Modern Trends in Lighting

By Kate Riley July 14, 2011

Many of you know Michelle of Ten June is a monthly contributor here, and today she’s back talking about a subject that I adore, trends in modern lighting.  I am such a fan of so many of the modern fixtures we’re seeing today, some of them throwbacks that are definitely channeling a retro vibe, others showcasing natural textures in new ways, and better still, new designs in fabulous shapes that become a focal point in a space. 

Please welcome back Michelle and her fantastic insight on modern trends in lighting:

“Truly well designed rooms are always always accentuated with good lighting.  The lighting in any space holds the power to illuminate and define all of the other elements in the room, as well as set the proper mood.

While lighting is important, it doesn’t have to be taken so seriously that the fixtures are simply functional and therefore boring.  A modern trend in home decor is incorporating the use of fun, make-a-statement fixtures that bring a punch of style, whimsy, or even humor to a room.  Whether you are searching for a table lamp, a floor lamp, or a chandelier, different styles of modern lighting are that last final detail not to be forgotten, and today, our choices in fabulous fixtures are endless!

One of my favorite trends in modern lighting is the vintage, industrial chic look. Modeled from factory furnishings and rusty, exposed materials, industrial lighting reflects a bare, repurposed and utilitarian design.  Oh, and perhaps you’ve noticed, industrial lighting is all the rage!

modern lighting 3

industrial task lamps, Pottery Barn; vintage inspired industrial pendant, Thomas O’Brien; bare bulb pendant, West Elm; exposed wire table lamp, West Elm; studio floor light, Restoration Hardware


Another fun modern lighting trend is the mid-century style fixture.  Marked by a space-age feel, geometric shapes and increasingly taller shades, these lamps are fun flashbacks of a bygone era. 

modern lighting 4

orange hourglass pendant, Crate & Barrel; round table lamp, Crate & Barrel; funky turquoise fixture, Z Gallerie; gold table lamp, Crate & Barrel


Similar to the industrial trend is another major style in modern lighting: all things rustic or natural.  These fixtures are characterized by textured or smooth materials and shapes, most often pulled straight from outdoor surroundings.  Rustic lighting is most often featured in traditional, relaxed home design.  Including one of these styles in your space is one more way of adding interesting layers and welcome textures. 

modern lighting 2

twine sphere pendant, West Elm; wire pendants, ABC Carpet & Home; glass jar pendants, West Elm; natural rope chandelier, Pottery Barn; sea urchin light, Crate & Barrel; honeycomb table lamp, West Elm


If you want to add a punch of modern style to a room, do it with lighting that has contemporary, structural elements. The trend here typically reflects funky shapes or reinvented patterns that cast a dramatic shadow around a room – as if each fixture was a work of art itself.  These are the types of light fixtures that make a large statement and are often accused of stealing the show. 

modern light fixtures

chevron pendant, Shades of Light; maskros pendant, Ikea; seaweed chandelier, West Elm; capiz chandelier, West Elm;  knappa pendant, Ikea

No matter what style or shape you choose, modern lighting makes a statement any room. 

What are your favorite styles of modern lighting? 

Spy any favorites here? 


Thank you Michelle, those are some amazing picks, sure to inspire anyone on the hunt for a new modern fixture in their home.  Be sure to pay a visit to Michelle at her blog Ten June!

michelle bio


More Articles by Michelle:

Q & A with Emily Henderson

Alfresco Entertaining

Modern Coastal Style





  1. Great post Michelle! Loving the mid-century style lately! That gold table lamp from Crate and Barrel is so gorgeous!

  2. My favorite is the schoolhouse lighting style. Anything by Schoolhouse Electric is right up my alley…too bad I can’t afford it. If you know of any great knock offs let me know!

  3. I’m partial to the drum shades, and their square and rectangular equivalents, in a traditional decor. But in a living space where the living room, family room, kitchen, and dining room are open or visible to each other, can you have too many?

  4. My favorite is still the last group. Love them all! Great timing for me with this post – I am currently trying to choose a light fixture for the guest bedroom we just remodeled. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I own 2 of those lamps! Clearly I have a lamp fixation. I have the Gold 3 legged lamp from Crate and Barrel (I bought it 3 years ago and still LOVE it) and the Ikea Artichoke lamp copy. Still love it too. If I were to buy yet another light fixture it’d be the O’Brien industrial pendant lamp. Beautifulllllll. Thanks Michelle.

  6. I am totally on this lighting train – choo choo!! All of these lights are fabulous. I just bought an architect’s floor lamp from Ikea. So amazing how it can just make a room. Great round up!

  7. Is West Elm a sponsor of yours? I see a bunch of West Elm things. While I like West Elm, I also think it’s more creative to feature a more diverse range of sources.

  8. Hey Sally, nope West Elm is not a sponser, we just like their original modern style!

    Carrie, I love the schoolhouse look too, great addition!

  9. The orange hourglass pendant is to.die.for – I want a dress that looks like that. Had to pin this to my pinterest account. The aqua lamp is going to keep me awake tonight, for sure. Must have it.

  10. My favorite thing about lighting trends is that they’re ALL OVER the place. I love that whether I’m into mid-century modern, early 20th Century, or rustic DIY, it’s anything goes. My kind of “trend”. ;o)

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