Volume 9.

How to Style Your Home with Mid-Century Italian Lighting

Style your home with our how to guide on mid 20th Century Italian lighting.

This dark green dining room in Notting Hill was designed by Maddux creative and features a chandelier by Rewire.

It really is all about the lighting - not only does a well designed lighting scheme set the tone in regards to the actual light emitted, but of course also through the decorative style of the fitting, both greatly enhancing the atmosphere of a room. Italian Mid-Century lighting, as with Italian Mid-Century furniture, has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity. The elegant and stylish forms, plus its ease at pairing with items from many different styles, make it easy to see why. Let’s take a further look at some of the eras most chic pieces as showcased by a collection of London’s top mid-century dealers.

A vibrant multicolored and brass sputnik chandelier, from the Italian mid-century period.

Firstly, let’s look at creating the centerpiece. This will create the ‘wow’, holding the power to draw all your other interior elements together. One of the most iconic lighting pieces of this period are the tubular chrome chandeliers, designed by none other than Gaetano Sciolari; a pioneer of the Italian Mid-Century lighting movement and available through the Ed Butcher collection. Place the pair above a dining table and use to accent further chrome pieces, from any period within your interior. For a splash of colour over a coffee table, suspend the Brass Sputnik Chandelier, available through Circa. Hang the chandelier a little lower than usual and dim the lights to create a more intimate space. Alternatively, the Taraxacum Pendant, available through Angela Ball, by Pierre Giacomo Castiglioni will cast a beautifully soft glow and add interest with its unusual form.

“Designers and people in general are too attracted by ‘new’, but nothing ages more quickly than ‘newness”
Marcel Wanders

For a lighting scheme to have depth it must incorporate a number of pieces working together at varied heights. Therefore, layer into your interior with a selection of wall lights. For a cohesive feel to your scheme, coordinate the metal finish of the ceiling light with the wall lights. See if you can also incorporate a further material for extra interest, such as this stunning pair of bronzed brass and crystal glass Dahlia Sconces designed by Max Ingrand for the iconic Fontana Arte, a design house globally renowned for their glasswork. To enhance the feeling of space and make a room appear larger, illuminate the walls by casting angled beams of light across its surface. Select a wall light with adjustable arms such as this Italian 1960's model and experiment with the different angles.

Tall brass legs curve gently into the gorgeous marble base of this 1960’s floor lamp.

Lastly, but certainly not least, the freestanding lamp - the ‘jewels’ of your interior design scheme. Treat the lamps as you would an ornament and create a talking piece with the unusual, for example, the Gino Sarfatti Modernist Arteluce Leather Based Lamps available through The Moderns. Or instead of placing a vase, build both height and interest with colour and texture by using a table lamp, such as the 1960’s Ceramic Lamp, available through Ebelmonte. Remember Mid-Century Italian lighting works well with so many other styles so create focal points within your design by grouping the lamps with other interior elements. For example, placed on a console, this Fontana Arte lighting duo is the perfect way to frame an artwork. Or why not sit the Stilnovo Brass and Opaline Floor Lamp, available through Treasure Hunter, behind a comfortable armchair for an inviting reading corner.

Look out for some of the top UK interior designers also using Mid-Century Italian lighting in their interior design schemes. Natalia Miyar likes to use statement centerpieces as seen in a number of her residential projects. The iconic restaurant designer David Collins Studio is also a fan of Italian Mid-Century lighting. See if you can spot some examples in his extensive portfolio list.