Elana Safronsky, Managing Editor
Friday, April 17, 2009 11:53 AM EDT
I think this week's Top 5 has been the hardest one yet. How do you cram a universe of countless light fixtures into five categories? Well, I gave it my best shot: the most prevalent trends. While I do agree with most of what I find to be prevailing in light fixtures, I want to qualify that the following does not exactly align with what I'm personally obsessed with. But light fixtures are so particular to everyone's tastes that I thought subjecting you to my personal top five, most of which would be impossible to track down anyway, wouldn't hold much value.
So, that said, the following five trends are the most pervasive out there, and for good reason. There is a science to good design, and these picks are ubiquitous because they are the perfect fit for many trends in contemporary home decor -- chances are, you've got a version of one of these in your home, right now. Consider this post a second opinion (that you did good.)
Regal Splendor: The Chandelier
Clockwise from the top; Amber chandelier from The Decorative Diva blog, vintage chandelier from Martha Moments blog, red glass chandelier from Decor8 blog, Jet Black crystal chandelier from LightingBuy.com
I'll just get it off my chest right now: I don't like coloured glass chandeliers. I've said so before, and I do apologize if this irks you. But to each their own, and it would seem I'm flagrantly outnumbered by those who absolutely LOVE the coloured glass chandelier, leading to it becoming one of the biggest design crutches in the recent past. Having said that, I do love an extravagant chandelier to glam up a modern table or a sparse space, and you know the trend has gone through the full trickle down when Costco is selling a $5,500 dollar Swarovski.
The Nelson Bubble - Authentic or 'Interpreted'
The George Nelson Bubble Lamp Collection from Modernica.
George Nelson (1908 - 1986) is of course one of the -- if not THE -- daddies of modern design, and by far one of the most prolific. Originally designed by Nelson in 1947, the Bubble Lamp has been coveted, hunted, dusted off and 'reinterpreted' by so many in the past 20 years, that it is now being made again, according to Nelson's exact, '47 specifications. It's white, it's graphic, it's impacting and it says that you know a little something about modern design. This is why virtually everyone loves these, and even more people have some version hipping up their dwellings.
The Drum Pendant
Clockwise from the top: Verona green acrylic drum shade from My Deco blog, graphic drum light from Lekker Home, Hudson Serena drum shade from CasaSugar.com, Girona drum shade from Home Base via House to Home.
A million monkeys cutting and pasting images for a million years could not catalog all the various drum shades that are out there for your choosing pleasure. The drum shade is the blank canvas of the pendant light. Sure it's got a contemporary minimal shape, but that hasn't stopped it form sporting gold leaf, sprouting crystal danglers, getting bedazzled with mother of pearl and being made of absolutely every conceivable material out there. What did we do before the drum shade?
Clockwise from the top: Armonk Chandelier from Pottery Barn, Wine Barrel Chandelier form Restoration Hardware, antler chandelier from Ivory Pearl Interiors, Veranda round chandelier from Pottery Barn.
It's no wonder that the best examples of these are found in the bastions of upward mobility such as Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware; they look best in just such contemporary classic interiors. But some, like the antler and "Armonk" chandelier, can be stretched to apply to other eclectic styles, adding an instant touch of rustic charm no matter the look of the room.
Clockwise from the top: Marylin light by Axo via Surrounding, Glitter light by Axo via Surrounding, Clockwise from the top; Foscarini: Urquiola & Gerotto Caboche from Nova 68, Swarovski Crystal Ball chandelier from Moss.
What do you get when you marry postmodernism with a need for opulence? Well, not sure I want to broach the full implications in this post, but with respect to lighting, you get what I've dubbed as "modern glass." (I'm sure many of you are rolling your eyes at my dusting-off of the word 'postmodernism', but honestly, I really think it fitting!) Stark, minimal form and innovative, quasi-industrial design (that crazy Swarovski Ball is made of a zillion individually suspended crystal marbles) adorned with, in many cases, the highest grade crystal. These splurges of the future are actually already here, and are only going to get more and more space-agey as the design years roll on. If you like opulence but don't want to turn your home into a mini Versailles, this is your new point of reference.
What do you think of these? Anything to add?