The 16 key lighting trends for 2023, setting the stage for how homes will look next year
Experts decode the lighting trends for 2023, explaining the brightest ideas and most brilliant lightbulb moments
Lighting trends are the interior design world’s ace that it keeps hidden up its sleeve. Light a room up with a single - bare - standard bulb and it will look stark, with a distinct lack of atmosphere. But consider ‘layers’ of lighting and all the options that come with this, and you’re onto a winning room scheme. Floor lamps, wall lights, table, and desk luminaires - these are just a few of the world of options available when mapping out a grande new lighting design scheme. How do you even begin to choose? Well, by looking at the up-and-coming 2023 lighting trends, of course.
Indeed, it’s time to let the light in with this seriously illuminating roundup of interior design trends. With a sparkling selection of new lighting being unveiled at the recent SuperSalone in Milan, London Design Festival and Decorex International shows (all of which have rolled out during the last couple of months) we’ve honed right in on the biggest, brightest, and most fabulous lighting looks hitting the interiors market. Dare we say, these trends are all in the spotlight?
What are the lighting trends for 2023?
1. Mirrored brass
The opulence of mirror finished brass is reminiscent of the art deco era and, after two years of not needing to get dressed up, we are loving the glamour it’s bringing to the home. While elements of this era have been making their way back to living room trends over the last few years, it’s time to embrace the look even further.
The high gloss finish of the Torsa chandelier by Cameron Design House is a great introduction, with the brass discs illuminating against each other and bouncing light across the room in a dramatic and theatrical manner. Inspired by the glistening reflections of Lake Torsa in Finland, this design is a showstopper and depicts this trend perfectly.
2. Matching Pendant and Wall Colors
Ordinarily pendants are often added into a room to create a focal centerpiece, but designers are adopting a new trend of matching the pendants to the color of the walls.
This monochromatic look brings a strong, contemporary edge to the interior and works well when paired with current kitchen trends like natural timbers and finishes. As displayed here by Wastberg in its upcoming collaboration with David Chipperfield, the smooth finish and subtle color palette blends perfectly to create calming, yet functional, kitchen lighting.
3. Burnt steel
Thanks to home fittings experts, Buster & Punch, this striking new finish is turning heads in the design world, particularly when it comes to dining table trends. Inspired by motorbike exhausts once they have run lean, the heat creates an eye-catching rainbow effect onto the surface, and a flattering glow on anyone who sits under them.
Developing a new technique, the team have harnessed this effect and applied it to marine-grade stainless steel to create a series of fixtures and fittings for the home. The exquisite Forked pendant is perfect for industrial style kitchens, or placed over a bar or as dining room lighting. We love the finish, and we think you will too!
4. Organic Silhouettes
Our love for free-flowing form and softer profiles has grown as designers push boundaries in exploring unconventional shapes. Organic modern style breaks the mould of traditional and more predictable aesthetics.
The new ‘Skirt’ Pendants by Broste Copenhagen showcase the beauty of this trend, with the designs mimicking the organic movement of fabric itself. The primary colours add a playful touch to the collection and, as the Nordic brand encourages, grouping them together helps to build up five different light sources within the room; “the perfect amount for the right atmosphere and a nod to the Danish tradition of creating ‘hygge’ through light,” they state.
5. Lights as Art
Adding sculpture into the home can be difficult due to space restrictions and budgets. However, merging art with function addresses both issues and many designers are bringing an artistic take to a variety of creations, especially in the lighting world.
Showcased at Paris Design Week, Uchronia’s ‘Stolen Objects from the Sea’ collection, in partnership with Antoine Billore, boasts a magical and ‘otherworldly’ beauty which personifies this trend superbly. The Bisous stool, topped with a vintage Vallauris fish lamp, acts as a lamp, table and stool, as well as a decorative work of art.
When looking to add some living room lighting into a space, think outside the box and find a unique creation such as this to really stand out from the crowd.
6. Dark Smoked Glass
Perfectly suited to monochromatic color schemes, or Scandinavian design-inspired aesthetic, black glass adds a striking contrast against natural woods and neutral fabrics.
Norway’s oldest glass maker, Hadeland Glassverk, has added darker glass variations to its Archive lamps and pendants, bringing a solid block of color to the room and allowing them to stand out. Smoked glass works well with an architectural silhouette and adds further impact when used with matching fixtures and fittings.
7. Recessed LED Lighting
“There is a considerable and noticeable move away from downlighting to LED and hidden lighting,” states Piero De Marchis, the founder of Detail Lighting. “Track lighting is also becoming an incredibly popular choice, enabling homeowners to adapt and move their lighting scheme from one area to the next with ease.”
This added functionality is bringing a new dimension to homes with it providing a subtle and more relaxing atmosphere, especially in bathroom lighting where it provides a spa sanctuary feel. Add in layers of lamplight to complement the softer background lighting creating a cosier and more considered ambience.
8. Bespoke Extension Leads
With conventional extension leads not being the most aesthetically pleasing, many homeowners have had to think of clever ways to hide and disguise such practical accessories. However, thanks to brands such as Lola’s Leads, bespoke alternatives are available to purchase and once seen, you most likely won’t buy a traditional extension lead again!
Designed in an array of fabric and color choices, you can match it to any interior to either blend in or create an eye-catching feature of its own. And, with working from home on the increase, accessories like this allow for a neater workspace area.
9. Portable LED Lamps
Flexibility, sustainability, and affordability have become top priorities as the effects of climate change increase, energy prices rise, and our homes become multifunctional workspaces. Portable LED lamps are an ideal solution helping to address all three issues. The Muse by Tala, designed in bespoke colors by Farrow & Ball, combines LED technology with a sleek aesthetic.
Designed for indoor and outdoor use, the lamp can be used in any room as well as the garden, making it a practical choice with a battery life of up to 24 hours. The dimmable LED bulb offers a variety of warm hues, again suitable for different uses. Designed for repairability, this light has many benefits including the option for wireless charging.
10. Colored Rattan Lampshades
While natural materials such as jute and rattan have been growing in popularity with their organic aesthetic and qualities, designers are now adding their own unique flair to the materials using color.
The new Rattan Wave Pendant by Matilda Goad & Co. and edit58 is available in four new shades by Farrow & Ball. Adding color to natural materials such as this will bring it to a new audience of maximalists who often avoid its untreated, organic hues in bolder interior schemes.
11. Metallic and marble floor lamps
Slinking into our sight lines, these slender floor lamps all embody elegance and charisma. Aside from their slight appearance, what two other things are to note? Well, marble and metallic finishes - are what make these floor lamps so standout. They’re all embracing if not one, then both, finishes.
Why should we look out for floor lamps that incorporate marble or stone, and metallic details? Designer Linda Boronkay explains, “Marble is a beautiful and long-lasting material that I love to use in projects. In particular, when paired with metal (metallics included) it gives a very smart look to your home - really elevating a space.”
12. Art Deco shapes
It’s safe to say that Art Deco has, certainly within the last decade, never fallen out of fashion. It’s now distinct, sleek, and potentially old enough (of course we mean this in the most respectful sense), to be described as a ‘classic’ look.
However, whilst we’ve seen Art Deco-inspired lighting styles in the interior market before, we haven’t seen it quite like this. Less glitz and glamour (yes, you can leave the diamante details and shiny chrome at the door), these new pendants all draw upon the more subtle Art Deco details from the 1930s: a soft scalloped edge, a hint of marble, a mellow dash of Midas or bronze. Now we’re talking.
‘There is always a sense of nostalgia when it comes to design and there are certain eras that we like referring back to more often than to others,' says Linda Boronkay. And on this occasion, we’re talking Art Deco. “Art Deco is one such style, why? because it provides endless sources of inspiration with its signature silhouettes, materials, and colors.”
13. Scalloped edges
What to look for in 2023? The cool mellowness of scalloped edges. These gentle curves are not about showing off, but about being discerningly stylish with your design detail and choices.
The joy of this trend is that it fits in well with the current living room color trends, remaining restrained (but altogether chic, of course!). One of these pendants would fit almost anywhere at home; above the dining table, in the hallway, or even on the stair landing? We love a lighting trend that’s a ‘do all’ contender, and that can instantly update a space that might be, for whatever reason, overlooked.
14. Handmade pendant lights
“Now, this is my absolute favourite of all the new lighting trends and, honestly, I feel it’s a very long-lasting and versatile one too,” says Linda Boronkay.
Linda explains the benefits of opting for the handmade and crafted trend, saying, “You won’t only support craftspeople by buying into this lighting trend, but the outcome is going to be absolutely stunning too” citing, amongst other benefits, “soul and warmth” as the characteristics from such products.
Look out for the likes of the Soren Globe pendant from Pinch. This tasteful-looking light is - believe it or - constructed from repurposed banana skin, moulded over a bronze frame. Pinch says it has a characteristic best thought of as “subtle luminosity”. Say no more. This has a glowing, casual evening dinner party vibe written all over it.
15. Space-age table lamps
Like a scene from The Galactic Bar in Star Wars, these pieces all take on something of a slightly obscure but loveable visual aesthetic. They’re not what one might instantly call beautiful, but they definitely have a cute charisma and there’s something - could we say otherworldly? - about them. Essentially, you might want to just softly warn your desk that your home office ideas are about to be invaded by something, not necessarily extraterrestrial, but certainly ‘extra’ in the design sense.
From designer-to-designer, it seems everyone has space invaders on the brain when it comes to desk and tabletop lighting design for 2023. Think bobbly Dalek-like bases and Space Invader ‘bodies’, a Mondrian-style color palette, and, a serious dose of fun-factor!
“Opt-in for this trend if you’re looking to funk up your room,” says Linda Boronkay. And essentially that’s what these little lamps all offer. An opportunity to sprinkle some “fun-factor around the home”. Who wants a boring desk lamp anyway? Not us. Forget needing to be so practical. Sometimes a trend is just purely about being a little bit whimsical and different - this is especially fun to incorporate into your small bedroom desk ideas as pieces that double as quirky reading lamps.
Look for design details including gloss or lacquered finish (there’s something truly delectable and almost edible about the little gloss ones - like candies on display in a sweetie shop - we kind of want them all) a shapely base (in fact, the more shapely the better!), and, a knock-out shade, fitting in nicely to current color trends. Take the Habitat Ngami in Royal Blue - a cute little button of amusement that’s just landed on shop shelves.
16. Architectural Chandeliers
Some might associate the word ‘chandelier’ with a visual of glitzy glass pendant drops hanging from an overtly decorative iron or brass curving arm (in a shabby chic chateau, perhaps?), others might visualize a boudoir bedroom with over-the-top and slightly ‘l’amour’ decor. All fine and totally acceptable applications of a chandelier by the way.
But stop. Yes, those kinds of chandeliers do exist for those that feel that way inclined, but there’s now - very much - a new take on chandeliers hitting our living room lighting ideas moodboards. Banish the traditional curves, twists, and century-old details. These chandeliers are new, modern, seriously chic, and serve contemporary glamour in spades!
“Chandeliers should be like a jewel in the crown of your home” says Linda Boronkay, but, and it’s an important ‘but’,... “they shouldn’t be the main light source”, she warns. And that’s what this new wave of chandeliers all seem to embody - a sense of being as much about sculpture as they are about being a practical source of light. You can bring in other elements of practical wall, table, or floor lamps to support your lighting levels.
What ceiling lights are on trend?
The most on trend ceiling lights are modern and sculptural chandeliers. They reinvent the classic, shabby chic glass drop pendant into something that looks like it is full of architectural wonder and ready to have cocktails under.
"Modern chandeliers are more about space and shape than they are pretty refracted light," says Livingetc editor Pip Rich. "Gone are the glass droplets, replaced by angular arms. Think of these lights as party-ready, ideal for creating a smart space in which to entertain."
Are kitchen pendants out of style?
Kitchen pendants are absolutely not out of style, though the traditional run of three industrial lights above an island has moved on a little. "Instead of a trio of individual lights, go for one big pendant in the kitchen,' says Livingetc editor Pip Rich. 'It makes much more of a statement, yet still produces the glow you want to illuminate where you're prepping food."
Rory Alastair Robertson has a long-standing history working across the interiors industry. Raised in Morningside, Edinburgh, Rory grew up surrounded by classically grand Scottish Georgian and Victorian architecture.
His first appreciation for interior decoration sparked when his mother hired scaffolding and decorated their three-storey Victorian staircase in Farrow & Ball Picture Gallery Red, by herself. She then painstakingly gold leafed the drawing room - by hand - over a base coat of Sudbury Yellow. This was the era of Jocasta Innes and Kenneth Turner, when paint techniques and maximalist style were the decorating raison d'être.
With this inherited gene of creativity, Rory went on to study Interior Architecture at the University of Edinburgh, and later, Theatre Set Design and Architectural Illustration at The Rhode Island School of Design on America's East Coast.
Rory's foray with the editorial world started a decade ago at Livingetc magazine, a title which he regularly contributes to today. Specialising with a deep-seated appreciation for historical homes and interiors, Rory often travels far and wide to be inspired by unique properties with a fascinating history.
If he’s not uncovering an unusual National Trust property in the UK, then he’s seeking out a Neo-Classical clifftop villa in Capri or a Palazzo in Florence.
Based in London’s Shoreditch, working as a Senior Interiors Editor and Consultant, Rory's portfolio of work is a creative melting pot of residential and commercial interior design projects and a plethora of editorial writing work. Rory is also Guest Interiors Lecturer at the prestigious KLC School of Interior Design in Chelsea, London. His most cosseted possession is a ramshackle Citroen Deux Chevaux, which he has reupholstered in Pierre Frey yellow and turquoise silk fabric.
Discover more at roryrobertson.co.uk and @rory_stylist.
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