At it’s peak, mid-century modern decor had an almost futuristic look to it. That appearance still holds true today thanks to the fluid curves and clean line designs that remain modern still to this day. These same design concepts can be applied to the light fixtures of the time, many of which are still being reproduced today. Here are a few tips and tricks for selecting different mid-century modern light fixtures for your home.
What is Defined as Mid-Century Modern?
The time frame for mid-century modern design occurred beginning in the late 1930s and through to the mid 1960s. Though the time period was several decades ago, the names associated with many of the more famous designs are still well-known, with many still being considered household names today.
What Should I Be Looking For?
If you’ve got some knowledge on the style, you’re likely looking for a specific light fixture by a specific designer. Keep in mind that originals in good condition tend to cost more than newly manufactured reproductions of those same light fixtures today.
Of course, not all of the mid-century modern designs out there feature ‘name brand’ designer names. In these instances, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a few key shapes and specific lines. Mid-century modern light fixtures typically feature clean lines. They can feature curves, but they are strictly no-frills with detailing.
Shapes of mid-century modern light fixtures are typically organic. This translates into soft, flowing curves. Ovular or circular shapes are ideal, especially for ceiling lights. Other shapes that are indicative of the style include hourglass, triangular cones, pillars, tubes, saucer shapes, teardrops and so forth. These are more common in wall sconces (hourglass, tubes or pillars) and pendant lights (triangular cones, saucers, tubes) so keep this in mind when seeking out this style.
The colors of these light fixtures tend to be few and far between. In other words, any fixture that has more than two or three colors is not likely to be deemed ‘mid-century modern.’ Stick to simple color palettes with three or fewer colors. In terms of finishes, brushed metals are common, as are brilliant white shades, pleating and under the right circumstances, high polished finishes.
Of course, this does not mean that mid-century modern light fixtures are lacking in color entirely. It is not uncommon for these fixtures to feature brilliant hues: cobalt blue, lime green, orange, mustard yellow, poppy red, vibrant white and so forth. These are often combined with various metal hues including brass or silver finishes such as nickel or chrome.
Mid-century modern light fixtures can add a great deal of ‘fun’ to any room. In a dining room, an unexpected large-scale saucer-shaped pendant light can be a great conversation starter. In a bedroom, hourglass wall sconces can add a romantic ambience, while pillar wall sconces in the living room can add some much needed extra lighting. Though the style is distinct, it is also very clean in terms of visual appearance, making it an easy style to incorporate into different interior design schemes. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
I hope you enjoyed our post on Mid-century modern light fixtures! For more futuristic looks, check out our selection at Arcadian Lighting!