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Trends Study: Lamps (aka Portables)

Trends Study: Lamps (aka Portables)

If this article were called “trends in portables,” you surely wouldn’t read it.

What does that even mean?! Portable…what? Portable bicycles? Portable cooktops? Portable potties?…

The term “portable” in the world of interior design refers to lamps that you can pick up and place elsewhere…generally, those that sit on a table, desk or shelf.

And YES, there are trends that impact portable lamps, too!! Interior design has flourished with some of the biggest aesthetic shifts in the last five years that we’ve seen in a LONG time…colors are saturating spaces and beautiful new palettes have been born. A little glam is thrown in for fun, and maximalism has become an art unlike ever before.

Take a look at some of these portables at market the last two years (written about here, here, and here) and continue below to discover how these trends break down…

Size and Shape

Let’s start on the tame end of the trends…

Elegance and timelessness are seen in the photo above. You see this classic design…there are still lots of these in the market! But what do you notice in the photo that’s different? How about the little cone lamp to the left? How about the HEIGHT of the portable in the center?! It’s like how, in a cartoon, someone tall is characterized next to someone short…today’s portables stretch the imagination and do NOT hold back when creating a wide spectrum of sizes, shapes, and dimensions.


Light as a Color

Now THIS portable above offers us an interesting play of shapes!! “Go bold or go home,” it says…the black and gold create a dramatic palette on their own, but then the light switches on and the white interior of the shade becomes part of the palette, too, brightening it and ensuring the portable’s timelessness.

The light also skates across the top bulb of the base to make for an interesting feel and added depth perception. Light is part of the experience in many portables today.


Bizarre Shapes

Surely you’ve never seen a lamp like this one above! Exaggerated shapes are part of the overall texture trends…this is one of the top five trends defining interior design today.

This portable, though, takes it to the next level. It’s just BEGGING to get comments!!


Metallic Finishes

This portable above has an industrial look, but with a slightly different vibe. What could it be?…

Part of the appeal of a design like this is its total metallic finish. It’s not just the base and the handle, it’s the shade. The WHOLE selection has a beautiful bronze look that is NOT what we expect!!

The light bounces off this portable in a unique way, too. Incorporate some metallic finish pieces into your environment and see for yourself!!


Looks You Don’t Expect

Along with unusual shapes and textures on portable lamps, you’ll see designs that take shapes you NEVER would have imagined.

The white lamp on the shelf behind me looks almost like a model building from Ancient China! Who knew it could look so interesting in a lamp?…


Textures That Feel Right

You’ll ALSO see interesting textures that you long to touch. These aren’t just textures that beg to come up in conversation, like those gold bulbs on the lamps above…these are textures that are highly tactile. You pick up either of these portables above and they feel good in your hand. The texture is one that adds character and a tangible experience.


Mix and Match-able

As part of the overall maximalist trend in interiors today, whole sets of portables play off one another’s colors, sizes, and finishes. 

Each portable in the same environment can be unique. They can complement one another and add a more detailed-rich look to the space.


What trends do YOU see? What trends do you want to learn more about?! Join our private design community for more…and keep reading to discover the trends in hanging lighting and main lighting for homes!!

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