Bottom Line at the Architectural Digest Home Show: Lighting as the New Artwork

So… the bad news was, a lot of the furniture at the AD Home Show was a total snooze. Beige ruled the day, and there was nothing that was all that new or interesting to look at.

THE GOOD NEWS, however, was that the lighting was OUT OF THIS WORLD incredible. It was visually interesting, incorporated new materials and technology, and frankly carried the day as far as I was concerned. I am not even editing down here, I am going to show you every darn light that I liked at the show. Here goes…

This eye-catching piece, situated right at the entrance to the show, was causing quite a logjam. From Karkula.

LOVE Philippine designer and Pratt grad Kenneth Cobonpue, who I’ve been following since design school. One of my favorite exhibitors at the show. This float-y, organic pendant caught my eye.

Indirect lighting creates a soft glow, and the angular shape looks like an interesting balance act at DIFFA’s Dining by Design exhibit.

Industrial meets glamour with crystal-embellished pipes at Michael McHale Designs.

Funky modern desk lamp is actually made of wood. From Matter.

Incredible chandelier from DesignLush looks like a set of prehistoric pots dug up from an archaeological site.

The metal disc at the top of this wall sconce from O’Lampia can be raised and lowered to allow just the right amount of ambient light.

Supercreative light at the Cocobolo Design booth is a torn fiberglass sphere — and look at the awesome shadow it creates on the wall behind it.

Awesome, environmentally-friendly branch chandeliers from CP Lighting.

This angular pendant would modernize even the most blah of spaces, and utilizes replaceable LED bulbs (which are energy-efficient and last forever). From Bec Brittain.

With all these great things happening every time I looked up, I started to wonder, what is going on here? Are people starting to see lighting as hanging sculptures? Are we substituting them for art? Or do we consider them art? And why do they seem so much more interesting than what’s going on below? Are we willing to take risks in our lighting fixtures that we wouldn’t take with our furniture choices, and if so, why? Maybe it’s just become accepted wisdom that traditional furniture + cool modern lighting = awesome eclectic look?

So many questions, don’t know the answers! What do you think?



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