Light Up Your Home with Period Lighting Fixtures

June 10, 2024

Categories: Design Styles, Historical Styles, Lighting2.5 min read

Victorian table lamp from you live in a “Painted Lady” from the Victorian era? Or perhaps an Arts and Crafts home from the early 1900s? When remodeling your home in a particular historical style, don’t neglect the light fixtures to help recreate the period.  Here is an overview of lighting from different periods, from earliest to most recent.

Colonial-era lighting is characterized by simple and understated designs, often made from brass, copper, or wrought iron. Early American settlers often used simple oil lamps.  Candlestick-style wall sconces, lantern-style pendant lights, and brass chandeliers with multiple arms are typical of Colonial homes.

Victorian-era lighting is characterized by ornate and elaborate designs, often featuring intricate metalwork, glass shades with floral motifs, and embellishments like crystals or beads. Elaborate chandeliers with crystal prisms, wall sconces, and table lamps were popular during this period.

Arts and Crafts lighting emphasizes simplicity, craftsmanship, and natural materials like wood, copper, and glass. Mission-style pendant lights, mica lamp shades, and lantern-style wall sconces are common in Arts and Crafts interiors. Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Prairie School” style is a subset of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Deco ceiling light from Nouveau lighting is known for its flowing, organic forms and nature-inspired motifs such as flowers, vines, and curves. Stained glass lamps with floral motifs, pendant lights with decorative glass shades, and brass fixtures with sculptural elements are typical of Art Nouveau design.

Art DIndustrial mason jar pendant light from lighting is characterized by geometric shapes, bold colors, and streamlined designs. Chandeliers with geometric patterns, glass or chrome pendant lights, and frosted glass shades with angular motifs are typical of Art Deco style.

Industrial lighting draws inspiration from factories and warehouses, featuring utilitarian designs, exposed bulbs, and raw materials like metal and wire. Cage pendant lights, Edison bulb fixtures, and pulley-style wall sconces are common in industrial-style interiors.  The focus is on functionality and the incorporation of salvaged materials into fixtures.

Mid-Century Modern is a very popular style right now.  Lighting fixtures from that time feature clean, minimalist lines, organic shapes, and innovative materials such as molded plastic and fiberglass. Sputnik chandeliers, cone-shaped pendant lights, and floor lamps with sculptural bases are iconic of this era.

Adding period lighting into your home can enhance the historic style of your home.  Consider the overall style and theme of your space, as well as the function and ambiance you want to create. It can be fun to hunt for period lighting pieces, but if your home was built prior to electricity, you can find wired reproductions of many period lighting fixtures as well.  We recommend taking a look at Build with Ferguson, which has an extensive collection of lighting from a wide range of time periods.  If you are interested in lighting styles, read here for more information about The Historical Evolution of Lighting.

Have fun making your period house your own!

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