Modern Lights: Unique Unusual or Funky Designs

Modern lights can really change a room – be it wall lamps (sconces), chandeliers (hanging lamps or pendants), floor lamps or table lamps. And so many choices. You really have to have a hard look at what you’re trying to accomplish and to coordinate the lighting choices you make. That’s for starters.

Then, consider your style. Animals are huge right now in modern lights (as you’ll see) and some are whimsical, some are regal. And there is a big difference in those two choices. A modern light in resin or an industrial modern in pipe? Glass? Wood? Metal? What do you want to look at every day?

Also, never get so carried away by a design that you forget the light is supposed to actually illuminate the area. Make sure your choice of lighting gives off the amount of light you need. Otherwise, it’s just a decorative piece.


Modern Lights: Wall Lamps & Sconces

And after I just said that, we move on to wall lamps and sconces, which often provide not a lot of actual light (but some). Meant to be more for hallways, over the bed or even downlights for art – they don’t give off the best light in our categories. So here is where you perhaps have the most leeway between practical and design-led. I’d run with it.

Modern Lights Sconces

Made of resin with a gold finish, the Gold Zebra Wall light is from Graham & Greene in the UK

Modern Lights for the wall

1950s antique sconces – spiders! From Brownrigg Interiors , a UK purveyor of decorative antiques, this unusual pair of metal and opaline glass were a real find.

Wall light - sconce

From Not on the High Street – this Heron wall lamp by Grattify is available in white, black, gold  and rose gold.

Bowler hat modern lights

This bowler hat, or derby hat is a classic and looks great as a downlight for this art, doesn’t it? Ok, so not that modern. But unique. And funky. It’s called the Jeeves Bowler Hat Wall Light and it’s available online from Lighting styles UK. Also available as pendants or table lamps.

Don’t forget Industrial and Whimsical

I’m starting to see a pattern here, are you? A lot of great lighting comes out of the UK.

Industrial Wall Light

This is a very nicely done industrial light and you wouldn’t immediately think Amazon, but there it is. There are many design-led studios that sell on Amazon as independent vendors. I love industrial modern lights like these – so many extra touches from the tap accents to the pressure gauge.

Modern Lights Sconce

This is actually a multi-color, remote control, spiral LED wall light. And it’s not that expensive. You can buy it at the Electrical Technology Store. No guarantees how long it will last. It’s more of a fun wall light.

Modern Lights: Faux Deer heads

These deer head wall lamps are a perfect matching pair over the bed. These are pop-up, aluminum deer heads from Amazon – no deer were injured during the decorating of this room 🙂


Modern Lights: Pendants & Chandeliers

Hanging lights, pendants, chandeliers – so many choices, so few rooms. Do you do a single, stunning piece or do you do an array? Certainly, hanging over a bar or table, a line of (smaller) pendant lights are nice. But if you want a big wow, get one incredible chandelier.

Modern Lamps: Ice Cream Cones

See, whimsical. I told you there would be whimsical. And they have cleverly used those curly light bulbs. Gotta like that. I can’t imagine why you would do a line of these, if you weren’t an ice cream store. But one would look great in a kid’s room and would even look whimsical over the sink in the right kitchen.


Modern Lamps: Whimsical

From Chen Kerrison, and called Favorite Things – you, the consumer, put your favorite thing inside through the hole in the glass. What a great idea. Source

Hanging Jellyfish

We featured these incredible jellyfish hanging pendant lights some time ago, each in detail. They are truly incredible. Pendant Lighting Creates Undersea World of Jellyfish

jellyfish pendants

From Captivatist (us)



These are funky, kind of arty and very upscale all at the same time. They’re charmingly weird, if it comes right down to it, but I love them. The Handelier from Voila Studios in Los Angeles.

Birdcage Pendant Light

This birdcage pendant lighting by Voliéres is from Graham & Greene, in the UK (surprise, surprise). Eccentric is the word. Also interesting, unique and unusual. Don’t forget “want”.

Seletti monkeys

I wanted to include these monkey lights from Seletti – the Italian company is the original source and now there are many, cheap sources for this design – knocked off out of China. And they are sub-par quality. Make sure you are getting the real thing. Available from Graham & Greene.

Recycled Modern: Trumpet Lights

These antique hanging trumpets make another eccentric set of lights. And naturally, I like the look. Eccentric has always appealed to me. Source

Bohemian Chandelier

We did feature a piece on Bohemian style lighting recently and this is one of the most wow examples that would work in a modern home.

Funky Floor Lamps

Again, in a feature of ours some time ago, these full-size floor lamps are really attention getters. The story, Life Size Woman Floor Lamps, has lots of photos. Her name is Penelope.

Funky Floor Lamps

Also from Graham & Greene, these funky flamingo floor lamps.

Organic lamp

Teak root floor lamp from Rustic House (UK) – I like this one a lot. Natural elements are really a part of modern style today.

Modern Floor Lamp

When you say Modern Lights, I’m just not sure if I think of a guy sitting on a suitcase with a lamp on his head but I do adore him. But the trouble is, I can’t find anywhere to buy him online.

Modern Floor Lamp: Dogs

This hilarious dog floor lamp is from Iconic Lights in the UK. And I can’t imagine anyone purchasing this unless they are a veterinarian though. I mean it’s funny, but really.


Modern Table LampsModern Lamps: Exotic

The Blooomingville Giraffe Table Lamp is by the Italian company, Seletti. It’s available in all its glory from (where else?), Amara.

Modern Lamp: Whimsical

I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! White Rabbit table lamp by Haoshi – buy it at Amara.


Modern Lamps: Design-led

An exclusive to Crate & Barrel, the pleasing Avena Table Lamp features a mix of organic textures and uses two bulbs.

Modern Cactus Table Lamps

The Seletti Cactus Sunrise Table Lamps are available from LampTwist. If you are considering a Modern Southwestern Style – these will work!


Modern Lamp: Fink

The Fink Sculptural Table lamp is available at Crate and Barrel. I love the industrial look.


Modern Lamps: Animals

The Gilded Hare Table Lamp

Modern Bird Table Lamp

This is an origami bird table lamp from Amazon – birds are just as big as animals this year, it seems.

So there you have it – all kinds of lamps, all kinds of choices. And animals and birds are big in lamps these days, but your choices really are almost limitless, we’ve barely scratched the surface. If your search for more modern lights turns up anything really unique, I’d love to hear about it.


Written by Beverley Wood

Beverley Wood has lived on boats in Toronto and Vancouver and in an old hacienda in Mexico. She knows funky when she sees it. She's been writing since she was old enough to pick up a pen and has never shied away from the unusual or the whimsical. Her love of the unique (and sometimes bizarre) led her to Captivatist.