When looking for accessories like home lamps, selecting the style of lamp is one of the first choices one needs to make. The most basic categories of styles include Modern, Traditional, Contemporary, and Transitional. Related to these styles are a myriad of other more specific styles such as Modern 60’s Retro, Traditional Georgian, and Contemporary Coastal to mention only a few. Below is a brief overview of these basic styles.
Modern lamps usually have clean lines and little or very subtle adornment – a case where “less is more.” A modern lamp may use materials in a new way or use materials not typically associated with lamps. You may see a new industrial materials or finishes show up in a modern design. They may present a new way of thinking about what home lamps should look like and function. Modern lamps push the design envelope – and one may experience the “shock of the new”.
Traditional lamps are reproductions or reinterpretations of lamps that express a strong historical perspective from the pre-industrial designs of Europe or Asia usually. These lamps often provide elaborate ornamentation that require highly skilled artisans and craftsmen. For example, the lamp may have a beautiful, intricate gold filigree design or the lampshade may have a bell shape with a double edged scallop design – and maybe some tassels or fringe.
Contemporary lamps are a combination of the traditional and modern design aesthetic. The contemporary lamp favors the clean lines and minimal ornamentation of the modern lamps, but it utilises materials and methods that are more familiar. The contemporary lamp does not try to make a statement about cutting-edge technology or design the way that a modern one does.
Transitional lamps are a cross between traditional and a contemporary lamps. For example, something about a particular lamp reminds you of a Louis XIV style – but it definitely does not have all the qualities required to be a Louis XIV. It may have the shape of a Louis XIV or some other classical style – but the ornamentation and embellishment are not there. A transitional lamp may be inspired by a traditional lamp, but the design and detailing has been simplified. However, if it highly abstracted or pushed to the extreme – it is likely a Modern lamp design!
And finally, when decided which lamp style to choose, it is not always necessary that the home lamps match the exact style of the other furniture and accessories. But, then again, if you wish to make a strong statement about a particular style – keep it consistent.