ART & DESIGN

Designer Lindsey Adelman Has a Way of Lighting Up a Room

Take a tour of the radiant designer’s Brooklyn home.


Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

Bright Ideas

Since making the first one, about 10 years ago, Lindsey Adelman has watched her Branching chandelier, with its handblown glass globes budding from a sinewy, multipronged brass stem, become a design status symbol—and a fixture in splashy shelter-magazine spreads. (One even hangs in the Brooklyn apartment where Adelman lives with her husband, Ian, a senior VP of digital design at The New York Times, and their son, Finn, 12.) The brilliance of the piece, for both the client and the designer, is that its design is constantly evolving: Over the years, Adelman has swapped in pink or smoked glass; added fierce, thornlike appendages; played with the chandelier’s overall geometry—so it’s rare to come across exactly the same one twice. And while Adelman still works with the same glass artist and the same local machine shop she has since the beginning, she has branched out in other ways—designing mirrors, candelabra, even jewelry. Recently, she visited the Polich Tallix foundry in upstate New York and is looking forward to working more in bronze. “I feel insanely lucky to be able to be creative every day,” she says.

Adelman’s Branching Disk, in her New York showroom.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

Performance Pieces

Adelman’s workday look tends toward black jeans, a black button-down, and boots or sneakers (also black). While her studio does not have a dress code, she thought it would be fun to outfit the whole crew in white Tyvek jumpsuits for the photo shoot for this story. Indeed, there is a performative aspect to almost everything she does. In 2012, for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, in New York, Adelman set up a workshop at the Javits Center, where her staff assembled lights throughout the event. For an exhibition last year at Wright gallery, on the Upper East Side, she produced a music video, “Show Me,” in which many of the studio team, herself included, had cameos as backup dancers. And for the Collective Design fair, in May, she made a two-channel video installation that explores subjects close to her heart: creation and destruction. “Things break when you’re having fun,” Adelman says. “It’s a good sign of life.”

Adelman and her Milan dealer, Nina Yashar, in front of her Cherry Bomb Fringe, 2015. Lauren Coleman.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

Fashion Fixtures

Adelman, who produces about a thousand pieces per year, ranging from the relatively diminutive two-bulb Agnes Sconce to the explosive Boom Boom Burst, recently transformed a storage space in Brooklyn’s Industry City into a studio, and has opened an outpost, in Los Angeles. Her headquarters remain in NoHo—a dangerous neighborhood, she notes, for shopping. Her nighttime look is a black dress, usually worn over black leather leggings, which she can get from any number of designer pals—Rachel Comey, Maria Cornejo, Tess Giberson—who have shops within walking distance. Perhaps not surprising for a woman who knows how a chandelier can be a statement piece, Adelman likes to top off her utilitarian-chic ensembles with a bold necklace from Marni (the store in Milan just happens to be right around the corner from the gallery of her dealer there, Nina Yashar). “I’m always losing earrings,” Adelman says. Unlike most of us, however, she can just make herself new ones.

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Photos: Designer Lindsey Adelman Has a Way of Lighting Up a Room

Lindsey Adelman, at home in Brooklyn, wearing a Calvin Klein Collection dress.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

A Robert Ryman work (on wall) and a Thaddeus Wolfe glass sculpture (at right).

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

Adelman’s Terrarium pendant, surrounded by a Marina ceiling medallion.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

A Knotty Bubbles chandelier, installed in a private residence.

Photograph by Lauren Coleman.

A Branching Bubble.

Photographed by Joseph De Leo

A Branching Burst.

Photograph by Lauren Coleman.

A sketch for Adelman’s Shady Side illuminated mirror.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

Adelman sketching, wearing rings she designed.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

A still from the video Adelman produced for the Collective Design fair.

Courtesy of Adelman.

She created this target for the design company BDDW’s archery league.

Courtesy of Adelman.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

Adelman and her Milan dealer, Nina Yashar, in front of her Cherry Bomb Fringe, 2015. Lauren Coleman.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

Adelman’s Branching Disk, in her New York showroom.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

A still from Adelman’s video “Show Me,” which premiered at Wright gallery last year.

Courtesy of Adelman.

A glass component for the Heavy Light FOG edition, 2015.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

Adelman, in a dress from Dsquared2, and her team, in the NoHo studio, working on a custom Cherry Bomb.

Adelman wears Burberry boots; her own jewelry.

Photography assistant: Peter B. Samuels; hair: Adam Markarian for Kerastase at De Facto; makeup: Kristin Hilton for Chanel at The Wall Group; fashion assistant: Dylan Hawkinson; 4, 5, 6, 7: courtesy of adelman; 1: Adelman wears Marni earrings.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

Adelman’s spring picks from Zero + Maria Cornejo.

Courtesy of Getty Images.

Adelman’s spring picks from Marni.

Courtesy of Getty Images.

Copper and brass bases for the Light Line table light.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

Brass-chain prototypes for a new model for Nilufar Gallery.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera

A Boom Boom Burst chandelier in progress at the studio.

Photographer: Steven Brahms Stylist: Sophie Pera
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Photography assistant: Peter B. Samuels; hair: Adam Markarian for Kerastase at De Facto; makeup: Kristin Hilton for Chanel at The Wall Group; fashion assistant: Dylan Hawkinson.