In an effort to assist you as you search for the perfect lighting fit for your home, we have classified each fixture in a specific style. It is important to remember that style is somewhat subjective and often times, even experts disagree on the appropriate classification, especially when faced with the eclectic variety currently available. Nonetheless, we offer these explanations to help you select a piece that will match your home and your lifestyle.
The Industrial Revolution in England changed the way things were made. Hand built products were replaced with typically poor quality, mass-produced goods. Intent on returning to the joy, honesty and beauty found in the creation of handmade items for the home, William Morris, in 1861, hired a group of artists and designers and created a firm to produce textiles, wallpaper and furnishings for the home. In the late 19th century, the heavy forms used by Morris evolved into lighter, simpler shapes. This change occurred as Japanese art and design became more readily accessible. Their sparse approach was in direct conflict with the dense, heavily furnished Victorian interiors. This direction had a major influence on the design direction in America. Gustav Stickley created his famous line of “Craftsman” furniture and Frank Lloyd Wright developed his Prairie style of architecture on the foundations of this movement. Look for rectilinear shapes, thick, solid material sections and flat, stylized design elements. If wood is used, it will typically be oak.
From an academic standpoint, any new style created after 1930 is considered “contemporary.” The heavy reliance of polished metals found in the Bauhaus designs was getting old. In the 1930’s, wood was resurrected as a key element and the popularity of plastic opened up a whole new palette of options. While both contemporary and modern represent designs that have cut new paths, contemporary pieces have a link to aesthetic history from 1930 to the 1960’s. Contemporary covers the direction from that point to today. Look for the complete absence of ornamentation, clean, uncluttered lines, single tone finishes without texture and an overall light feel in the construction.
Make a statement that will turn heads with a style unlike any other with Retro lighting. Retro style items are modern yet unique and will stand the test of time. Lines and circles are common characteristics of this theme, and each is a work of art. Browse through these lamps and fixtures and you might find something you didn't think you'd like until you saw it for the first time. Retro light fixtures add a touch of fine design with modern creativity. The Retro lighting styles and themes are sure to add uniqueness and variety to your home or office.
After the excesses of the Baroque and Rococo era and prior to the Industrial Revolution, artists were ready to revisit the classic antiquity of Greek and Roman buildings. From 1750 to the early 19th century, Neoclassicism was the predominant style of the day. The look is highly decorative in a refined manner. Gone were the superfluous accents and excessive design elements. The scale was smaller and the feel was restrained. Look for elegance, gentle curves, and straight lines all wrapped in restrained ornamentation with simple finishing.
Transitional is a rather new term used to define a style that takes Traditional looks and softens them. Here again, the interior environment is meant to convey comfort. Transitional aesthetics run closer to classic traditional features, but forego the fussiness found in that classic styling. The intent is to create a warmer, more inviting room setting. Look for bronze or earth tone finishes, warm glass accents or diffusers and traditional lines without heavy ornamentation.
Modernism was a rejection of the ornate flourishes of other design styles, such as Gothic, Renaissance and Victorian styles of design. Some themes associated with Modern design include:
Clean, straight lines
Stainless steel, chrome and other metals
Lack of clutter (accessories, etc.)
Primary colors (bold colors used for accents with white, black or neutral colors used for furniture and other large pieces)
These are the basic themes of modern design, although the actual application can vary greatly. Modern design encompasses both the bright and bold designs of a store like Ikea and ultra minimalist furniture at the same time. On one end of the spectrum, the spirit behind modern design is to reject the notion of designing for mass appeal in favor of starker and more minimalist designs, while on the other end of the spectrum you will find designs inspired by the bold colors used in abstract art.