Design Notes

The Making of Tacoma

Taking inspiration from gothic-style architecture, Tacoma marries ribbed glass globes and a statuesque metal stem to deliver a dramatic wash of light. Suited to both contemporary and traditional settings, Tacoma is one of our most popular decorative wall lights, created for both interior and bathroom use.

Senior Designer Riley Sanders talks us through the inspiration behind the Tacoma collection.

Developing the concept

"Like most of our designs, myself and James our Design Director, take influence from the world around us, creating products we truly admire and would have in our own homes. With Tacoma, it was an opportunity to explore the playful nature of light and how it can create mood through the use of materials. A balance of proportions, I focused heavily on the development of the glass, looking at the shadows each shade created to achieve equilibrium between decorative shadow and functional everyday illumination.

I wanted to deliver a design that was more decorative. Although the idea of a textured glass globe isn't new, Tacoma is a unique interpretation of a classic wall light that's elevated to reflect the modern day. Its presence has a timeless simplicity, retaining Astro's distinctive quality and engineering in a charming yet contemporary design. We initially created Tacoma for the hospitality arm of our business, but throughout the development process, we quickly realised it sits comfortably within a variety of settings. Whether a dining space, bathroom, or hallway, the variety of finishes and glass shades make it a complementary icon within any room.

Experimenting with materials

Often the simplest of designs can be the most difficult to achieve, so having a good understanding of the manufacturing and engineering process was key. Like any of our designs, we need to know if and how a product can be brought to life. With Tacoma, it was working with our talented glassblowers to have a solid understanding of the technique and understanding how to achieve the perfect detail of the ribbed glass shade. It was a process of refinement which could have impacted the timing of the product's production, but it was vital the scalloping of the glass created the perfect light pattern across the wall.

Soft edges and a crisp well-defined corner radius give the range its unique aluminium cast body, a characteristic that can only be achieved through a technique called die-casting. We also purposely choose replaceable light sources for our designs as opposed to dedicated LEDs, to ensure the longevity of the product. If the light source fails, you can simply replace it so the product can live on for many more years.

Astro's Tacoma design process
Astro's Tacoma globe shades

Delivering an enduring design

The magic of Tacoma is its hugely versatile aesthetic which hands you the design reigns. You can choose the combination that best suits your space or style. I think that's one of the reasons we created the additional twin and Grande options within the range. Although a simple design, it just works well with whichever variant you choose. I feel it looks best when positioned either side of a bathroom mirror to create a sense of drama to the space with a playful wash of light on to the wall, especially with the smoked ribbed glass. The positioning almost celebrates Tacoma's distinct mid-century influence and imperial character, although it will stand proud within any space."

In three words... "Captivating, playful, ethereal"

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