5 iconic mid-century lighting designs that will never go out of fashion

In today’s light market, there are countless lighting designs to decorate your home. Some drift in and out of fashion, while some get fresh updates and only get better with age. If you’re looking for timeless, staple lighting pieces for your home that have stood the test of time while remaining beautiful, we have the perfect list for you.

Discover the top 5 iconic mid-century lighting designs that will never go out of fashion. These famous lighting designs have inspired countless lighting designers over the years and have earned their place in history as lighting pieces that always look good in any home. Impress your friends with these stunning lighting pieces, or complete your interior design vision with an iconic pendant light or lamp.

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The Arco floor lamp

The Arco floor lamp is one of the most famous and copied lamps. It is as stylish now as it was innovative in the 1960s. The Arco lamp was designed in 1962 by Achille Castiglioni with his brother Pier Giacomo for the Italian lighting company FLOS.

Achille Castiglioni was one of the most important Italian designers and architects in the 20th century, and the Arco lamp is one of its most significant lighting designs in history. Today it is part of the permanent collection in the Triennale museum in Milan and the MoMA in New York.

The Arco lamp was born from The Ready Made Project, where they wanted to play with decontextualising objects, updating or revisiting furnishings by playing with irony. The Arco lamp answers the question, “why should a traditional pendant chandelier remain fixed to the ceiling while the dining table can move, thus limiting the furniture arrangement options?” 

Thus the first arch-shaped lamp in history was designed. There had to be a steel arch to keep space around the dining table, and for the counterweight, Castiglioni used marble as it was cheap but had a refined finish.

The Arco lamp has stood the test of time and is a timeless piece in a living room, bedroom or dining room to replace a traditional pendant light. It has inspired countless designs, all of which are beautiful, creating an intriguing talking point. 
To have this stunning lighting piece in your home without the designer price tag, we recommend looking at our inspired pieces here at Moonlight Design by Searchlight Lighting, Endon Lighting and Utopia Lighting.

The Sputnik chandelier

Gino Sarfatti, a towering figure in the mid-century-modern Italian lighting field, was the original mind behind the Sputnik chandelier, although he referred to it as Number 2003 in 1939. In fact, Sarfatti got his inspiration from fireworks, not Sputnik, as the Soviet Union’s satellite did not lunch until 1957. However, this modern design became synonymous with the space-age fashion of the 50s and 60s. 

Since then, many lighting design companies have mimicked the design, earning its place in the hall of light history fame. 
The Sputnik chandelier gives practical lighting, pointing beams of light into space from all angles while remaining stylish and exquisitely beautiful. These chandeliers look fantastic over a dining table or in a living room. With more modern versions, you can play with size, still getting the radial, multi-dimensional effect in various room sizes. You can’t go wrong with this mid-century design, which still looks modern today. It won’t go out of style any time soon. Shop the look at Moonlight design by Utopia Lighting, Quoizel, Endon Lighting and Searchlight Lighting.

The Task lamp

The original desk/ task lamp dates back 100 years to the British engineer George Carwardine. Carwardine was originally a car suspension designer but decided to leave his job and pursue an idea he had had for some years. He wanted to create a mechanical system that had permanent tension. In 1931, the first application of this mechanism went into a table lamp with a heavy base and articulated mechanic arm supported by four springs. The lamp mechanism helps you move the bulb up and down, left and right. He coined the term Anglepoise for the new lamp. 

At first, people used it in industrial settings and the military. People also installed it on trains and warplanes. A domestic version was brought to the market in 1935 with the name Anglepoise Original 1227, which had three springs instead of four and was more refined. 
The Anglepoise is considered the first modern desk lamp. It’s so iconic that it features as the Pixar logo lamp. Whatever your home interior decor style, you can’t go wrong with this desk lamp design. The timeless design has had many refreshes during its history, but the essential look remains the same. Discover the many options for the humble task lamp at Moonlight Design by Searchlight Lighting and Endon Lighting.

The Atollo lamp

Designed in 1977 by Vico Magistretti, the Atollo lamp has become the archetypal table lamp, revolutionising how we imagine the classic bedside lamp. The iconic design consists of a cylinder stand with a cone and a domed hemisphere as the shade. The geometric shape and form are surprisingly simple, yet the contemporary composition has endured as a timeless silhouette. As a result, the Atollo lamp is one of the more revolutionary lighting designs in history, disconnecting itself from its historical period and fashions of the moment and installing itself as an essential Italian icon. 

The lamp represents Magistretti’s functional yet elegant aesthetic and taste. The Atollo lamp is a concept design created with function in mind. It is the opposite of a “traditional decorative lamp” covered in patterns and embellishments associated with the previous century. Magistretti loved geometric shapes and aimed to create simple objects with the latest technology that could be mass-produced. He used innovative materials like aluminium as opposed to traditional ones like wood to bring Italian design to the world and the masses. 

Although the main aim of these mid-century designs was function and necessity, they never stopped being stylish. The domed hemisphere almost looks like it’s floating. The painted aluminium ensures the external structure stays in the shade. Meanwhile, the light hits the base and the cylinder.
If you are a design enthusiast, you can still own this lamp as it has become a classic collector’s piece. You can find it in various colours, and it features well in any room. It is an undying classic of the modern era. Discover Atollo-inspired table lamp designs here at Moonlight Design by Utopia Lighting, Humble and Endon Lighting.

The Bubble Saucer lamp

In 1947, the American designer George Nelson became obsessed with a Swedish spherical white lamp made out of stretched silk. However, it was too expensive to buy and difficult to reproduce, so he decided to design his own.

After being inspired by learning how sailing ships were sprayed with resinous lacquer for protection during storage, Nelson created his prototype. The original design consisted of a spherical metal cage that held its shape under tension, which required minimal tools and no welding. Over the top was a thin layer of plastic covered in military-grade resinous spray, and the bubble lamp was born. 

With their timeless silhouettes and smooth, translucent shade, the lamp gave off a soft, diffused glow. The Bubble Sourcer lamp has become one of George Nelson’s most enduring designs. With their efficient construction process, Nelson had turned an expensive idea into a beautiful, mass-producible design that could sell at a modest price.
The spherical lamp has taken on many shapes and styles over the years but remains a beautiful, timeless piece, perfect in any room where you want to create a warm lighting atmosphere. Why not browse our selection of spherical bubble-inspired lamps here at Moonlight Design by GRAYPANTS?

Timeless lighting pieces at Moonlight Design

There you have it, the five most iconic lighting designs that will never go out of fashion because of their versatility and ability to reinvent themselves with the times. Any of these lights will look spectacular in any modern home. Why not browse our indoor lighting for more lighting options?

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