Modern Lighting Ideas

You’ve been lulled into thinking lighting is supposed to make everything else look good—but what about the lighting itself? It’s time to let it shine for a change!

Don’t rely on predictable lighting fixtures for your home when there is so many different and totally original options available. Break away from the old mindset of staid recessed cans, lackluster table lamps and dated track lighting.

The right lighting fixtures can literally transform a room. You still need light in your spaces to perform tasks and set a mood, but take things from functional to fabulous by selecting original fixtures that complement your décor or that become the décor; the focal point of a room. Even home improvement stores are stocking edgy and trendy lighting fixtures, so you have no excuse.

Go through your house and see which fixtures stay and go. Take inventory of ceiling fans with light kits, flush mounted fixtures, bathroom light bars, bedside sconces and desk lamps. Be ruthless and replace them with amazing light fixtures that are works of art. Your lighting should command attention and complete your spaces. Look through our incredible collection of original lighting for bright ideas and inspiration!

Use unique pendant lighting as a signature look for your kitchen. Shapely blown glass fixtures are elegant and versatile enough to go with almost any style. Hung low above the breakfast bar, these organic pendants contrast beautifully with the warm tones in the space.

If you don’t have room on your bedside tables for decent size lamps and you aren’t crazy about wall sconces, why not use pendants as bedside lighting? These mini drum pendants are suspended from metal pipe so they won’t sway in the breeze. They give off plenty of light for reading and computer work—plus they look ultra chic!

A chandelier floor lamp combines the best of two worlds. This fancy floor chandelier paired with modern furnishings reminds us of a Deco Paris apartment in the height of the fabulously stylish 1920s. The fixture’s combination of beauty and practicality is the perfect contrast to the sleek lines of the furniture.

These LED pendant lights give an extra punch to the kitchen island. The lights are recessed in a wooden frame that matches the island base and cabinetry in the room. The custom fixture is an original design element that makes the island a great place for friends and family to gather.

This tripod floor lamp takes this living room from staid to stunning with its fun design and dramatic lighting effect. The styling is reminiscent of vintage movie studio lights aiming filtered light right where you need it. We’re ready for our close-up, Mr. DeMille!

Here, a beautiful octet of lights hangs above the center island providing ample illumination for homework, food prep or a quick snack. The fixture is the perfect fit for the kitchen’s cottage contemporary feel. The downlights are set in warm bronze frame and highlighted by thick glass votives that add a special sparkle.

This elegant pendant features a bright nickel-plated drum shade that glistens in the late afternoon sun. To protect guests’ eyes from glare, the fixture is fitted with a sheer diffuser that also provides soft, even lighting.

If you lean toward more traditional design, check out thrift stores for lamps that can be repurposed or upcycled into original lighting designs. This castaway was a hideous brown color and was in desperate need of a new shade and lamp harp. With a can of red paint, new parts and a crisp linen shade, this restyled cinnabar lamp is a stylish addition to foyer.

This super sized flush-mounted LED pendant was originally designed for commercial spaces like a building lobby or conference room, but works quite nicely in this modern master bedroom. The fixture is installed on a dimmer to adjust the amount light to suit the mood.

In a traditional or contemporary bathroom, these original mini pendants would look fabulous hanging in clusters over the vanity. Encased in ice-like cubes of Lucite, tiny halogen bulbs give off tons of light, sparkle and personality.

These traditional globe pendants light up the kitchen island with clear glass and shiny metal accents. They’re perfectly acceptable installed singly, but are real showstoppers when hung in triplicate!

This woven wicker shade is in perfect contrast with the room’s sleek lines and mid-century aesthetic. It blends well with the dark slate flooring and the rustic wood grain on the slatted wall paneling.

This is a bright style idea that’s been around for decades. The arching floor lamp is an icon of the 1960s and is still going strong in this ultra-hip, millennial living room. The chrome frame and milk glass shade illuminates seating from above, much like an overhead fixture without the hassle and it also takes up precious little floor space!

Local art galleries and juried shows are a great place to look for one-of-a-kind lighting creations by artists and crafters. These sources full of unique styles ranging from formally fancy to organically original like this balanced stone bedside table lamp.

This pendant brings a futuristic design element into a modern kitchen. The look is simple yet uber chic and the chrome finish is a great complement to the white cabinetry and nickel hardware. The interiors of the dome pendants are coated in a gold finish giving the fixtures a warm, nighttime glow.

In this bathroom, two types of pendant lights work together: Ball-like glass pendants hang above the vanity, while a bowl-shape glass pendant mimics the tub and illuminates bathing space. The neutral color of the glass shades keeps the look clean and contemporary.

This amazing pendant has a distinctly modern, organic appeal. The diffused light passes through sheer fabric stretched over a circular armature—the resulting shape resembles a billowy cloud. Silver lamps with black satin shades provide bedside lighting.

This reading nook is unified by repetition of shape. The original spiral orb pendant echoes the shape of the red mushroom chair and the spheres of the brightly colored geometric area rug. The white waves of the pendant create a delightful lighting effect. It is a great choice for this modern library space.

Dual recessed fixtures are strategically installed along the underside of cross beams in this gentleman’s bath to light up the vanity area. The same fixtures are also mounted on the top surface of the beams to provide subtle uplighting.

The formal seating area is the picture of perfection thanks to the symmetrical placement of stylish wall sconces around the room. The traditional rubbed bronze finish paired with frosted white glass shades is in perfect sync with the furnishings and color scheme of the living space.

This uniquely tapered drum pendant combines the bling of faceted crystal with a sheer fabric shade for a luxurious look. The deep eggplant color coordinates with the leather bed and grid wall treatment. Hung toward the foot of the bed, the fixture provides enough illumination for the adjacent seating area and allows coordinating sconces to serve as bedside lighting.

Dreamy blue-gray ceramic trumpet pendants reflect the overall color scheme in this uptown loft dining space. The row of five perfectly spaced fixtures provides plenty of light for dining and conversation.

Contemporary to the very last detail, this minimal bedroom features some of the most original lighting we’ve seen lately. A cluster of white mini pendants emanates from a central fixture and each cord is then clipped onto ceiling hooks to create the random appearance. The retro industrial floor lamp completes the eclectic lighting design.

The boudoir is decked out in antique Provencal furniture in painted white. The gorgeous hand carved bed and mirrored armoire are timeless furniture pieces deserving of a period chandelier. This heirloom fixture was picked up for a song at Clignancourt and carefully transported home. The blue glass and crystals create an unforgettable focal point in the room.

This sixteen light, oversized chandelier hangs in the two-story foyer of a country estate. The interior design is decidedly Mediterranean as is the rubbed bronze, three-tiered fixture. It provides a grand welcome and coordinates beautifully with the woodwork, flooring and gold stucco treatment.

Unique pendants hang in the eclectic kitchen of this Miami home located in the city’s hipster MiMo district. The fixture is an original by the owner who is also a local artist. The vintage cage pendants add an industrial feel to the modern retro vibe. They style is a new take on factory and workshop lighting and delivers the perfect look for this kitchen space.

Strung together like beads on a necklace, these stacked chrome spheres add a touch of elegance to this already glamorous bedroom. The reflective bedside lamp looks flawless topped with a silk box shade.

Sometimes original lighting originates from fixtures you can’t see. Cove lighting is indirect lighting that is recessed or hidden by ledges, tray ceilings or dropped panels. It emphasizes architectural shapes and lines and is usually created with LED tube or rope lights. It is typically used for accent or mood lighting in a room.

There’s nothing more original and unique than lighting created by you. These Edison bulb pendants look trendy and are super cheap and easy to make. Purchase a super long cord kit. Screw the bulb into the socket, swag the cord over a ceiling hook, plug it in and voila!

This lovely white spider chandelier has a very mid-century feel that looks stunning with this retro-inspired dining table and chairs. Although it is a reproduction piece, it has that vintage 1950s vibe and is a nice departure from ubiquitous Sputnik fixtures.

Here’s a pendant fixture with pure glitz and a graceful modern form. The spherical wire frame in encrusted all around with glittering Swarovski crystal. The nickel finish and four xenon bulbs add to the wonderfully prismatic effect.

Sourced in a market in Indonesia, these precious reed and metal pendants hang in a Balinese restaurant in LA. Originally wind chimes, they were wired together in groups of three to create mini chandeliers and connected to a single mounting plate. Low wattage candle bulbs give off a soft, romantic flicker.

This beautiful pendant lights up a contemporary living space. The design resembles a delicate dandelion puffball, giving it a light and airy look. The bulbs are capped in silver to cut the glare and create extra sparkle and shine.

The cool reflection from the pair of oversized tubular hanging lamps complement the simple parsons table and mid-century inspired dining chairs. The chrome surface adds a nice contrast to all the white and natural wood in the room.

This floor version of a vintage articulating desk lamp casts ample illumination on this corner seating area. The classic silhouette is replicated with a wood base and industrial silver shade. The spring joint mechanism allows you to adjust the lighting angle as needed.

This open dining space boasts a variety of finishes and textures, right up to the amazing lighting suspended above the table. The huge, spherical pendant sparkles with its tangle of metallic wire strands creating a web-like appearance. The multi-light fixture provides soft light for an intimate evening dining party.

If you’ve chosen contemporary style for your home, select lighting with interesting geometric shapes to complement the simple lines of the furniture. This trio of bentwood pendant fixtures features a simple orb shape inspired by ancient astronomy armillary spheres.

Totally original and perfectly suited for this modern kitchen, these oversized raindrop pendants pack visual punch in this simple, white space. The curvaceous pendants are the antidote to the clean lines and angular design of the island and surrounding cabinetry.

This spunky little table lamp is a real architectural element in this coastal bedroom. The wooden tripod base is inspired by a surveyor’s three-legged stand. The natural linen drum shade maintains a casual look that is just right for the space.

Pendant lights have become a natural extension of kitchen islands. In this case, they provide functional task lighting, but also enhance the sleek and modern look of the space. These narrow, slightly tapered tubes were custom creations for the kitchen designed to provide targeted spots of light along the work surface.

Mixing different types of lighting fixtures in one space creates a curated look that’s fitting for this eclectic kitchen. The furnishings in the room look like they were collected over time, including the funky task light pendants and retro track lighting.

Cozy hardwood finishes are the standout in this transitional living space—including the lighting. The pair of orbital bentwood light fixtures provides task and ambient light as well as reinforces the warm wood tones of the room design. One is pendant style and the other is a versatile floor lamp.

When we say this is an original lighting idea, we mean it! This bedside sconce lighting is created from shop light fixtures, wire and electrical conduit. The exposed conduit runs around the perimeter of the headboard and is mounted directly to the brick wall with aluminum pipe clamps. How cool is that?


Stefanie is the owner of Interior Charm . A self-proclaimed interior design junkie, she is all about helping people make their homes beautiful