Design Trends, Ideas + Inspiration

Opposites Attract: Contemporary Lighting in Period Spaces

Large size, bright colors, unusual materials; all of these things are used by lighting makers to help their designs pop in a room. But sometimes, what really makes a lighting fixture stand out is its contrast to its surroundings.

It needs to be chosen wisely to make the most of that contrast. Take the case of contemporary lighting fixtures in traditional settings. While perhaps not expected, such fixtures should still complement surrounding architecture and decor; they shouldn’t overwhelm or distract entirely.

Check out the following inspirations for making a traditional setting more attractive with the unexpected addition of contemporary lighting:

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A modern light fixture with a cluster of bulbs creates a beautiful contrast to the period details in the crown molding of this bedroom. Choosing a modern fixture like this brings this space to the present while still keeping its original character intact.

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Beat Light pendants from Tom Dixon at varying heights like this can enhance a traditional living space. I love how the black and gold finishes on the pendants match with the brass frames on the wall art, along with the coffee tables, rug and pillows.

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A simple but modern chandelier with clean lines is well-matched to the woodwork details in the staircase of this foyer. The candle-like bulbs inside the contemporary frame give a nod to the updated Victorian vibe, while still allowing the space to feel current.

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An eclectic space with a lot of personality can make use of a modern light like this clean, white, dynamic set of globes. The varying sizes and heights go well with the varying colors, patterns and textures in the room, while also adding a nice contrast of simplicity.

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Even a traditional closet can be transformed with contemporary lighting for a dramatic effect. The patterns and colors of the hanging clothing, zebra-pattern rug and wood detailing throughout the small space contribute to the “pop” this modern chandelier delivers.

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A time-honored living room with Parisian style can become exciting and instantly impress with a large, modern light fixture centered in the space, like this branching burst. The sleek and sculptural elements of this fixture really contrast nicely with the worn and rustic details of the space, while the smoky gray glass complements the same tone of the walls.

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Combined with the exposed wood beams and archway, the snakeskin-inspired upholstered dining chairs, and the bold, colorful artwork on the walls, the Agnes Chandelier from Roll & Hill contributes to a unique interior space.

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Incorporating a modern floor lamp into period spaces is another great option for achieving dramatic contrast. The beautiful molding details on the walls and door frames of this room become more noticeable, in a good way, by the clean lines of the oversized contemporary floor lamp. A perfect harmony of old and new.

With traditional or period spaces, the space itself benefits from the presence of an unusual pendant or chandelier, just as the fixture benefits from any ornate woodwork that surrounds it. The relationship is mutually beneficial…and mutually intriguing.

Whitney Todor

Whitney Todor

Whitney is the senior web designer at YLiving. As a mom with an energetic toddler and large, playful dog; she is all about simple, well-designed furniture and storage solutions that make life easier.

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