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Using Colorful Lighting Fixtures To Brighten Up A Modern Space

By and large, modern spaces are fairly monochromatic. Glass and steel, black, white, and gray, simple lines and straightforward designs that all add up to a sleek, stylish – and very minimalist – decor. But if you ask me, as elegant as a very simple, sophisticated modern design can be, it isn’t always terribly inviting. Adding a little pop of color here and there can go a long way to cheering up a very modern room and making it look a little more friendly, and one of my favorite way to do this is with bold, colorful modern lighting fixtures.

Cressona Table Lamp From Dimond Lighting
Cressona Table Lamp From Dimond Lighting

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Pick any lighting fixture out of a lineup – be it a table lamp or a chandelier – and nine times out of ten it’s going to be made with a metal base and either a fabric or glass shade, likely in a neutral color. But while this isn’t exactly a problem that needs fixing, it does mean that any light that doesn’t fit the traditional description will stand out. Even something as simple as this vivid purple Cressona table lamp – which is pretty close to a standard lamp, excepting the color – stands out beautifully, adding a pop of vibrant color with no more effort than it takes to plug it in.

Salon S Table Lamp In Purple And Blue From Zuo Modern
Salon S Table Lamp In Purple And Blue From Zuo Modern

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More dramatic designs, like this Salon table lamp from Zuo Modern (which comes in half a dozen colors) are even more eye-catching, especially set against a relatively neutral modern decor. I like these lamps in particular because they capture the spirit of modern design so well. Made of translucent plastic from top to toe, they’ve got the use of modern materials down pat. They also mimic the silhouette of a more traditional lamp in cut-out form for a playful style that can take a little of the formality out of a modern design.

Polyresin Chandelier In Purple From PolArt
Polyresin Chandelier In Purple From PolArt

Many modern lighting fixtures use this combination of colorful parts, unique materials, and tongue-in-cheek re-imaginings of traditional and antique designs. PolArt has an entire line of urban chic decor featuring picture perfect antique designs made of neon-colored polyresin – including several ornate chandeliers. This eight bulb chandelier is modeled after old cast brass chandeliers, but comes in eleven different colors and two different finishes, including this beautiful glossy lavender. Here it’s used to compliment a purple backdrop, but some of their brighter colors – like red, pink, green, and blue can make for even more vibrant accents, especially¬† in a primarily white modern living room.

Nimbus Ceiling Lamp From Zuo Modern
Nimbus Ceiling Lamp From Zuo Modern

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On the other end of the spectrum are modern lighting fixtures that shirk tradition entirely. I wrote a bit recently about cluster pendants, and these are actually a great example. Made of several decorative bulbs (often without shades) hung from spindly, flexible cords, cluster pendants are both daring and different, and the look is only improved by opting for cords that are colorful, too. Red is one of the most common colors, but a whole rainbow of different lines are available, and any color adds an eye catching touch to these decorative fixtures.

Twisty Floor Lamp In Red From Zuo Modern
Twisty Floor Lamp In Red From Zuo Modern

Arc lamps, too, make quite a good showing in a modern space. Taller, thinner, and more shapely than a traditional floor lamp, arc lamps curve outward, placing the lighting fixture front and center in the room even if the base is pushed off into a corner. Sometimes these lights come in a fairly traditional metal finish, but often they’re done in bright, bold colors instead. Combined with the already-unique look of the lamp, this makes a great way to add a cheerful, playful little pop of color while still keeping a sleek modern vibe.

Villa 3-Light Chandelier In CHerry Glass From ELK Lighting
Villa 3-Light Chandelier In CHerry Glass From ELK Lighting

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Of course, lights don’t have to be particularly modern in design to work well in a modern space. In fact, just about any colorful fixture has a big-time wow factor in a primarily white room. This Villa pendant with its cherry colored, flower-shaped glass shades looks stunning in this white-on-white living room, while just a few throw pillows and a decorative bowl pull the color throughout the room, creating a complete and colorful decor out of a totally neutral room. The best part? These are all easily added, easily changed, and inexpensive, making it supremely easy to revise and customize your space on a whim.

These colorful lighting fixtures are inexpensive to buy, easy to set up, and add a whole lot of life and liveliness to any modern space. But what do you think of colorful lamps and other types of lights? Do you like the look of these bright pops of color?