Contemporary vs Traditional vs Transitional Lighting
When you decide to choose light fixtures for your home, it can be overwhelming narrowing down the thousands of options available. While your selections seem endless, most light fixtures can be put into three categories: contemporary, traditional, and transitional. Knowing the difference between these styles can help you pick accessories that suit your style best.
Different time periods influence the lighting designs of that era. From an academic view, any style created after the 1930s is considered contemporary. During this time, people grew tired of polished metal and reverted to wood instead. Although, most contemporary pieces you find today are made from metal. Contemporary style refers to designs that are modern in appearance. It typically looks minimalist and futuristic, making it stand out. At one point in the 1960s, contemporary design abandoned wood. Designers call the aesthetic from the 1930s to the 1960s as modern instead. Uncluttered, clean lines, single tone finishes without texture, and a lightly constructed feel is commonly found in contemporary styles today.
These fixtures draw inspiration from previous eras in time. Lighting has been around for hundreds of years in the form of candles and light bulbs. The style in which it has been displayed has taken on many forms throughout centuries. After the excess of the Rococo and Baroque era before the start of the Industrial Revolution, artists revisited the antiquity of Roman and Greek buildings. From 1750 to the early nineteenth century, Neoclassicism was the dominating style of the era. These lights look highly refined and decorative. It typically is not adorned with excessive design elements and lavish accents. The fixtures are scaled down and are made with discipline in mind. You will notice traditional designs because they are elegant with gentle curves and straight lines wrapped in understated embellishment with a simple finish.
This style is a combination of the other two lighting styles. It could be thought of as the transition of traditional to contemporary that remains fixed in time. The result is various brilliant designs of lighting fixtures. It can be tricky to define, but that is the point. Transitional fixtures are unique and eye-catching because of that. It is a relatively new term used to define styles that take a softer approach to traditional styles. It is meant to convey a feeling of comfort while presenting a classic aesthetic while forgoing the fussiness of classical styling. These fixtures are usually found in bronze and earth-tones, traditional lines without heavy accents, and warm glass diffusers or finishes. If you want your home to exude warmth and coziness, this may be the style for you.
When choosing a style, there is no right answer. It will all depend on your personal preference and the aesthetic you are going for. Do not feel that you need to adorn your home in just one style. Using transitional fixtures is an excellent way to combine contemporary and traditional pieces seamlessly. The best selection will be the one you are most pleased with.