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Two Homes, Infinite Possibilities
Abacus by Hubbardton Forge

Configurable, customizable and flat-out cool, the Abacus collection from Hubbardton Forge has turned the linear suspension on its axis—literally. We followed two interior designers as they brought this light to life in two very different projects.

Linear suspension lights are often thought of as board-room fixtures or kitchen island lighting: straight across, parallel to the surface below. The artisans at Vermont's Hubbardton Forge, already well known for innovating interesting new looks, have taken the concept of a linear suspension and turned it on its head.

The Abacus is an LED suspension light that's oriented vertically; rather than a typical linear suspension that spans the length of a table, Abacus can span the height of a room. The floating glass spheres can be moved up and down along the cables and give off a soft glow from the glass-encapsulated LED light. It's part lighting element and part art installation—a statement piece if we've ever seen one.

Two Lumens trade partners were keen to try this stunning piece out and have shared with us two exceptional installations that help show off what makes Abacus such a special design.

Installation #1
Artistic Addition by Kerry Ellis

In this home, there was a glaringly blank wall right at the entryway begging for something unique that would provide visual interest. They considered artwork but liked the idea of something unexpected. We looked at various wall décor options, but nothing quite did the job of warmly welcoming guests and creatively filling the space. In comes the Hubbardton Forge Abacus, a floor-to-ceiling, slim-profile lighting masterpiece, which was just what the entryway needed.

When the Abacus arrived the box size was daunting, but we opened it to find all the wires and canopy in one piece ready to install, and the globes all individually packed safely in their own small boxes. We called on Benning Design Construction of Sacramento, CA, to do the installation, and they completed the work with ease. The globes were a breeze to slide on, the wires easily cut to the exact desired length, and bottom weights attached without a problem. We put the fixture on a dimmer to change the mood with a simple swipe and played with the position of the globes to add more visual interest.

We were excited to find the globes were incredibly easy to slide up or down to achieve whatever look they are feeling in the moment. The globes can be placed symmetrically as an architectural element or asymmetrically to create a whimsical organic flow that draws the eye to explore the playful lightscape. The handblown glass globes provide a surprising amount of light output and can be dimmed to a warm glow to bring just the right amount of ambient light to a dark or boring space.

In just a few hours, this entryway was transformed from drab and uninteresting to a visually stunning, warmly lit space. The Abacus by Hubbardton Forge is truly one of a kind; I'm thrilled with the sophistication and intrigue it has brought to this home and am truly surprised at the versatility of this piece.

Designer Bio: Kerry Ellis was born and raised in Northern California. From an early age she had an affinity for art and architecture. While living in Santa Cruz, Kerry worked for an architecture firm and fell in love with the process of architectural design. After moving back to Sacramento, Kerry worked for a prominent interior and lighting design firm and found interior design to be the perfect marriage of her passions. She has spent the past 20 years working in design.

Installation #2
Cavernous Cabin by Elizabeth Lake

High in the California sierras, a chalet with 24-foot ceiling presents a lighting challenge: How to keep a sense of openness, provide enough lighting and accentuate the drama of the oversized space?

For Elizabeth Lake interiors of Sacramento, CA, the design challenge she faced was to create brighter light in a large space while staying true to the open feel and drama of the setting. In addition to the architectural wall-washing light, she needed a showstopper in the upper 10-foot windows that would not block the mountain views from the second story loft.

Solution #2
Solution #2

The Abacus LED Linear Suspension by Hubbardton Forge provided the illumination and drama needed for the marriage of lighting and cabin life.

What is important when lighting a chalet? Don't block the view! Hanging a bulky chandelier in the picture window was out of the question to the client. In addition, Lake wanted to bring a bit of her modern aesthetic to the “wood heavy” space.

The five-light Abacus, with its clear spheres and 6 thin wires, created the effect of floating orbs hanging like snowballs in the snowy winter as if from the massive trees on the other side of the windows. Flanked by kitschy cabin décor belonging of the clients, including a 1950s sled and reindeer skin, the Abacus brings lightness, drama and sophistication to this 1970s mountain chalet.

Designer Bio: Elizabeth Lake is a fifth-generation Sacramentan. After graduating with a BA in Interior Design in 2000, her work has concentrated on residential design. In recent years, she's added lighting design in both residential and restaurants to her bag of tricks. She loves mixing modern with traditional with an occasional dose of whimsy to make approachable, beautiful spaces.