After a restful morning at the hotel and exploring the city, our first afternoon in Barcelona found us wandering away from the main streets into the quiet oasis of a courtyard; here we met with Marset, exploring their lighting showroom over lunch. The first of many lunches, we were welcomed with chilled gazpacho, salty-sweet jamón and platefuls of paella. The Spanish know how to lunch, am I right?
Although very much a Spanish company, founded by the family in the 1940s as casters of metal before focusing on lighting in the 1960s, Marset collaborates with new and more established designers internationally.
What struck me most is the variety in their design – there isn’t any one signature style here as such. Mid-century inspired pieces sit next to the futuristic, ceramics against woods and metal; but you can see how one design informs the next.
They recognise the importance of simplicity, functionality and the character given to a space created through the diffusion of light. It isn’t so much the light itself but the shadows that give atmosphere to a room. When you understand how you want a space to feel, how you will use that room, then you build upon the depth, colour, shape of shadow and manipulate it with light. Each piece within the Marset collection has its own experience to share.
I loved the minimalist design of the Ginger collection, made from a combination of pressed wood, paper and resin. It gives off a soft, intimate light which filters through the wood.
The geometric, ceramic ‘Scotch Club’ bowls give directional light – ideal for a dining room.
My favourite design? The Pleat Box collection, a result of Marset’s first collaboration with ceramist and designer Xavier Mañosa (above). Stay tuned for an insight into how these shades are produced next during our visit to Xavier’s atelier in the outskirts of Barcelona. It’s about to get a whole lot hotter and dustier!
Photography © Tiffany Grant-Riley