Albie Colotto, director of design Friedmutter group

As designers, we continually observe and visit new environments in order to see how spaces are being designed and lit for our own inspiration. We are always looking for clever applications that blend the technology of lighting with various materials and finishes to create unique environments. In our opinion, the effective applications for lighting are those that provide the maximum impact while being cost effective. The point being that clever, artistic and visually stimulating environments do not have to be costly. A couple of restaurants that come to mind that fit this description are Fiamma at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and Blue Fin at the W Hotel on Times Square in New York (shown right). Both of these restaurants have cleverly created focal points that have become the signature design elements of the spaces by simply layering the wall surfaces and providing colorful up lighting on these surfaces to illuminate the entire space. We are inspired by many places, yet design statements like these form images in our minds that are constantly recalled.