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The Brightest Trends for Lighting in 2020

The biggest and brightest trends for lighting in 2020 are here! Changing out a lamp, pendant or chandelier can have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of any room so we’re coveting all the beautiful new trending shapes and materials in lighting.

Just as we turn back the clocks and the days get a little shorter, I’m back with a special post dedicated to all the lighting trends Kristy and I discovered at High Point Market.

Make sure you catch my earlier posts, reporting directly from our trip to High Point Market a few weeks ago: Top 2020 Colour Trends from Fall High Point Market and The Biggest Wall Art Trends from High Point 2020

Tricia and Kristy unwinding at an end of day market party

The Empire and the Cone

I’ve mentioned the empire shade stepping back into the spotlight before. You know, the one from your grandma’s 80s living room decor. And wow, it was definitely the IT and NOW shape of market.

Along with dynamic cone shaped shades in a myriad of angles from tall horn shades to wide umbrella ones. From what we could see, coquettish angled shades are apparently conspiring for world domination.

Does this mean you need to replace all the the straight drum or the more gentle taper lamp shades in your home?

No. They are still classic shapes that aren’t going anywhere soon. However the hottest shape, the one that looks savvy and new, is the empire and the cone. And lighting is a great place to indulge in a trend. Maria recently installed cone pendants in her kitchen refresh here.

Related post:

Large white and brass cone pendants at Vanguard

Also at Vanguard

Highland House

And speaking of trends, there was oodles of fringe. It was incorporated into upholstery and light shades, like this dramatic and oversized cone-shaped fabric pendant above (notice too, the empire shades on the pillar lamps).

Larry Laslo for Chaddock

The Black Lamp Shade Trend

Nothing says glam like a black shade. You can see one on the chest in the image above. Most often paired with brass bases, we spotted the restrained glow of black shades everywhere on lamps, chandeliers and sconces.

Black and brass lamp at Vanguard

Black empire shade and geometric art at Kravet

Sconce with black shade in the Powder room by Elissa Grayer for the Aspire Show House

The Opaque Brass Lamp Shade Trend

Closely related to the sultry black shade (and also trending) is the solid brass shade. It’s like a lovely piece of jewelry for your living room.

Lamp with brass shade at Chaddock

Library Chic brass wall sconces at Wesley Hall Furniture

The Mushroom Lamp Trend

One more lamp trend I have been seeing everywhere lately, and that was well-represented in the showrooms, is the sleek retro mushroom lamp.

Brass Mushroom Lamp at Century

Alabaster mushroom lamps by Kelly Wearstler for Visual Comfort

Brass, as you can see, is still a mainstay finish for lighting. This trend isn’t going anywhere soon. But it’s not really news anymore.

The Alabaster Lighting Trend

Alabaster lamps at Highland House

Lighting is best with soft shades, or frosted bulbs and glass. I am so happy to see the bald and glaring bare bulb trend going away in favour of more flattering lighting. Alabaster makes a very pretty shade for light fixtures with its creamy translucent white and natural veining patterns.

Kelly Wearstler had an expansive line of alabaster lighting at the Visual Comfort showroom. We also saw alabaster lighting in many vignettes, including the pretty lamps on the credenza in this charming dining room above.

The Refined Details Lighting Trend

There were many chandeliers and sconces with really beautiful, delicate and whimsical details. Especially floral motifs – like this pretty filigree sconce by Miranda Kerr below.

Miranda Kerr for Universal

This sparkling brass chandelier with a bird motif below is also by Miranda Kerr.

Miranda Kerr for Universal

The Rattan Shade Lighting Trend

And for the SoCal and coastal lovers, there were plenty of striking rattan fixtures. Most were theatrically large in scale.

Oversized rattan pendant at Hickory Chair

A collection of large rattan pendants at Hudson Valley Lighting

The takeaway on lighting trends for 2020? Go big. Go bold.

Aside from the shapes and materials that caught our eye at market this year, we noticed that all lighting had one major feature in common. It was BIG and BOLD. Lamps and lighting took up space, a lot of space. They commanded attention. And I love that. It always feels like a missed opportunity when pendants and lamps are too small and timid.

There is a place for more delicately scaled task lamps such as pharmacy lights and mini lamps that illuminate a mantel or shelf to be sure, but over a table or island, or at the centre of the room, go big and bold.

Changing out a lamp, pendant or chandelier can have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of any room. So have fun exploring some new lighting options.

Here are a few of our favourite sources:

Hudson Valley Lighting

Circa Lighting

Currey and Company


We would love to hear what you think. Have you been seduced by the new conical look of shades? The easiest way to update a lamp of course is to put on a new shade in a new shape.

Will you set the mood with an opaque shade in black or bass? Or does the airy sparkle of a chandelier inspired by flora and fauna appeal to you more?

Have you been noticing other new lighting trends that I didn’t cover here?

Thanks Tricia and Kristy for this fabulous lamp update!

PS. Maria Killam Inc. is hiring a full-time Personal Administrative Assistant to cover a one year maternity leave. See the full job description here.

Related Posts

3 Ways to Add More Light to Your Home

What every Lighting Obsessed Gal (or Guy) Should Know

Top 2020 Colour Trends from Fall High Point Market











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  • Edith Folta says:

    Ugh – I am going to be so happy when this gold fixture craze has run its course. It looks cheesy in most cases now, and will look cheap and dated very soon. Back to the classics!

  • Lucy says:

    Such an informative post! Thank you so much for this rundown! I loved going to market to see all things new. It is always so inspirational! It seems like there really isn’t anything new under the sun but with a new twist. I have several lamps with black shades and have always loved them. The conical shade is not new either but in the beautiful settings of the showrooms they are stunning and look new. The rattan shades are made to look new with their shapes and sizes. Overall I would say that the brass shade lamps were upscale and the crystal bird chandelier was certainly interesting.

    Thanks again for a lovely post!

  • Renee says:

    So glad to see the glaring naked bulbs going away. I’ve never understood why anyone would think that’s a good look.

  • Mike says:

    Yes on all of these.
    I’m thinking of installing Kelly Wearstler sconces in my hallway instead of art.
    One area I always splurge is lighting. Your sources are great but $$$. Nothing worse than cheap fixtures – except maybe a grid of only overhead recessed cans.

  • Amy H says:

    What about patterned and/or pleated shades? I just installed one on my sofa table lamps and they make such an impact. I’ve noticed this trend, but maybe these are now more mainstream, and therefore, past being shown at High Point?

  • michelle says:

    Design novice here. Does anyone know how long it takes for the trends at High Point to make it to a mainstream lighting showroom in say a large Canadian city like Toronto? I’m sure Maria has touched on this somewhere in her blog but I missed it. Thanks,

  • chris says:

    Hi Maria, I want to ask you a question but first want to tell youhow much I have learned from reading your posts. thank you so much for caring about your work and sharing it with us poor schmucks who would otherwise be kept in the dark. You seem to be the only one on line who has the passion to share your decorating intelligence and even if we just collect a small modicum of that rubbing off on us we are 100% better off. Thank you again. My question is this. I am redecorating my bathroom. It will be very simple with a dark charcoal tile on the floor and white subway on the walls. All the fittings in my house are chrome as will be the tapware and towel rails inthe bathroom. I am trying to decide on wall sconses either side of the mirror above the vanity. Should I keep the metal parts chrome too or could I have black metal on those with a light shade? Would it look out of place or would it blend OK because the floor will be very dark. Thank you in advance for your expert opinion. Appreciate Maria. Regards, Chris

  • Sheila says:

    Loved this post! I want to point out that I am seeing a lot of green ?
    Thanks, as always, for the great information Maria!

  • Sandy says:

    I’m thinking everything old is new again — my vintage brass mushroom lamp, my vintage brass lamp with a black shade (only trouble with the dark shades is: not enough light gets out). Now I’ll have to get them out and polish them up.

  • So glad that what goes around comes back around and my collection of brass lamps from Frederick Cooper, a small fortune in the 90’s, are cycling back. Classic never goes out of style.

  • Barbara says:

    Pray tell what happened to beautiful lampshades, silk.

  • Heddy says:

    This was a great post. Thank you so much for your observations!

  • Fiona says:

    My only problem with this trend is the black, metal and mushroom shades all direct light quite sharply. They don’t give the diffuse light I love. So I won’t be going for these trends. Nice to see the flared lamp shade come back, and like a another poster below, I am a fan of the fabric pleated lamp shade, which I think is trending along with the old school fringing.

  • Susan says:

    Pleated fabric shades are making a comeback? Yay! I inherited them from my mother on two tall brass lamps that I have on my Herman Miller nightstands.

  • Dawn says:

    Nothing makes me happier than to see there will finally, once again, be options to the drum shade which I’ve hated from the moment they became the “it” shade and the only game in town.

  • Arlene says:

    For myself I much prefer lamps and light fixture so I can see which is important than style.. I was considering tossing a lamp out with the cone shape shade. Guess I will be keeping it. Enjoyed the article

  • Jhon says:

    How did I just discover you?
    I started reading an old post about choosing white for walls. Then another post. Then another. I’m finally catching up. Living in Palm Springs with its intense sunshine and changing colors and tendency for Mid-Century Modern; I still see a push for neutral browns and Beiges. Not for me. Tho I see a real Euro Modern Glam in this post- I love color. And art. I’m so glad I found your blog. It’s actually… Exciting.

  • Dee says:

    Everything on this is not really a new trend. I think you may be just trying to be an affiliate and make some money.

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