Vintage and Retro Lighting
Bringing a Touch of Nostalgia to Your Interior Design

In recent years, vintage and retro lighting has seen a surge in popularity among our design clients. From mid-century modern table lamps to industrial-style pendant lights, vintage and retro lighting fixtures have become a popular way to add character and charm to your space.

But what exactly is vintage and retro lighting, and what is driving this trend? In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at vintage and retro lighting, explore its enduring appeal and showcase some of our favorite high end vintage lighting.

Hollywood Regency Style Living Room
Hammerton Studio Blossom Pendant Light: Handmade to order

What is Vintage and Retro Lighting?

Vintage lighting loosely refers to fixtures that were produced in the past, most commonly between the 1920s and the 1970s. Retro lighting, refers to fixtures that are designed to look vintage but are typically produced between the 1980s and present day. Vintage and retro styles, refers to fixtures that were designed with the appeal of older fixtures but made in the present day. Examples of vintage and retro lighting styles include Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, Hollywood Regency, vintage Edison bulbs, industrial and steampunk. It’s worth noting that these terms have found themselves differentiated from fashion styles of the same period.

Retro Style Dining Room
Monceau Collection Chandelier by Fine Art Lamps: Handmade to order

The Appeal of Vintage and Retro Lighting

Vintage and retro lighting has a unique aesthetic that sets it apart from more modern lighting fixtures that have become common across the world. Vintage lighting is often made from high-quality materials and features intricate detailing that is hard to find in modern fixtures. 

Retro style dining room with Otto Pendant lightRetro Style Dining Room Lighting
Hubbardton Forge Lighting Otto Linear Pendant: Handmade to order

Retro fixtures, meanwhile, offer a modern take on vintage designs, with updated finishes and materials that make them more durable and long-lasting. Both vintage and retro lighting can add character and charm to any interior space, whether it's a cozy living room or a sleek modern office.

Vintage Industrial Style Lighting in Foyer Hubbardton Forge New Town Collection: Handmade to orderVintage Industrial Style Lighting in Foyer
Hubbardton Forge New Town Collection: Handmade to order

Incorporating Vintage and Retro Lighting into Interior Design

If you're looking to incorporate vintage and retro style lighting into your interior design scheme, there are several tips to keep in mind. 

Vintage style lighting fixtures Alto CollectionRetro Dining Room
Hammerton Studio Aalto Collection Pendant Light: Handmade to order

First, consider the overall aesthetic of your space and choose fixtures that complement it. For example, if you have a mid-century modern living room, a vintage Sputnik chandelier would be a great choice. If you have an industrial-style kitchen, a retro Edison bulb pendant light would be a perfect fit. 

Visual Comfort Sputnik Chandelier
Christ & Associates and mid-century modern– inspired elements, decor, and lighting accents carefully selected by Cindy Meador Interiors. Photo by Chris Luker.

Second, don't be afraid to mix and match vintage and retro fixtures with more modern pieces. This can create a unique and eclectic look that is both stylish and functional. 

Finally, consider the placement of your fixtures and how they will affect the overall lighting scheme of your space. Vintage and retro fixtures can be used as statement pieces or as accent lighting to highlight specific areas of a room.

Vintage Lighting and Retro Brands

There are several high-end vintage and retro lighting brands that are popular among collectors and enthusiasts. Here are some of the most notable ones:

  1. Arteluce: Founded by Italian designer Gino Sarfatti in 1939, Arteluce was known for its minimalist designs and innovative use of materials. Their lamps are highly sought after by collectors and can fetch high prices at auction.
  2. Stilnovo: This Italian lighting company was founded in the 1950s and is known for its mid-century modern designs. Their iconic floor lamps and pendant lights are highly collectible and often feature bold colors and sleek lines.
  3. Louis Poulsen: This Danish lighting company was founded in 1874 and is known for its timeless designs and high-quality craftsmanship. Their most famous design is the PH lamp, which was created by Poul Henningsen in the 1920s and is still in production today.
  4. Serge Mouille: This French designer is known for his sculptural lighting designs, which often feature black metal arms and white shades. His lamps are highly sought after by collectors and are considered some of the most iconic designs of the mid-century modern era.
  5. Flos: Founded in Italy in 1962, Flos is known for its innovative designs and collaborations with top designers such as Philippe Starck and Achille Castiglioni. Their lighting designs often feature playful shapes and bright colors, making them a popular choice for modern interiors.
  6. Tom Dixon: This British designer is known for his industrial-inspired lighting designs, which often feature raw materials such as copper and brass. His lamps are highly coveted by collectors and are often featured in high-end interior design projects.
  7. Hammerton Studio Lighting: This American lighting brand creates contemporary lighting designs with an emphasis on artisan craftsmanship. Their lamps feature a range of materials, including blown glass and hand-forged metal, and often have an industrial or rustic feel that can evoke a retro vibe.
  8. Fine Art Lamps: This American lighting company creates luxurious lighting fixtures that are often inspired by traditional designs, but with a modern twist. Their lamps feature materials like crystal, hand-blown glass, and high-quality metals, and often have a timeless elegance that can complement a variety of interior styles.
  9. Hubbardton Forge Lighting: This Vermont-based lighting company creates handcrafted lighting fixtures that blend contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship. Their lamps often feature clean lines and geometric shapes, and materials like hand-forged metal & blown glass, and hand-dipped finishes.
  10. Schonbek: This lighting brand is known for its crystal chandeliers and lighting fixtures, which often have a traditional, ornate look. However, they also offer contemporary designs that blend modern materials with traditional craftsmanship, resulting in lighting fixtures that can have a retro feel.

While estate sales and antique stores can be a great place to find vintage and retro lighting, when you are looking to balance modern technology with classic style, our selection of vintage and retro inspired lighting is second to none!

 Whether you are looking for top Italian brands or want to meet the artisans who make the heirlooms of tomorrow right here in the USA, we can help you find the right light!

If you are looking to incorporate vintage or retro into your next design be sure to ask one of our lighting pros to help you find the right light! 

Vintage and Retro Lighting
Brand Lighting, Joshua Berkowitz 25 March, 2023
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