Lighting with retro design
Since the 1960s, the term ‘retro design’ has been used to describe an object that references a particular fashion, technique, or material from the past. In Latin, the word ‘retro’ means ‘backwards’ or ‘in the past. Today, the word describes a fashion or style inspired by other styles that have made an impression through generations past. The retro style is often used to describe a style of décor that references the 50s, 60s, and 70s—simple and artistic décor that was also a little funky with different textures, geometric shapes, and bright colours.
In the world of lighting design, there are various kinds of retro lamps. There is the old, original lamp only found at flea markets and in second-hand shops and the retro lamps that are still in production, such as the KAISER Idell table lamp from Fritz Hansen or Verner Panton’s Flowerpot collection. Then there are the new designs created with a retro expression—the Bonbon lampshade from HAY and Ocean from Dyberg Larsen are examples of lamps with unmistakeable retro shapes and colour combinations.
The retro table lamp
You can’t talk about retro lamps without mentioning Verner Panton’s popular Flowerpot VP3 table lamp. Panton designed the lamp in the 60s, and it was manufactured by Louis Poulsen. After its comeback in the 90s, &tradition picked up manufacturing in 2003, and the lamp has seen a resurgence of success since. Building on the success of the Flowerpot collection that already comprised a table lamp and pendant in different sizes, &tradition went for an expansion with the Flowerpot VP9 Portable table lamp in 2020. The new table lamp combines Verner Panton’s renowned design with the newest technology to create a portable table lamp with built-in LED and a dimmer.
Retro architect lamps for desks
Thanks to the love of retro and increased focus on the functional light, the architect lamp has come back into fashion and made its way into many homes. The British brand Anglepoise are known for their Original 1227 architect lamp—a beautiful and timeless lamp with an industrial retro expression that fits seamlessly into modern décor. Anglepoise have been creating lamps based on the ground-breaking balance mechanics that give the lamp its incredibly flexibility for more than 80 years. Although the lamps have evolved and been refined over the years, their functionality and distinct shape have been carefully maintained. These days, the Anglepoise lamps can be found in homes, offices, restaurants, bars, and hotels in more than 50 countries.
Pendants in a retro design
The dining and coffee tables are often core elements of the home. As a result, we tend to pour effort into creating a cosy and relaxing atmosphere to light up the tables that bring our families together. This lighting is an important part of interior design as it brings personality into the décor, creates space, and lights up the heart of the home in a comfortable glow.
The retro pendant has become a popular solution for this particular setting. A great example is the original Coolicon pendant, which is now considered a British design classic. The aesthetic combination of shape and functionality have a retro look that was designed in 1933. The lamp is made from a durable metal with a polished enamel created by hand. Altogether, this achieves a durable result that’s guaranteed to last. The lamp has a classic expression and taps into current trends in interior design.
Another retro pendant with a comfortable downlight is the unique Bonbon lampshade from the Danish brand HAY. The beautiful lampshades are made from a material often associated with the retro style—yarn. The beautiful colour combinations prop up the style and catch the eye. The decorative expression forms a beautiful contrast with Scandinavian décor that has been gravitating increasingly towards the retro style.
Retro standing lamp for the reading nook
The Ocean floor lamp from Dyberg Larsen was clearly inspired by the happy colours and playful style of the 60s and 70s. You can’t help but fall head over heels in love with the warm and happy colours—the mustard lampshade, the brass stand, and the mint green base work together in perfect harmony to create a unique look. It’s a breath of fresh air in the modern minimalist décor, adding personality and charm. The adjustable lampshade makes the lamp perfect for reading or working. Use it on the desk, by the couch, or as a decorative night lamp in your child’s or your own bedroom.