No matter how carefully you’ve chosen your sofa, how much time you’ve spent swaying across carpets, or how many colors you’ve tried on the walls, a fluorescent light fixture can ruin the entire carefully coordinated design effect. Lighting is one of the most important components of a well-designed space. We love to overlay our lighting options – and we have plenty of ambient lighting options in every room. When it comes to choosing a table or a bedside lamp, we always resort to the classic pumpkin lamp.
Pictured above: Pumpkin lamps used in the redesign of our NYC apartment
A little pumpkin lamp story
It’s called the gourd lamp for a pretty obvious reason. The shape is based on a traditional pumpkin. In prehistoric China, pumpkins were used as vessels to hold water, and the shape was so versatile that potters had made their ceramic bottles modeled after the organic shape. When porcelain was invented around 800 AD, the favorite pumpkin shape was recreated in this shiny new material. When European explorers brought back porcelain from China, the entire European high society was thrilled. In addition to the shape of the pumpkin, there were many other vase spaces. These porcelain pieces have been collected, valued and exhibited across Europe for centuries.
In the early 1900s, as the incandescent bulb spread, high-end decorators took the intricately painted Chinese vases and converted them into lamp bases topped with fussy, lined, and pleated lamps. The undecorated and simpler pumpkin vases were seen as too simple. When fashion shifted to slimmer shapes in the 1950s, designers gave the pumpkin vases a second look. In the 1960s and 1970s, jet set designers like David Hicks and Albert Hadley rewired the pumpkin vases and incorporated them into their design plans.
These days everyone from Jonathan Adler to West Elm has an attitude towards the pumpkin lamp. And for good reason, the simple shape works effortlessly in almost any room. It is certainly one of our favorites.
Smoked glass lamp
The smoked hand blown glass gives this pumpkin lamp an updated ’70s feel.
Etched white pumpkin lamp
Jonathan Adler silver pumpkin lamp
Robert Abbey pumpkin lamp
Mercury glass gourd lamp