There are more models of fixtures and lamps on the market at any given time than anyone can hope to come to terms with. Fortunately, there are also effective ways of making the vast field of home lighting simpler to navigate and master. A familiarity with the design families that many particular products fit into will make it much easier to choose appropriately for any home or room.
Designs That Make Sense for Any Home and Set of Goals
As with other types of interior decorations, furnishing, and accessories, lighting fixtures and lamps can be classified in terms of well-established design movements and schools of thought. Lighting products on the market today most often fall into one of the following general categories.
Modern. Although the name suggests otherwise to some, the modern design movement is now a part of history. When it originally coalesced sometime in the middle of the twentieth century, this approach to design emphasized sleekness, subdued colors, and economy of detail. Over time, more materials were accepted into the modern stable, with metals like stainless steel and finishes such as deep ebony lacquer becoming mainstays of this still vital and popular take on design. Because modern lighting often meshes very well with existing furnishings and decorations, such fixtures make great choices for many homes.
Contemporary. While modern design still understandably has many fans, some have come to feel that it can be a bit prim or even foreboding. The contemporary design movement originated partially as a response to such criticisms, with pioneers in the field injecting warmth and whimsicality into formerly sterile spaces. Since then, contemporary design has matured by incorporating more of the perspectives that made modernism such a success in so many ways. In many cases, home lighting that aligns with this school of design will combine fairly safe, well-established patterns and materials with small, quirky touches that add character and visual interest.
Classic. Not every home needs to reflect the present day or the modern era. In some cases, choosing fixtures and lamps whose designs are inspired by the Victorian, Edwardian, or even more historically distant periods can pay off. Fortunately, there are always many products on the market that embody traditional and even classical design approaches.
Hundreds of Options to Explore
Starting from one of these points will often make it easier to focus on individual products that could suit certain situations and environments well. While design schools and traditions can be quite a bit fuzzier than might be assumed, they can also help buyers make sense of the many options available.