Paper Lantern Love
When it comes to lighting, we always try and specify fixtures that strike a balance between blending in with the decor yet not appearing too predictable or boring. Two fixtures that never cease to amaze us are the ever so versatile pendants by Issam Noguchi and George Nelson. While we would never consider these light fixtures “trendy,” they have definitely risen in popularity in the past few years, with Design Within Reach making George Nelson’s “Bubble Lamps” very get-able. We’re currently using this Noguchi paper lantern below for an organic-modern loft we’re designing over the dining room table as well as in the master bedroom.
Japanese architect and design legend Issam Noguchi’s Akari pendants are true classics. An icon of 1950’s design, Noguchi harmoniously blends Japanese handcraft with modernist form. These fixtures made of washi paper and bamboo ribbing may be delicate, but their impact is quite powerful.
Above, in a living room combining both traditional and mid-century designs, a Noguchi pendant has never seemed more appropriate. Its organic yet modern form allows itself to effortlessly blend with an array of styles. Tom Scheerer definitely had the right idea here!
The pendants above are designed by George Nelson. Unlike Noguchi’s pendants, which utilize paper in their construction, Nelson’s “Bubble Lamps” were designed using a spray coating of translucent plastic polymer over a skeleton of steel wire and appear more industrial in form.
Nelson’s Pear Pendant, above, seems right at home amongst Saarinen tulip-based dining chairs and an Eames fiberglass side chair. Below, a Saucer pendant in an artful living room featured in Domino.
I think the most wonderful thing about Nelson’s Bubble Pendants is their ability to make a statement with out being overpowering. They’re dramatic enough to catch your eye, yet always seem as if they’ve always belonged in the space. Below, Nelson’s Bubble Pendant in Suzanne’s breakfast nook. Would you ever use a Noguchi or a Nelson pendant in your home? I think I may be ordering one very soon…