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Thursday 28 March 2013

Something Old, Something New: Timeless Lighting

What's fashionable in the world of lighting in 2013 is mainly be what was fashionable way back when. Like the shift dresses I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, new light designs seem to be looking to the last century for inspiration. That's no bad thing, if you like vintage style, because you can usually pick up the originals cheaply. Changing a light shade gives a quick update to a space without breaking the bank. And, unless you go all out and buy a lava lamp, lighting tends to weather passing fads and fashions quite well, making it a fairly trend-proof investment.

Here's five lighting looks that are very now ... and that were also very then ...


It's hard to escape the industrial look at the moment. That's great if you want to buy vintage - there's an abundance of original light fittings available which keeps the costs fairly reasonable. Rockett St George have a good selection in stock, including the white shade pictured, complete - as their own blurb puts it - with "lumps and bumps". For lump-free lighting, the John Lewis Penelope light is a good alternative for £45, and available in several pretty colours. 

Scandi chic
TOP, NEW: Kami pendant shade, Habitat, £60; BOTTOM, OLD: White ceiling lamp, Chase & Sorensen, £85

It's not just Scandinavian crime thrillers or woolly jumpers that are making their impact felt in Britain, it's the Scandi pared-back interior style too. Chase & Sorensen specialise in Danish vintage and can help you towards gaining many style points for not too many pennies. The lamp shown at the bottom of the image above dates back to the 1960s. The shade at the top is Habitat's more sophisticated take on the classic paper shade. 

French Fancies

NEW: Lyon Pendant Lamp, Graham & Green, £45; OLD: Milk glass lampshade, Avec-des-si, £45

The 'shabby chic' look is another trend which shows no signs of fading away. Graham & Green's Lyon Lamp is inspired by classic French ceramic lights and is yours for £45. For exactly the same price, you can get the real thing, though you'll need to replace some of the fittings (If you're nervous about this, Avec-des-si say they can help advise). 

Seventies Style

Not the lava lamp, but some of the 70s less outre designs are getting their turn in the spotlight again. On the left are some original smoked glass lampshades; on the right is one of the many high street alternatives - a £20 glass shade from Linea at House of Fraser

Ornamental impact

OLD: Glass and steel pendants, The French House, £80; NEW: Crystal bulb by Lee Broom, Nest, £109

Domestic Sluttery are long term fans of Lee Broom's lights. Rather than slavishly copy an old design, he always succeeds in adding a really contemporary feel to a vintage look. Take, for example, his crystal bulb where he uses traditional crystal cutting techniques to jazz up the humble light bulb. Much as I love him, Lee's designs are beyond my usual shopping budget, starting at £109. It's possible to get similarly dramatic designs secondhand too. The French House always seems to have fabulous vintage chandeliers and glass shades in stock, but trendspotters might want to snap up these glass and steel pendants for £80 each. If not, you're bound to see them illuminating your favourite fashionable eatery soon...


  1. Great selection - always love a bit of lighting p*rn!

  2. Asda have got industrial lights like those above for £10 -,default,pd.html


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