Your Guide to Mid-Century Modern Lighting Design

by | Dec 8, 2020 | Living Urban | 0 comments

Portland is well known for its many beautiful and traditional architectural styles.  You can easily find homes in the Victorian, craftsman, and mid-century modern styles. There are also many Portland modern homes that have the appeal of eco-friendly elements like sustainable building materials and energy-efficient features, just for example.

Regardless of the Portland neighborhoods you favor and whether you choose the character of an older home or you prefer the conveniences of newer Portland lofts, you’ll find that it’s now commonplace to mix and match architectural and interior design styles. If you want to implement mid-century modern design features, you needn’t necessarily purchase a mid-century modern home.

You can also add mid-century modern touches to an eclectic mix of interior design styles. Here are a few tips for homeowners looking to implement mid-century modern lighting in traditional homes or Portland condos.


Mid-century modern design tends to be characterized by a sleek appearance. Clean lines and simplicity are the order of the day. Don’t let these simple designs fool you, though.  Mid-century modern lighting design can be extremely visual appealing despite its simplicity.

Combinations of straight lines and geometric shapes, and exercises in contrast when it comes to lines, arcs, and shapes dominate the style. You may find tripod lamps with drum shades.  Some home may feature chandeliers of radiating spokes with conical or round lighting fixtures on the ends. This juxtaposition is a hallmark of the style and provides the visual jolt that makes mid-century modern design so attractive.


The materials you’ll find in mid-century modern lighting are not very different from what you’ll see with other types of lighting.  Expect to see a lot of metal and translucent plastic, as well as colored enamels and plastics, in some cases.


If you want a true mid-century modern appeal, you should try to stick with the color palette of the original era. This could include tans or browns on the neutral side; colors like rust, maroon, and ochre on the warm end of the spectrum; or aqua and olive drab on the cooler end. You can find examples of color palettes that are suitable online to select a shade that matches your decor.  You could also simply look for options in metal or plastic.


One thing you’re sure to notice when you start looking at traditional mid-century modern lighting is that it is often oversized or that certain elements are disproportionately large. You might see spindly lamp bases with enormous shades or large globes affixed to long, thin rods, just for example. Again, juxtaposition is one of the common features of this lighting style, so don’t be afraid to choose bold, statement pieces.

Follow this link for an updated list of the current Mid-Century Modern Homes for sale in Portland