In addition to trend spotting colour at High Point market, my eDesign team was also on the lookout for lighting trends. Seeing what’s new in lighting is always a highlight of the market for us.
Overall lighting seems to be moving toward a more traditional look. Details like pleated shades and smaller, fluted pendants were highlighted everywhere. Here are a few other lighting trends we think you should know about.
Popping on the scene: Bubble light chandeliers
A bubble light looks just like it sounds… a bunch of glass balls clustered or layered together to form a shapely chandelier.
And while this style has been around for a few years, we believe bubble light chandeliers are totally having their moment right now.
It’s because bubbles are happy, along with curves, polka dots, and hot air balloons!
There’s a definite shift from the sputnik-style globe light to this more delicate and grouped look of spheres.
If you’re looking for a way to incorporate a more modern-looking light fixture in your more traditional home, a bubble light chandelier is a great design choice. It adds a bit of interest but still works in transitional styles.
Oversized pendants: Could two be better than one?
In the High Point showrooms we visited, we noticed many dining tables styled with two oversized pendant lights instead of a more traditional single chandelier. This look adds so much visual interest to a dining table and the soft, diffused light creates a more inviting look overall.
Perhaps this lighting trend is also gaining momentum as part of the English kitchen look that you see everywhere now, especially as more kitchen designs are incorporating dining tables as islands.
It’s also possible that many homeowners are rethinking their open layouts and reverting back to more closed-off kitchens and dining areas – making this lighting choice more popular.
Turns out Kelly (my former assistant) was ahead of the trends, she installed two pendants in her dining room two years ago!
There is a caveat though if you are building a new home. It could be quite challenging for builders to predict where the table lines up – because now you need two holes in your ceiling instead of one. Just something to keep in mind.
Colour me happy: Brightly painted lanterns
We’ve been talking about how people growing tired of stark and leaning into COLOUR. And we think this is a really good translation of this colourful trend.
Painted lanterns are a lovely way to incorporate a pop of colour instead of the traditional metal chandelier. Some designs are a more refined take on the farmhouse pendants we are used to seeing.
And, if you have a timeless white kitchen, why not indulge in some colourful lantern-style lighting?
Not new, but definitely back: Pleated lamp shades
Just like mixing modern lighting in a more traditional home, the pleated lamp shade trend combines a traditional feel with a modern twist and is yet again, reminiscent of English design.
Our youngest eDesigner, Carly, described it like this,
“I’m just noticing that as I’m getting to the age where I can afford to purchase more home decor items… now it feels like decor that was trending in my early childhood is coming back. Pleated shades. Mauve.
So there’s an emotional connection to this style, yet I’m not TIRED of them and seeing it overdone. It feels like a comfortable and familiar thing that’s now being reintroduced in a pretty way.”
This is such a pretty swing arm lamp:
How about you? Many of us remember pleated shades from our past. Are you tired of them or finding them pretty again?
Pleated shades already feel like a natural companion to the pink and mauve colour trend we saw.
A return of ruffles: Petticoat shades (aka fluted ceramic)
If you really want to take a deep dive into English design in your own kitchen, fluted ceramic lighting is a pretty choice.
And speaking of glass shades, textured glass shades with soft patterns (or opal and milk glass shades) that diffuse the light are also gaining popularity.
It’s a sweetly vintage, yet feminine alternative to a naked Edison bulb – when will this trend just die already? They hurt my eyes.
More lamp love
Of course, we saw our fair share of lamps in all different, shapes, colours and sizes. Because showroom designers understand the importance of lamps to help create a look and a feel.
And while we’re on the subject, please understand that not all lighting is equal.
Recessed lighting and overhead fixtures are never really flattering to you or your room. And really, they aren’t very effective in providing enough light anyway. That’s why I think you should skip them altogether.
Your main living spaces like living and family rooms should have at least 4 lamps with lampshades – that’s the secret. It’s the lampshade that helps distribute the light softly around the room, which is what creates atmosphere.
I spy 5 lamps in this historic Manhattan apartment below.
Don’t neglect even the smallest spaces in your home. Even foyers and powder rooms need a couple of lamps or wall sconces. And don’t be afraid to turn your lights on during the day if you have a dark corner.
Lighting rules of thumb
- Stick to white or off-white lamp shades. This provides the most glow and ultimately makes it easier to coordinate various lamps.
- Use warm LEDs instead of cool ones. Cool LEDs have their place but won’t add to the cozy feel in your room.
Here are a few of our favourite lighting posts (aka must-reads if you aren’t familiar):
Which lighting trend are you most excited about?