As you sip your glass of chilled wine and take a bite of the hors d’oeuvre you were offered, you catch a glimpse of the amazing piece of art above you. As you gaze in awe, you can’t help but wonder, “What was going through the mind of the person who created this?”
It might sound like a snooty gallery opening – but it could be just another Thursday night at home, staring up at your favorite sculptural lighting fixture, while munching on mini oven-baked pizza bagels and laughing over a glass of wine with your significant other.
What is Sculptural Lighting?
It’s unlike any other lighting trend you’ve seen. From elaborate and abstract to simple and geometric, sculptural lighting has no specific distinct design or structural characteristics — but what these unique lighting fixtures do have in common is their awe-inspiring shapes, surprising textures and modern takes on traditional sources of light.
The truth is, you’ll know a piece of sculptural lighting when you see it. Think freeform ribbons of metal, bursts of crystals or asymmetrical, hand-shaped glass rods.
This emerging trend in lighting and decor is gaining popularity because it allows homeowners to discover unexpected and unique lighting pieces that are not only functional, but strikingly beautiful in shape, design, texture and material. Imagine a lamp, sconce or pendant that not only lights the room, but tells a story, too!
Types of Sculptural Lighting
Just as there’s no specific “look” to all sculptural lighting, there’s no one type. You can find sculptural lighting pieces for every room in the house.
Sculptural Ceiling L
From conversation-starting chandeliers to geometric sculptural pendants, ceiling lights are perhaps the most common pieces of sculptural lighting. They typically hanging above dining room tables or in smartly decorated dens. Who doesn’t want to look up from a meal or conversation and be mesmerized?
Hallways, entryways and even outdoor spaces can be brightened (both literally and figuratively) by an extraordinary piece of sculptural lighting in the form of a sconce.
Add a freestanding or tabletop sculpture to your existing decor by placing a sculptural lamp in the room — it’s functional, fashionable and a fantastic way to showcase your unique artistic taste.
9 Pieces of Sculptural Lighting That Look Like Works of Art
Can a light fixture truly be a work of art? You be the judge! Dive into one of our favorite lighting trends by checking out these 9 favorite pieces of sculptural lighting curated by our experts.
Reminiscent of the shape and structure of a sound wave, this floating island of angular crystal towers utilizes LED light to reflect and refract light in various directions, emitting a canopy of sparkling light. This sculptural piece was handcrafted by skilled artisans in Vermont, so it should come as no surprise when guests in your home mistake it for an art installation.
If you’re more into the simplistic side of things, consider this striking pendant from Hubbardton Forge. The free-flowing sculptural steel conjures images of a songbird’s habitat, while the bulbs shaded in translucent blown glass cast a soft ambient light onto the area below.
A piece of mid-century modern beauty, this chain-hung pendant will remind you of summers spent picking wild berries in the backyard brush. The berry-shaped globes vary in size and are made from steel and hand-blown glass, each available in a variety of types and finishes. Hang this sculptural pendant alone or in a grouping, for an even more dynamic look.
Talk about a flash of brilliance! This firework-inspired piece of sculptural lighting starts with a core of matte-black metal, with rods of brass or nickel bursting from the center. Retro coil bulbs provide light, while cut crystal discs and handcrafted glass cubes refract it in a thousand directions. No matter how many times you stare up at it, it’s guaranteed to dazzle you daily.
This piece is truly alive with whimsy and unexpected texture. The Pulse looks like a beautiful, life-giving coral reef or a bouquet of hand-picked floral blooms — the hand-folded iron mesh creates a layered effect that makes this fixture truly unique. The gold finish will add a touch of glamour and glitz to your dining room, den or kitchen.
Here comes the sun! Named after the Greek god of the sun, this striking, solar-inspired piece features iron and aluminum flares in silver and gold leaf, centered around a scalloped glass dome. Install this illuminative work of art on a wall or ceiling to brighten the room — and your day.
The flow is a favorite from an impressive line of unique, eco-friendly lighting pieces by Varaluz. It features hand-forged, recycled steel that cascades down in a ribbon shape, captivating you with its rhythmic movement. Hang it above a dining room table, large walk-in closet, or anywhere you can admire its eco-friendly artisanship often.
Mid-century modern meets sci-fi in this undulating, dome-shaped pendant. The simplistic design is surprisingly dramatic, giving your space a distinct and unmistakable look. Choose from grey, white or black finishes; hang alone or use several to light your dining space.
And now for something completely different — this mini hemisphere-shaped pendant features a bottom made of dazzling crystal glass, and a top that’s available in a variety of finishes. Much like delicious, fresh-picked grapes, you can’t just have one. Hang multiples at varying heights for a gallery-worthy look.
Install a Piece of Artistic Wonder
Now that you’ve explored the basics of sculptural lighting and seen how it can transform a space, it’s time to add a bit of artistic flair to your home in the form of dynamic and dazzling lighting fixtures.
The best part about sculptural lighting? You don’t need to go to a museum or gallery to enjoy its beauty! That’s certainly worth raising a glass — of chilled wine, of course.