The Best Lighting for Small Spaces, According to 7 Designers

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If you can’t make an impact through scale, then perhaps consider doing so through texture, Stone also suggests. She recommends “anything handmade, such as this linen pendant,” for introducing drama and tactility even at a compact size. “Its organic shape brings so much visual interest to a space, yet feels light and airy,” the designer describes, adding that Etsy is a great place to find unique pieces that fulfill this brief.

Chroma’s Pick

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If you’re short on floor area, vertically oriented pieces can help make a room feel taller, and therefore more spacious. Take these vintage Skultuna Candle Lanterns by Pierre Forssell, which mount on the wall via long slender brackets that draw the eye upward. “Hanging lighting with narrow, elongated dimensions works wonderfully in small spaces,” says Chroma’s Emily Poole, who chose these particular designs because they “both save space and accomplish an artful moment” thanks to their unusual shape and patinated brass finish.

Jade McNeil’s Pick

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Small bedrooms usually mean small nightstands, and when surface area is at a premium, Directory designer Jade McNeil suggests swapping table lamps for pendants to free up space for phones, water glasses, and other essential bedside items. “I love opting for bedside pendants instead of table lamps in a small bedroom,” she says. McNeil notes that the chic, minimalist Pris I Pendants from Pelle were a successful pick for a recent Tribeca apartment she designed. “Their slim silhouette helps to save visual space while also giving out maximum light with LED light coming from multiple directions,” she says.

John Schwarz’s Pick

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Even in a small space, it’s sometimes fun to make a bold statement. Choose a “main character” like one of these lamps by Lea Mestres to steal the show, advises architect and interior designer John Schwarz. “The significance of lighting in a compact space cannot be overstated; it possesses the transformative ability to reshape the entire atmosphere of a room,” he says, pointing out a particular fondness of the colors of Mestres’ designs. The fact that they come in a variety of sizes—which can be scaled to match the proportions of the room—is an added bonus.

Matt McKay’s Pick

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Another suggestion for a slender, space-saving light fixture for the bedroom comes courtesy of AD New American Voice Matt McKay. The Kelvin LED Wall Lamp from Flos is fully adjustable thanks to its double pantograph arm and pivoting head, so it can be angled over the bed for reading, then moved aside or folded away against the wall at other times. “In tight bedrooms I pair wall-mounted sconces with vintage stools—or even a stack of books—to flank the bed,” McKay explains. “This frees up surface space at the bedside while still providing ample light for tucking in and reading.”

Andrew Torrey’s Picks

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“My new favorite!” exclaims New York designer Andrew Torrey of this small-but-mighty desk lamp from And Objects. The design comprises a spun shade with a copper underside, and a four-arm base finished in polished nickel, offering an industrial-contemporary look. “The impact and presence this lamp has cannot be overstated,” he continues. “It looks great between a pair of chairs, on a nightstand or console, or even on a bar cart.”


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