The big switch: Designer Jake Dyson has added a light touch to a twee period property

Click to follow
The Independent Online

My taste is quite minimalist, which is why lighting is so important to me. If you don't have a lot of things, you need to use light to create the atmosphere in a room. I think lights themselves should be interesting to look at. I hate what I call "morphous" design, where a shape is imposed on something for no reason. The visual should be worked out around the mechanics of an object, rather than trying to cover them up.

We moved into this house in north-west London recently, and I love the space here. It's a period property but it works with our contemporary style. It's difficult to find great modern properties – developers always manage to mess up on the details. This place was a great canvas but the last owners had imposed a horrible tweeness on it that we are slowly removing.

I grew up in a household where design was important [his father is James Dyson, inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner] and I can't do rip-offs when I buy furniture; there's something about owning an original that you never get with an imitation. Ikea is all well and good, but how much of that stuff is chucked away after a couple of years? It's not a sustainable approach. The chair and stool behind me is Eames and the armchairs in the study are Le Corbusier LC2s. The coffee table is by an Italian company called Tonelli. It's one of only six in the world.

Helicopters are a bit of an obsession of mine – the mechanics of the blade inspired a ceiling fan I designed a few years ago. I built this model myself but when I tested it, it exploded into hundreds of pieces so I had to rebuild it from scratch. The light on the table below it is an interesting piece – when we were burgled, the policemen who came round thought it was damaged.

Jake Dyson's Motorlight Wall and Motorlight Floor lights are available from selected stockists, see

Get the look

1. Norm 03 steel pendant light, £550,

2. Pidou ceramic table lamp, £95,

3. Giant Anglepoise-style lamp, £1,950,