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Design Evolution: Table Lamps

Sometimes we forget how far the simple items in our home have come in regards to their design and how they fit in with the rest of our space. This is absolutely true with table lamps, something that some people may not take notice of. Over the years, table lamps have really gone through some changes and they continue to come out with new designs all the time.


We have to travel back in time to truly appreciate how far table lamps have come, and that brings us back to around 70,000 B.C. when, according to an article from Ezine Articles, hollow shells were filled with moss and lit to provide lighting. These probably weren’t the best looking lamps, but if they were inspiration for lamps today, we feel like this one from Perigold (to the right) would be the modern approach we’d see in lighting stores.




Moving forward on the timeline now, we see people start to use terra cotta as their lamps, something that would be a little bit more aesthetically pleasing than the aforementioned “moss lamps.” These terra cotta versions were being created in the 7th century by the people of Greece, and would hold oil and feature some type of design like this photo below.



Now this next one may be something many of you remember, but that we’re trying to forget… the table + lamp combo. Now don’t get us wrong, the idea is there and has been built on since then, but this specific time in the lamp’s life was not it’s proudest moment. We’ve seen the introduction now of wireless phone chargers and more modern lines on these table/lamp combo which means there is a light at the end of the tunnel!



Finally, here we are in the golden ages of table lamps! Fun designs, interesting colors and shapes & sizes for all homes, no matter the design.

If you ever look through our online project portfolio, you’ll understand how much we truly appreciate beautiful lamps and lighting in general, so we’re thankful everyday for the bold designers who have created these interesting and playful table lamps we see today.


It’s so interesting to go back in time and see where such a simple item started and to see where it is now. Although the moss filled shell style lamp sounds very avant-garde, we’re thankful we don’t have to go outside to find these materials to ensure we have lighting daily.