11 Bold and Playful Lighting Ideas: Embracing Unique Fixture Materials and Styles

Lighting can add a bold or playful touch to any room. Distinctive fixtures add fun and vitality to otherwise stuffy traditional living rooms, or lend a welcome sense of whimsy to a minimalist kitchen. Read on for lighting ideas that embrace fun-loving and fabulous style.

Hinkley Crystal Chandelier

1. Crystal Light Fixtures

Crystals add glamour and sparkle to a room, and they amplify the light from the fixture. Crystal lights have a chic beauty when paired with polished metal, and are always striking room elements. Depending on the design, crystal fixtures may offer vintage beauty or modern style. For a traditional look, explore candelabra chandeliers with classic teardrop crystals; for contemporary style, opt for crystal globe pendants and tiered crystal wall sconces.

Painted Progress p500200 Pendant

2. Enameled or Painted Metal Pendants

These light fixtures showcase bold primary colors or soft pastels in saturated hues that can enhance a room's established palette or add a pop of standout color. Make a statement with a line of fire-engine red warehouse pendants above your kitchen island, for example. Or, deliver soothing color to your bathroom with a tiered-metal pendant enameled in soft matte blue.

Vermont Modern Light

3. Abstract Art Lights

Showcase lights that would look at home in a contemporary art museum. To achieve the look, explore fixtures with a sculptural quality. A few possibilities to inspire your inner curator:

  • Three-light pendants with curving concentric metal rings around frosted orbs
  • Sputnik chandeliers featuring an array of rods ending in globe lights
  • Table lamps with sculptural metal or stone bases
  • Metallic sconces with a shade resembling a length of shimmering ribbon
Robert Abbey S710 Sputnik Light

    4. Starburst Chandeliers

    These dramatic chandeliers feature a spray of rods emanating from a center orb. Some of the rods culminate in bulbs, others in crystals. Some are spherical, while others look like slightly flattened globes with longer sprays on the sides than on the top and bottom. Starburst chandeliers deliver dynamic style to any room.

    Hubbarton Forge Wave Pendant

    5. Drum Pendants with a Twist

    Classic drum pendants showcase a simple fabric or frosted shade and have a cosmopolitan elegance. But some pendants embrace unique materials, designs, and accents. Here are some possibilities for drum pendants that are beyond the ordinary:

    • Etched steel pendant with inset crystals
    • Classic drum pendant with a brushed nickel lattice overlay
    • Drum pendant with a burlap shade
    • Perforated metal drum pendant
    Crystorama 4805-SR Chandelier

      6. Flowery and Feminine Chandeliers

      Chandeliers take a feminine spin when they include floral or botanical design elements and a hint of color. Look for sweet pink chandeliers with organic branches culminating in crystal buds. A sage and pink chandelier with sculpted wrought iron roses shares a whimsical quality. Or, embrace the luxury of a crystal chandelier resembling a bouquet of flowers in soft colors.

      Savoy House Industrial Pendant

      7. Industrial Linear Lights

      Industrial island and linear lights lend gritty sophistication to your home. The lights have a more refined quality than the factory and warehouse fixtures that inspired them. Elements to look for:

      • Edison-style exposed bulbs
      • Wires incorporated into the design
      • Sculptural metal pipes
      • Galvanized metal
      • Caged bulbs
      Elk Lighting Capri Single-Light Pendant

        8. Capiz Shell Lights

        If you love coastal style, look for lights featuring capiz shells from windowpane oysters. Capiz shells are translucent and slightly iridescent, making them stunning additions to any light fixture. You'll find the shells fixed to the base of table lamps or to handblown glass pendant covers. Or, look for chandeliers, pendants, and sconces showcasing luminous Capiz shell disks in dramatic cascades.

        Elk Lifestyle Ava Table Lamp with Coral Shade

        9. Printed Shade Table Lamps

        Table lamp shades in solid hues are the perfect complement to colorful and sculptural lamp bases. But for a change, consider printed shades. They can be playful, vibrant, or elegant, and add a pop of color and distinction to a room. Look for bright shades printed with geometric patterns over a simple lamp base, or shades that reflect the base design.

        Elk Lighitng Novelty Two-Light Hockey Pendant

        10. Novelty Lights

        Novelty light fixtures reflect your personality and your interests. Many are for children's rooms and playrooms, but they aren't for kids alone. Look for themed novelty ceiling lights that share your love of a sport, such as hockey or soccer. Or, install whimsical fixtures, such as a table lamp shaped like an animal or flush mount lights featuring an airplane or astronauts on a spacewalk.

        Uttermost Haldan Mid-Century Table Lamp by John Kowalsk

        11. Wood and Metal Lights

        In tandem, these earthy elements are a winning combination. Wood and metal light fixtures are gorgeous additions to a variety of décor styles, including rustic, modern, industrial, farmhouse, and Craftsman. Here are some designs to consider:

        • Rustic square pendant with spaced wood planks and brass rivets
        • Farmhouse-style chandeliers crafted with wood and steel in a dark finish
        • Mid-century modern table lamps with polished nickel and dark-stained oak
        • Polished nickel and wood vanity lights