For some, choosing lighting for a space is an afterthought - for us it is a bit of an obsession. Not only do the lighting choices we make in each room have a huge impact on the function and overall feel of a home, they set the mood and create an atmosphere about a space. Lighting is one of our favourite forms of functional art and is quite possibly the only object in the home which has an intimate connection to its environment.
With so many incredible designers out there both old and new, lighting can also arrive as wall art, a sculpture, or a centrepiece. Where you can choose the right glow for the space, from soft filtered light of a bedside table lamp, or a moody dimmed wall-lamp for the entryway can transform the feel of your home. To inspire your lighting choices, we’ve put together ten of our favourite designs, ranging from mid-century modern to contemporary, to just simply beautiful.
Gae Aulenti Pipistrello
A thought provoking theoretician, Gae Aulenti was unlike any designer of her time - decidedly so. Designing the iconic Pipistrello (bat) Lamp in 1965, it is considered one of the most revered objects of industrial design. With a fluted telescopic metal base that helps it transform between a table and floor lamp, and a translucent, opalescent shade that delivers a diffused light - inspired by the wings of a bat, Aulenti's signature mark always lies in multi-functionality and versatility.
Paavo Tynell Gubi Floor Lamp
Characterised by its elegant and airy lampshade resembling a traditional Chinese hat and a slim rattan covered stem, the Gubi Floor Lamp was designed by Finnish Designer Paavo Tynell in 1935 for Hotel Aulanko. Creating a gentle ambience, this timeless design still resonates within a modern setting.
Uchiwa Fan Light by Ingo Maurer
When pictured on its own, the Uchiwa Fan Light looks like a small wall light, but its lightweight materials are misleading, the true size of an Uchiwa is a towering 86 inches high. It’s a large floor lamp connected to the wall with rope for stability. Inspired by Japanese fan, the rare handmade lamp originated in 1977 and is made from bamboo, wicker and Japanese rice paper.
Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni Taccia Lamp
Brothers Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni were known for creating designs that challenged our perspective, the Taccia Table Lamp is a good example of this. Made in 1962 for Flos, this table lamp provides indirect and reflected light which gives the illusion of an upside down hanging lamp.
Guy Bareff Wall Lamp
Born in Macon in 1942, Guy Bareff began producing ceramics at a young age and chose clay as his material for his light fittings, making a clear decision to abandon the use of any glazes. The 1970’s were his most productive period, exhibiting in galleries and receiving commissions from luxury hotels. Working from Provence, the wall lamp pictured is made from Chamotte stoneware and is signed and dated Bareff ‘15.
The Snoopy Table Light by Achille Castiglioni
Telling of the playful personas of its designers, this timeless piece was named after the beloved cartoon character Snoopy and originally designed in 1967 by Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. Resting on a white marble base and a thick glass disk with an enameled reflector, The Snoopy Light was reintroduced in 2003 with updated technology.
George Nelson Saucer Bubble Light
Designed in 1952 by the iconic American modernist George Nelson, the elegant bubble pendant light adds softness and luminosity to an interior. Despite the robust steel frame, the lamps have a weightless, floating quality. Inspired by a set of silk-covered Swedish hanging lamps Nelson wanted for his office, but were too expensive, he designed his own using a translucent white plastic spray. This technique was developed by the U.S. military at the time. Inspired by elemental organic shapes, the bubble light diffuses soft light into a space.
Mads Caprani Caprani Floor Lamp
First produced in 1971, this Mid-Century Modern floor lamp was designed by Mads Caprani for Danish Manufacturer Caprani Light AS. With an anthropomorphic quality created by its elegant curve, it features a cast iron crescent base, a sculptural bent plywood stand, and an accordion pleated linen shade.
Una Lampada da Tavolo ‘Biagio’ by Tobia Scarpa
Designed in 1968 by Tobia Scarpa and carved from a single piece of Carrara marble, the sculptural Biagio table lamp uses an incandescent bulb that emits soft, direct light into a space. Designing some of the first lamps for Dino Giovani’s company Flos, the lamps and the company have become renowned worldwide.
Marta Bonilla Dona Lamp
Hand sculptured by Barcelona based ceramicist Marta Bonilla, the Dona Lamp has an organic and simplistic nature with an intriguing biomorphic quality. With nuances found in every piece, it is completed with a raffia lampshade made in the traditional way.