5 Design Tips for Choosing the Right Contemporary Lighting

by | Mar 25, 2016 | Living Urban | 0 comments

Some people like the soft glow of antique Tiffany lamp shades. Others are content to suffer the glare of fluorescent lights or the wash of a single, overhead dome. Either way, lighting is an integral part of home decor and it can change the look and feel of every room.

In other words, it’s just as important as the paint, flooring, and furniture used to decorate modern homes. If you’re interested in choosing contemporary lighting options that will perfectly pair with Portland modern homes, here are a few things to consider.

1. Overhead Lighting

It’s easy to confuse “modern” and “contemporary” design styles because the definitions of the words themselves is similar. But if contemporary lighting is what you want, there is a difference.

While contemporary styles tend to feature the same clean lines and simple architecture of modernism, the major difference is that contemporary pieces tend to use unexpected materials and add some level of visual interest, often through texture. Think about this when looking at overhead lighting fixtures.

Consider, for example, the drum lights that have become popular over the last several years. If you wanted a modern look, you’d probably choose a simple, white shade. To make it contemporary, you’d go for a colored and/or textured shade and you might add some detail to the ceiling above the light, such as a pressed tin disk or custom molding.

2. Accent Lamps

It’s funny how everything old becomes new again. The latest craze in contemporary accent lamps involves turning old objects like projection reels and toasters into lamps and putting attractive Edison bulbs inside.

If this isn’t to your taste, there are a lot of other contemporary lamp styles to consider. Remember, contemporary encompasses anything new, although it does tend to favor simple design styles. This can help you to search for lighting that suits the design style of Portland lofts, as well as your personal preferences.

3. Ambient Light

One contemporary trend that many are embracing is the use of ambient light. If you’re not keen on torch lights or sconces that bounce light off the ceiling, consider wall installations that are backlit.

4. Upgrading Antiques

Maybe you love the look of chandeliers but you just don’t think this antique style fits the aesthetic of modern Portland neighborhoods. No problem. Scout yard sales for a DIY project.

A chandelier that’s in good condition can be updated with new paint, new glass or beads, and new bulbs to turn it into a contemporary addition to any room in your home.

5. Eco-friendly Options

No matter what lighting fixtures you choose, the best way to make your lighting contemporary is to utilize energy-saving bulbs. The good news is that CFLs are now made to mimic the look of traditional, incandescent bulbs.

This means you can enjoy the soft, golden lighting that makes your home feel warm and welcoming, even as you cut down on energy use and expense.