The oversized lighting trend is all about playing with proportions – these designers explain how it's done


As we creep ever closer to 2024 we notice new trends that are set to define the year ahead, and the oversized lighting trend is one of those. Recent years have seen a huge move towards more maximalist styles and playful design statements aimed at wowing guests, and what better way to do so than with a dramatic lighting feature? 'We are designing products with exaggerated scale to create interest and a sense of fun,' says Niki Wright, co-founder of Lights & Lamps. 'This could be across a collection of lamps with a similar textured surface, or the use of geometric shapes such as domes, cones and globes.' According to Camilla Clarke, creative director at Albion Nord, this attention to lighting is long overdue. As a design element that's commonly overlooked, she thinks it's time we considered lighting the integral design component to our spaces that it clearly is.


So, where should you consider incorporating an oversized light? While you might think this dramatic design statement is only reserved for large spaces, there's actually a lot of freedom to embrace the idea in any room, no matter how small. It's merely a question of proportion. When we say oversized, we don't necessarily mean a lampshade or lighting fixture that's ten feet in diameter (although, that doe sound pretty show stopping). What we're really talking about is lighting that's exaggerated relative to the room. ‘Don’t be afraid to use oversized lighting in small spaces,' says Camilla. 'I often find that small furniture makes a space feel smaller – the same applies for lighting.'

Now that's out of the way, what about rooms? Since oversized lighting is all about pairing style and functionality, think practically about which spaces a large light could benefit. ‘Kitchens obviously need to work hard and so does your kitchen lighting,' says Scarlett Hampton, Niki's co-founder at Lights & Lamps. If you have high ceilings, choose two or three industrial-style pendants that look disproportionately big compared to your island. This will create a focal point while also flooding the countertop with plenty of light. A bold design choice like this shouldn't be reserved for spaces that other people don't see. Use it in social areas of the home where you frequently host guests. ‘Oversized lighting especially lends itself to entrance halls,' adds Camilla. 'For example, a beautiful lantern can make the entrance to a home incredibly welcoming and becomes a point of interest that’s noticed by guests right away.’


Design choices aside, you might think oversized lighting is simply going to look too bright in your space. Well, it doesn't have to be. Modern lights are designed to distribute light evenly, no matter the design or number of bulbs. ‘Larger fixtures don't necessarily mean heaviness or having more individual lights that omit excessive, stark brightness,' says Scarlett. 'Rather, the overall design and material of an oversized pendant can make as much of a statement as the light itself.' Consider a linen or rattan shade for soft, warm glow that allows light to gently seep through the small gaps in the material. As Scarlett notes: 'This kind of pendant works cleverly above a round or square table for dining room lighting.’ For larger, chandelier-style fixtures or flush ceiling lights, consider making them dimmable.


When we speak of lighting it's easy to forget about floor lamps, but their contributions shouldn't be overlooked. More and more interior design buffs are now opting to light their spaces without any overhead ceiling lighting at all since freestanding lamps can do all the work. In fact, oversized floor lamps can actually make better accent lighting than overhead lights since we're less likely to come across them on an exaggerated scale and they're more well integrated within the other furnishings of our rooms. 'When choosing one, consider how tall your ceilings are,' Niki advises. 'For a home with very high ceilings and dramatic, vast windows, an extra-large tripod floor lamp helps soften the atmosphere, giving the space a cozier, more lived-in feel.'

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