Contemporary lighting can be identified by a number of standout features. Clean, simple lines are often a guiding principle in contemporary fixture design. The words “minimalist”, “uncluttered” and “streamlined” are commonly used to describe modern lighting but that doesn’t mean contemporary fixtures can’t be eye-catching too. Some contemporary fixtures are brightly coloured and sculptural in shape, echoing the bold elements often seen in modern art. Contemporary lighting usually features chrome, nickel, or silver finishes, giving a space that sleek, seamless look we aspire to when putting together a contemporary design plan.
Traditional lighting is often described as classic and timeless. This style of lighting may be somewhat predictable, but it’s incredibly versatile and suits a wide range of interior styles. Traditional fixtures typically feature brass, iron, and wood finishes and are warm in colour with symmetrical lines. The symmetry in traditional lighting design is further emphasised by the repetition of fixtures, for example, matching sconces on either side of a mirror or matching lamps flanking a bed or sofa. Traditional lighting fixtures are often white, cream, or ivory in colour making it easy to achieve a cohesive look throughout the home.
Mid-century modern design may have emerged in the mid-twentieth century, but it is still relevant today and has mass appeal. This enduring style features clean lines, gentle curves, bold shapes, and contrasting materials. Functionality is highly important in mid-century modern design and there is a distinct absence of ornamental detail on all light fixtures. Sputnik-style pendants and gently-curved floor lamps are popular examples of mid-century modern lighting design.
Scandinavian lighting design presents a stark contrast to some of the highly ornate fixtures on the market. This design movement started in the Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland) but has gained global popularity. With clean lines, blonde timber, soft edges, and intuitive functionality, Scandinavian lighting design lends itself to a minimalist yet cosy look and feel. Scandinavian fixtures are typically available in light, muted colour palettes, with pendant lights being a go-to choice for interior designers wanting to inject a modern “Scandi” feel into a room.
Originating in the 1920’s/30’s, the Art Deco interior style was inspired by artistic themes from the past. There was a fascination with archaeology and excavations during this time, and the lighting designs reflected the shapes and lines found on ancient artefact discoveries. Zigzag lines and geometric shapes, synonymous with ancient Greece and Egypt, made its way into ornate lighting fixtures. Other characteristics of Art Deco lighting include polished chrome, glass panels, stepped fan details, cascading silhouettes and slipper-style shades with ornately etched glass.