Everyday solutions Putting ducks in a row – Innovative and energy conserving lighting design isn’t just for street lights and office buildings. In Eden Prairie, Minnesota duck hunter and duck decoy collector Jim Cook was searching for a lighting solution that would put his duck collection in a good light, so to speak, and so he hired the team of architect Paul Hannan from SALA Architects, Minneapolis www.salaarc.com and interior designers Maureen Haggerty and Carol O’Brien from Mint Design www.mint-design.biz to come up with a solution for him.
Mr. Cook in fact has a collection that hovers around 300 rare and beautiful duck decoys, some dating from as far back as the late 1800’s and carved by greats like Elmer Crowell and the Ward Brothers. (You’d need to be a duck hunter / carver in order to have heard of these guys.) He and his wife Diane had the room in their home but didn’t have a display area that did the ducks justice. His team chose 3 types of LED light fixtures when they were in the design process. (And no, LED does not stand for Lighting Endless Ducks but for Light Emitting Diode.)
Architect Hannan’s challenge was to turn a 900 square foot bonus room into a display area that would be a sort of duck dormitory, and the results of the strategic lighting that he used in the non-shooting gallery turned out just ducky in the eyes of Mr. Cook. “When we did a mockup of the whole system, Jim’s face lit up,” said Hannan. (We assume that was due to the brilliant LED lights.)
The walls, shelving and even the millwork used to support the shelves were all painted a cloud white color to keep the room relatively neutral and show off the duck collection better. The illusion that it gives when the LED lights are turned on is that the ducks are floating, which is fitting considering that that was the main intention of the wooden decoys to begin with when they were carved oh so long ago.
Although the LED lighting fixtures themselves are quite attractive the main goal of the entire display was to keep them, and the surrounding room, in the background. In this way the ducks are the main focus of the room. The effect is rather spectacular, to say the least, and makes for a wonderful reading and TV room as well as a haven for the once lethal decoys. (Lethal to real ducks, that is.)
Mr. Cook is very content with the duck design and display, and we can only assume that when he’s in fowl mood he retreats to his duck depository to relax and bask in the LED fed glow of his hand-carved collection. As he says “I love being surrounded by the ducks.” We just hope his doting wife Diane feels the same.