17 Marvelous Midcentury Modern Lighting Ideas

Modern kitchen with black marble-top island and Mid-century modern lighting above

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

Decorating trends come and go, but to be honest, mid-century modern decor, specifically lighting inspired by this iconic era, is here to stay—forever. That is why we are still seeing styles from the period, which arguably began in 1947, that are still going strong, even after 70 years or so. If you are looking to give your current layout some timeless appeal, these beautiful spaces will inspire you to brighten things up with mid-century modern lighting. 

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    A Classic Sputnik Chandelier

    sputnick light fixture
    Kelly Martin Interiors

    Besides the iconic kidney-shaped coffee table, no other object sums up mid-century modern style like the Sputnik chandelier. There are many different versions of the classic fixture. But all were inspired by and named after the first space satellite to circle the globe in the fall of 1957. It was roughly the size of a beach ball, and it had several antennas sticking out from the middle. This take on the Sputnik chandelier in a dining room by Kelly Martin Interiors, features crystal accents, globe bulbs, and a chic brass finish. Its gold tone not only pops against the moody blue wallpaper, but it also harmonizes with the wood and leather furniture.

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    Retro Industrial Lighting in Vibrant Colors

    modern hanging chair and lamps in playroom
    Upscale Construction

    Upscale Construction transformed this once unloved attic into a joyful play space. Skylights make the most of natural light during the day. At night two retro industrial lights brighten things up. The safety yellow fixtures add a pop of bright color to the vibrant room.

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  • 03 of 17

    Sculptural Mid-Century Modern Lighting

    Room with mid-century ceramic table lamp and standing lamp

    This small living room by the Homepolish design team is tricked out with treasured vintage finds. The lights are our favorites. The mid-century table lamp on the left has a lovely pottery base featuring a quirky grid pattern. On the right is a multi-light floor lamp with a gold finish. Both have a sculptural element that adds to the room's one-of-kind appearance.

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    Modernist Chandelier Hanging Pendants

    brass midcentury lighting
    Zoë Feldman

    These gold Plaza chandeliers are brimming with Mad Men-inspired style. The black ceiling in this dining room by interior designer Zoë Feldman makes the fixtures standout. Note the other sources of decorative lighting. All have a bit of gold, which helps to unify the room's color scheme.

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    Mid-Century Modern Hourglass Light Fixture

    White midcentury light fixture
    Leslie Cotter

    Another widely recognized mid-century modern shape for lighting is the hourglass. Punctuating this chic dining room by interior designer Leslie Cotter, is a retro hourglass chandelier with a white powder-coated finish. Along with the wallpaper, it adds a quirky touch to this transitional dining space.

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    A Modern Take on Classic Mid-Century Modern Lighting

    brass light fixture with edison bulbs
    Scheer and Company

    The Sputnik chandelier, a modernist classic that we mentioned earlier, inspired this brass, articulated light fixture with tubular Edison bulbs. The piece beautifully complements the vintage furnishings in this retro-flavored living room by Interior design firm Scheer and Company. 

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  • 07 of 17

    Gold-Dipped Globe Pendant Lighting

    Gold dipped globe pendant lamp over table
    Kimberlee Marie

    Gorgeous globe pendant lighting is a decor staple. Here, a gold-dipped version illuminates a small dining area in a guesthouse by interior designer Kimberlee Marie. Clean lines and curves are both hallmarks of midcentury style—everything in this dining room fits the bill.

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    Schoolhouse-Inspired Mid-Century Flush Mount

    school house inspired flush mount light
    Studio McGee

    Flush mount lighting can be just as spectacular as pendant lighting, according to the interior design firm Studio McGee. And this cooking space they designed proves their point. The schoolhouse fixture with navy blue stripes lends a pop of whimsy to this white, farmhouse-inspired kitchen. 

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    Midcentury Modern Crystal Chandelier

    Sleek mid-century-inspired glass chandelier
    Nolen Homes

    Here a sleek, crystal midcentury modern chandelier sets the glamorous tone for this Hollywood inspired dining room by Nolen Homes. The fixture's gold tone base unites it with other metallic features in the place, including the Sputnik-inspired mirror and brass picture frames.

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    Grown Up Lighting for a Nursery

    brass mounted light fixtures in nursery
    Haley Weidenbaum

    Wall sconces always feel distinctly mid-century modern, as shown in this retro nursery by interior designer Haley Weidenbaum. The domed brass fixtures do not feel childish—and that's a good thing. Buying furniture or decor that a child cannot outgrow is a smart investment. 

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    Overarching Floor Lamp

    Large midcentury inspired floor lamp in gold tone

    Havenly interior designer Molly B. took her mid-century modern-inspired home to the next level with an overarching floor lamp in brass. At night the feature adds enough illumination for reading while filling the rest of the space with ambient light.

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  • 12 of 17

    Lighten Up Brown Mid-Century Modern Furniture

    mod matching midcentury inspired table lamps

    While mid-century modern decor can be colorful, most classic pieces are brown (think: wood or leather) with black or gold accents. Behold this living room featured on Havenly. The matching white table lamps lend a mod touch that softens the look of dark furnishings.

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    Mid-Century Modern Desk Lamp

    midcentury modern bed stand lighting
    Studio McGee

    Your bedroom should feel like a cozy and irresistible retreat. That is why having the right task light for reading is essential. Note the brass desk lamp in this comfortable haven by Studio McGee. It is a midcentury modern feature that functions as a stylish night light.

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  • 14 of 17

    A Wow Factor Light Fixture

    sputnik inspired lighting in bedroom
    Martha O'Hara Interiors

    Fancy light fixtures are not just for main living areas. This comfortable, Scandinavian-inspired bedroom by Martha O'Hara Interiors features a Sputnik chandelier in both brass and nickel. It adds a little zing to the serene sleeping space.

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    Fresh Take on a Sputnik Chandelier

    new twist on sputnik light fixture
    Lucky and Company

    We love ideas that put a new spin on classic things such as this fresh twist on the Sputnik chandelier. Beth from the interior design firm, Lucky and Company, chose the striking sconce for her newly remodeled master bath. The accent creates a visually exciting balance between the two mirrors. We love spaces that mix metals. Note how the vanity has vibrant nickel plated handles, and the mirrors and sconce have a luxurious brushed brass finish.

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  • 16 of 17

    Matchy-Matchy Décor Adds Symmetry and Balance

    Midcentury modern matching table lamps

    Matchy-matchy decorating can be a tough look to nail down, unless you are talking about mid-century classics like this ceramic table lamp set. They bring symmetry and balance to this chic, office vignette by interior designer Angela Belt. 

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  • 17 of 17

    Space Age-Inspired Lighting

    Bold blue modernist pendant lights

    These blue pendants lights are another example of modernist, space-age inspired decor. In this kitchen by a Homepolish designer, the fixtures punch up the white room with pops of blue.