This new lighting trend is my favorite way to make awkward corners seem luxe – no matter your budget

I spotted a great way to make use of empty corners by hanging this light feature in a way you might not have thought of

bedroom with white hanging paper lantern
(Image credit: Austin Leis. Design: Ome Dezin)

Often when faced with an empty, awkward corner in a home, we wonder what is the best way to fill the mass of space. The good news is that it's a great opportunity to get creative and showcase a unique design piece. I spotted a great lighting trend that you can use to emphasize an empty space or corner which really elevates the look and feel of a room. It is on the more expensive side of decorating, however there are ways to recreate the look with a more limited budget too. 

In recent years designers have been using lighting techniques for much more than practical function. The latest lighting trends draw our attention towards sculptural shapes, a wide variety of materials, and the use of color in playful ways. Handmade pendant lights are one of the most popular, and you can use them in smart ways to make a real impact by showcasing them as an element of decor beyond its function. 

What is this lighting trend? 

White hanging paper lantern in bedroom

(Image credit: Austin Leis. Design: Ome Dezin)

In a recent project by Jesse Rudolph and Joelle Kutner of Ome Dezin I noticed an intriguing way of hanging a light that looks different to what I’d expect. The light occupies its space in such a seamless way, like it's been specifically designed for it. A tall paper lantern hangs from the ceiling, creating a beautifully sculptural effect and filling this corner in an elevated but subtle way. ‘The paper lantern hanging in the primary bedroom is Noguchi,’  the designers tell us. 

Designed by the late American artist Isamu Noguchi, the main characteristic of these Akari light sculptures is a weightless luminosity. Made by hand in a workshop in Ozeki, these luminaires are a lesson in true craftsmanship where bamboo rods are stretched across wooden forms, followed by cut and fitted washi paper.  Their beauty, versatility, intricate shapes and warm glow are all reasons they are so popular.

I couldn’t help but notice that the light’s length expands from ceiling to floor. That, the designers tell me, had a purpose. ‘The ceiling height in this space is so tall we wanted a light that emphasized the height and drew your eye up as you walked in while also providing soft ambient light.’

a noguchi akari light hanging in a modern living room

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Design: Jessica Gersten Interiors)

Of course, this scheme isn't the only space we've seen a resurgence in Noguchi's lighting designs. These soft, sculptural forms feed into some of the biggest interior design trends we're seeing right now, and it's clear that they've become a muse for many modern interior designers. 

The luminaires come in a myriad of shapes and sizes and they can be used both as stand alone items in a space of their own, or they can be styled in clusters, to create a more playful look. 

There is also a practical advantage to these light sculptures hanging from the ceiling. They do occupy a similar space, and idea, as a floor lamp, so you might wonder why you wouldn’t use a floor lamp instead. ‘What differentiates this light from a floor lamp is the height as well as the lack of wiring. It’s hard-wired into the ceiling, allowing for less of a mess on the ground,’ explains the creative duo. 

How much do these sculptures cost? 

a noguchi akari light in a modern dining room

(Image credit: Wing Ho/Canary Grey. Design: Prospect Refuge Studio)

These hanging lights are still produced by Vitra, but you'll find that a design will set you back somewhere in the range of $1,500 - $2,500. As a statement and iconic design item we can see why. 

However, the great news about this look is that you can implement it at home at an affordable cost. ‘Paper lanterns are now sold in many places for lower prices,’ Jesse and Joelle tell us. It’s a great cost-effective way for decorating a room with high ceilings, and what’s to stop you from playing with different shapes, and having fun with choosing one that sparks joy for you? 

Raluca Racasan
News writer

Raluca is Digital News Writer for and passionate about all things interior and living beautifully. Coming from a background writing and styling shoots for fashion magazines such as Marie Claire Raluca’s love for design started at a very young age when her family’s favourite weekend activity was moving the furniture around the house ‘for fun’. Always happiest in creative environments in her spare time she loves designing mindful spaces and doing colour consultations. She finds the best inspiration in art, nature, and the way we live, and thinks that a home should serve our mental and emotional wellbeing as well as our lifestyle.