Every year in January the residential lighting industry converges in Dallas for the Lightovation Lighting Market. It’s not just an opportunity to network and plan- it’s also the best place to see emerging design trends and how they’re being adopted by mass-market manufacturers. Why is this important? Because it means that the amazing new trends only available to a select few will now be available to you.
This year, three clear themes emerged across the hundreds of lines we toured: Large Scale, Natural Materials, and the 80’s.
We’re used to seeing families of fixtures; similar designs extended across varying sizes and applications. What was remarkable this year was the amount of large and extra-large variations we saw. And while most folks would assume we’re talking about chandeliers and pendants, we even saw grand versions of wall sconces that, in some cases, spanned heights of six feet.
Newer homes often have large, open spaces for gathering and entertaining, and homeowners have always struggled with how to make them feel well-designed. Being timid and going too small with fixtures and furniture will only make things feel more cavernous and uninviting. Designers know that’s where big can be brilliant.
Rather than commissioning a custom fixture or filling a space with lots of smaller models, we can now simply add one or two of these boldly-sized options to immediately fill a space with design-forward character, spatial definition, and proper scale. Even smaller spaces can benefit from scale; hanging a large fixture slightly lower can immediately make a room feel more intimate and lower ceilings feel higher.
The renewed interest in integrating raw, natural materials emerged during and following the pandemic. We all wanted to feel a connection to nature and a sense of comfort and health while confined at home. So while this might not feel like a new trend, it certainly was one that was showing up through nearly every line in unexpected ways.
While we’re all used to seeing wicker and sisal which, let’s face it, was essentially using a basket as a light shade, we hadn’t seen wrapping metal arms in these materials, the abundant use of terracotta and leather, and the introduction of harder materials like concrete, lava, marble, and terrazzo. These organic textures and colors add more than interest and depth to the design of the space- due to the natural variations in materials, they also make each mass-produced fixture one-of-a-kind.
To get the biggest impact from this trend, look to integrate these natural elements into spaces that could either use warmth and texture, like dining rooms and kitchens, or in spaces where you can get up close to touch and feel the organic material, like powder rooms and bedrooms.
Bold colors, strong geometrics, and even polished brass have made a comeback. And while the resurgence of old trends can feel like something that’ll be short-lived, we were seeing that the best of that decade was returning. That means that these strong, simple forms are destined to be modern classics, not something that you’ll regret in a few years.
Look for conical shapes, generous bowls, minimal ornamentation, and spheres as defining silhouettes. While 80’s pastels and bright colors are now more readily available, we generally steer our clients towards more neutral finishes since, let’s face it, changing out light fixtures is far more expensive and complex than swapping out throw pillows and accessories once the trend fades out.