomplish this outwardly, while architectural lighting subtly brings all of the restaurant’s jewel-inspired features and finishes to life.

“We used light to make every little detail feel luxurious and significant, enveloping guests in a world of gold, pearl and crystal,” said Lira.

Each room has its own decorative lighting fixture that complements its individual aesthetic. In the Peacock Room, gold chandeliers create a rhythm alongside details in the room’s wallpaper and Locket Wall. In the Pearl Lounge, soft glowing light from a bowl uplight, showcases the subtle elegance of the room’s pearl ceiling canopy. For the private dining room Focus Lighting worked with Rockwell Group and Canopy Designs to create a set of custom pendants – two ‘diamond’ rings. “We agonised over every detail,” said Lira. “From the shape and thickness of the crystals to the quantity and placement of the LEDs – producing a stunning light fixture that emulates the sparkle and elegance of a diamond ring.”

While the decorative fixtures look and feel like pieces of jewellery themselves, architectural lighting is used to enhance the sparkle and shine in every finish throughout the space. The lighting in this project is what ties everything together and creates an immersive experience.

“As a result of constant coordination and attention to detail the final design was a great success,” said Lira. “What was really unique about this project were the number of important details we needed to accent, in order to produce that feeling of immersion. We spent a lot of time on-site meticulously aiming and adjusting every fixture in order to meet that goal.”

During one site visit Lira noticed that the gold wallpaper pattern in the Pearl Lounge wasn’t reflecting light as intended. As a solution, he suggested that the pattern be painted over with gold Sharpies. Using an instructional video created by Lira, staff from the restaurant outlined the wallpaper’s pattern with Sharpies, substantially increasing reflectivity!

The transition from the gritty storefront pawn shop to the restaurant, where every little detail works to create a magical immersive experience from beginning to end is what makes this project unique.

Focus Lighting is currently designing the lighting at a third Beauty & Essex in Los Angeles, California.