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Inspired by: Nairobi Blue

2014 March 4
by Sarah

Since the Oscars aired on Sunday, there seems to be a bit of an obsession on the best-dressed list: Lupita Nyong’o’s Prada gown, in a stunning shade of pale, icy blue. I’m no Joan Rivers, but this could be one of those dresses we’re still talking about in 10 years, a la Gwentyh Paltrow’s pink princess gown in 1999 or Julia Robert’s Vintage Valention ensemble in 2001.

My favorite part about this dress was the color: just slightly pastel without being saccharine. Nyong’o told one Mr. Ryan Seacrest she chose the color because it reminded her of Nairobi, her hometown in Kenya. Love it! Naturally, the internets have celebrated by dubbing the shade “Nairobi Blue,” and I have a feeling the obsession with the hue has only just begun.

They say home design follows fashion trends, so while Nairobi blue is still enjoying its red carpet moment, we went digging to find a few pieces to celebrate it. Check them out below:

Nairobi Blue Inspiration

1.Capri 1 Pendant By Jonathan Adler 2. Discoco Pendant By Marset 3. Modele Pendant By Tech Lighting 4. PH 50 Pendant By Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen 5. Medusa Chandelier By Nigel Coates for Slamp 6. AJ Table Lamp By Arne Jacobsen for Louis Poulsen 7. Only Me Mirror By Philippe Starck for Kartell 8. Eames Elephant By Charles & Ray Eames for Vitra 9. Mini-Isis Cylinder Wall Sconce By LBL Lighting 10. Eames Molded Plastic Side Chair By Charles & Ray Eames for the Herman Miller Collection


Made with Love: Artisan Lighting

2014 February 14


Happy Valentines Day! Instead of flooding the interwebs with more pink/red/hearts/glitter, we’re taking a different approach and celebrating the labor of love. It seems like in the last few years, the appreciation for handmade has really grown, and authentic, artisan work has been able to shine. Lighting is no stranger to this movement, as some of our most stunning pictures have come from human hands since the very beginning. Here’s a look at a few designs that are truly made with love, resulting in design that is as much a work of art as they are a functional piece of your home:

Niche Modern: NYC-based Niche Modern has a stunning collection of blown-glass pendants in beautiful translucent hues. Creating one of these beauties is by no means a singular process-each shade is carefully hand-blown by their in-house team, and the individual production of each means no two are exactly alike. (Photos from Niche Modern)



NIche Modern Solitaire Pendants in the making.


Blowing glass at the Niche Modern studio in Beacon, NY.

Secto Design: The craftsmanship behind these birch wood fixtures comes from the hands of a skilled Finnish cabinetmaker, Heikki Saastamoinen. He developed a method that allowed the lamps to be manufactured serially, but by hand, and his workshop now hand-builds each and every Secto fixture from PEFC certified birch veneer.


Octo Pendants by Secto Design


Part of the Secto Design production process.


Cabinetmaker and Secto Design craftsman Heikki Saastamoinen.

Atlantis Collection by Terzani: This ultra-delicate, luxe design is created by nearly 3 miles (in one piece!) of jewelry-like chain, which is draped and strung by the hands of an Italian artisan. The unique draping effect creates a shimmery, super glamorous feel that only a labor of love could create.


Atlantis 3-Tier Suspension By Terzani


Building Terzani’s Atlantis collection.


The meticulous hand-draping of the Atlantis collection.

Looks we love: Scandinavian Style

2014 February 7

If I had to pick a favorite design “movement,” it would be all of the pretty that hails from Scandinavia. The tenets of Scandinavian design aren’t complicated: simple, minimal and functional. But the result of those philosophies is a super clean aesthetic that always feels modern. And yet somehow these homes always look comfortable and lived in. A few examples:


I love that white is anything but boring in Scandinavian homes. All-white walls reflect the gorgeous natural light and makes the whole room feel fresh. (Photo via)


We also love the embrace of natural elements and finishes, especially wood. Just the right amount of rustic warms and interior right up. (Photo via)


Above all, your home should be comfy. Cozy. Scandinavian design always seems like motivation to curl up in bed on a rainy day because the bedrooms seem made for just that. (Photo via)

Love this look as much as we do? Check out a few of our favorite ways to inject a little Scandinavian love into your home:


1. PH 5 Classic Pendant By Louis Poulsen 2. Krenit Salad Set By Herbert Krenchel for Normann  Copenhagen 3. Panton Chair (1999) by Verner Panton for Vitra 4. A110 Pendant by Alvar Aalto for Artek 5. Studioilse w084 Table Lamp by Ilse Crawford for Wastberg 6. Live Speaker by Libratone 7. Caravaggio Pendant by Cecilie Manz for Lightyears 8. Swan Chair By Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen 9. Soap and Lotion Dispenser Set By Claus Jensen, Henrik Holbaek for Eva Solo 10. Flip Around Table By Norm Architects for Menu

As Seen on TV: Lights We Love in This Year’s Superbowl Commercials

2014 February 3

There’s a thing about working here at Lumens where, without even really realizing it, you’re constantly recognizing designs and lighting fixtures out in the real world. More than once I’ve walked into a store, hotel or restaurant and said “Hey, want to hear about these lights?” (Note: they don’t).

So I wasn’t too terribly surprised that when taking in the commercials between the snoozefest that was Superbowl 48, there were a number of modern lighting fixtures that had me yelling, “Hey! I know that light!” in between pretzel bites. I know, it’s sad. But we’re going with it.

Here are a couple of Superbowl commercial highlights, Lumens style:


We could have guessed David Beckham could only star alongside something as alluring as Achille Castiglioni’s Taraxacum 88 Suspension for Flos Lighting. Its moniker comes from the scientific name for the dandelion, which the 60 tightly bunched bulbs loosely represent in the design.


Ellen’s jam session in her Beats by Dre commercial happened along a few favorites. Here, the Zanadoo Chandelier by Arteriors, a retro-esque sputnik light that brings the glam, especially to a swanky place like this one. We also spotted another Flos Lighting favorite in the same commercial:


That’s the Tatou Pendant by Flos Lighting, designed by Patricia Urquiola. Its name means armadillo in French, as the design is evocative of the animal’s protective shell.


Alright, we can’t be sure this is the exact same light, but the kitchen pendant in the highly anticipated Oikos/Full House reunion commercial sure looks a lot like the Hinge Pendant No. 804
By Quorum. We like Uncle Jesse’s modern restoration style, but let’s face it—anything would go with that hair.

Did you spot any favorites during the Superbowl commercials? It’s OK to admit it—this is a safe place.

Project Profile: Pangaea Interior Design ‘Serves Up’ Design for Lupus Awareness

2014 January 9

Lumens Trade Partner Pangaea Interior Design is a Portland-based firm specializing in residential design. Last fall, principal designer Pangaea took her talents to a new realm as part of “Serving up Style” in the Portland Home & Garden Show. Pangaea was one of 24 designers selected to create a dining space to showcase at the event, which benefitted Molly’s Fund, an organization dedicated to Lupus awareness. Here’s a look at how it turned out:


Photo by Jeffrey Freeman |

We worked with LBL Lighting and ET2 Lighting to fit Pangaea’s showcase with the vision she wanted: a space where “each element feels like art, from the sculpture and painting to the lighting elements, and even the accessories.”

The real showstopper was Pangaea’s custom chandelier, which was created with LBL Lighting’s Lily Pendants. Using 14 pendants in 3 colors and 2 sizes, Pangaea reimagined the fixture with a cluster of Lilies that hung like teardrops over the dining table.


Photo by Jeffrey Freeman |


Photo by Jeffrey Freeman |

Not to mention, her space was also a finalist for best lighting at the show. The room also featured ET2 Lighting’s Cassini Wall Sconce, which complimented the space well, with its Murano Glass “petals.” These fixtures work as functional art, thanks to their striking appearance and play between light and shadow.

Thanks to Pangaea for letting us be a part of Serving Up Style! Be sure to check out more of her work right here.


Photo by Jeffrey Freeman |


Photo by Jeffrey Freeman |

10 Modern Pendant Lights to Rival the Times Square Ball

2013 December 31
Times Square Ball

Times Square balls from 1907, 2007, and the current ball in 2009 and 2012.

There is perhaps no place more spirited than Times Square on New Year’s Eve. The flashing lights, the fluttering confetti, and the star of the show, Ryan Seacrest the Times Square Ball (which has its own website and rather fascinating history here, by the way. Oh, and its own Twitter account, natch).

The Times Square Ball has seen a number of changes since it debuted in 1907. The current (6th) iteration sports 32,256 LEDs around the 12-foot-wide ball, which weighs nearly 6 tons. But gargantuan numbers aside, there’s something to be said for the beauty and the energy that they ball represents for us once a year.

To capture that festivity year round, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite modern ceiling lights that rival the glitz, shine and essence of the Times Square Ball – you know, in case your space can’t quite accommodate a 11,000-pound light fixture. Here are our 10 favorite fixtures that give the Times Square ball a run for its money:

Sputnik Pendant By Jonathan Adler
The old-school Edison bulbs and vintage appeal of Jonathan Adler’s Sputnik Pendant reminds us of the very first Times Square Ball, which was fitted with 100 incandescent bulbs.

Avir Suspension By Manuel Vivian for AXO Light
The dramatic color of the Avir Suspension by Axo Light is reminiscent of the modern Times Square Ball, which has a palette of more than 16 million colors thanks to LED modules and kaleidoscope-like crystal triangles.

Hope Suspension By Francisco Gomez Paz, Paolo Rizzatto for Luceplan
It’s no wonder the Hope Suspension by Luceplan has its own Time Square-worthy glam factor—the Paolo Rizzato design was inspired by the Hope Diamond.

Raimond LED Suspension By Raimond Puts for Moooi
More than 250 brilliant LEDs emanate from the Raimond Suspension by Moooi, which was created by a dutch mathematics professor.

Da Vinci Suspension By Schonbek Lighting
Encircled by Swarovski Crystal precision-cut jewels, the Da Vinci Suspension by Schonbek Lighting is one festive showstopper. Not to mention, the crystal globe is dishwasher safe (take that, Times Square Ball!)

Ball Pendant By Tom Dixon for Swarovski
A dazzler from Tom Dixon, the Ball Pendant by Swarovski looks like it would fit right in at a Great Gatsby party, or even in the middle of Times Square.

G.R.A. Suspension By Bruno Rainaldi for Terzani
The G.R.A. Suspension by Terzani gets its wow factor from the shadows created my the metal rings that make up the sphere-shaped shade.

Etch Web Pendant By Tom Dixon
The irregular pentagon pattern of the Etch Web Pendant by Tom Dixon reminds us of the crystal triangles that surround today’s ball.

Celestial Pendant By Trend Lighting
Glowing like a full moon, the Celestial Pendant by Trend Lighting is composed of fine aluminum wires that give it a soft, pillow-y appearance.

Argyle Pendant By Varaluz
The bling! Even though its inspiration came from the classic sweater pattern, the Argyle Pendant by Varaluz has a luster that’s right in line with the sparkly glow of New Year’s Eve.

Digital ceramics? Meet the Scotch Club by Xavier Mañosa for Marset

2013 December 20
by Lumens Staff
Scotch Club Pendant By Marset

Scotch Club Pendant
By Mashallah, Xavier Mañosa for Marset

In 2009, at the age of 28, Xavier Mañosa returned to his native Barcelona and started working alongside his parents in their ceramics workshop. Trained in Berlin in industrial design, Mañosa was perfectly poised to build upon traditional ceramics techniques by using the tools of today’s design trade – namely, a computer.

This was the tool he used to create the Scotch Club Pendant by Marset, which was inspired by a disco ball and designed in collaboration with Berlin design studio Mashallah. Mañosa says: “We created a prototype on the computer, we printed it, we turned it into plaster, and from there we created ceramics. So, in some ways, we are printing ceramics. The computer and the digital process were an integral part of this whole process to create a useful ceramic piece such as this lamp.”

And useful it is, as well as being simple, versatile and beautiful. The outside of Scotch Club is glazed in a choice of matte tones, while the inside truly shines in either brilliant white or shimmering gold. Mañosa makes his design intentions clear, though, noting that, “the idea of working with gold was not to achieve a bling bling effect. It was about finding the reflective effect of light on the facets, providing a really warm light.” Available in three sizes and numerous finishes, this lovely light is available exclusively at Lumens.

Scotch Club Pendant By Mashallah, Xavier Mañosa for Marset

The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas 2013 – Day 12

2013 December 12

Well, this is it. The final day of our 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas. Hope you’ve been enjoying reading about the lamps on our list, and maybe even finding something that would make the perfect gift for a loved one…or yourself. Even if you haven’t been with us until now, there’s still plenty of time to choose a giftable lamp in time for Christmas. To look over this year’s choices, you can start at Day 1. That same post can also guide you to giftable lamps from previous years’ lists, if you’re so inclined.

Thanks so much for reading, and Happy Holidays!

For our final lamp, some festive color:

12. Kalis LED Cube by Artkalia

The Kalis LED Cube by Artkalia

The Kalis LED Cube by Artkalia

Part of the reason why I find Christmas so wonderful is that it brings cheerfulness and colorful twinkling lights into what would otherwise be a dark, dreary time of year. For me, the Artkalia Kalis LED Cube embodies all the merriment of the season in one little 5-inch square.

This little guy is part of Artkalia’s extensive portable “mood light” line, with color-changing LED modules that glow for up to 12 hours on one charge inside waterproof polyethylene shades. But in contrast to the soft, white forms of the rest of the collection, Kalis is all dressed up in shining metal. Around its internal plastic cube, it has stainless steel etched on five sides with a lovely lacy pattern. The pattern is so intricate, delicate and subtly exotic that it makes Kalis a bit of art whether it’s turned on or not.

But it’s when the light is turned on that the artistry really comes through. The pattern is infinitely transformable with the various light colors and effectsof the internal LED module—including steady colors, scrolling colors, fade and candlelight effects. (While basic options are easily controllable with buttons on the light’s base, more complex effects require the use of a separate compatible remote control.)

Simply put, Kalis is pretty. And happy. And who wouldn’t want to find something pretty and happy waiting for them under the tree?

Kalis LED Cbue by Artkalia


The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas 2013- Day 11

2013 December 11

So today is December 11, which means there are exactly two weeks until Christmas morning. If you haven’t found all the gifts you need quite yet, there’s no need to panic. The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas and I are here for you, highlighting some of the latest modern lamps that are perfect for gifting. If you wanna look over the 10 lamps we’ve highlighted throughout the beginning of December, I recommend you start from the beginning.

Then come on back to check out one mouth-watering desk lamp:

11. Gravy LED Desk Lamp by Koncept

The Gravy LED Desk Lamp by Koncept

The Gravy LED Desk Lamp by Koncept

Like gravy does with mashed potatoes, Gravy just makes a modern office space better. (Well, it probably won’t actually taste as good, but it’ll sure look quite a bit cooler.) The Koncept Gravy LED Desk Lamp is an award-winning design that uses specialty Edge Lit technology in its disc-shaped head to provide a soft, evenly distributed wash of warm light on a workspace. The unique control is a touch dimmer located on the center of the underside of the head’s light ring.

The shape of the head is duplicated in the base. The base is topped with warm wood to match the head’s arm. And the natural wood offsets the slick coordinating metal finish. Such is the lovely aesthetic balance of the piece (which could be punctuated by a bright pop of color via the power cord depending on the color combo you choose).

But Gravy is also balanced functionally, as the arm slides back and forth through the notched aluminum stem. The head also rotates 360-degrees for the perfect placement of light. The unique style and convenience of the Gravy Desk Lamp makes it a truly delicious gift.

Gravy LED Desk Lamp

The 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas 2013- Day 10

2013 December 10

Hey there! Glad you could make it to day 10 of our 12 Modern Lamps of Christmas. With only a few lamps left to highlight, this is what I consider the list’s homestretch. If you wanna take a look at lamps 1-9 or just need a quick refresher on our giftable lamp criteria, start here.

And then number 10:

10. Bling Bang Table Lamp by George Kovacs

The Bling Bang Table Lamp by George Kovacs

The Bling Bang Table Lamp by George Kovacs

For me, it just wouldn’t be Christmas unless there was something sparkly waiting under the tree. Jewelry is nice, but really it can be anything that puts a literal twinkle in my eye. And I know I’m not alone.

Designed by Alecia Wesner for the George Kovacs lighting line, Bling Bang is a complete modern lighting collection that picks up where her Bling Bling collection left off. The Bling Bang Table Lamp features a shiny chromed body with strategic square and rectangular cut-outs all around the offset drum shade. Within these openings, crystals are suspended. These jewel-like accents sparkle whether the light is turned on or off (definitely a bit more when turned on, of course).

You can choose either a silvery chrome lamp with clear crystal or–for a few dollars more–go with the unique Chocolate chrome and warm teak-colored crystals. Sparkle AND chocolate? Yes, please.

Bling Bang Table Lamp by George Kovacs

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