There are a lot of ways to amp up the ambiance of your home, but few pieces of decor pull their weight as much as a unique lamp
that we’re sexually attracted to. Remember the cultural impact of those viral sunset lamps? They continue to bathe our living rooms in an inviting, honey-hued glow. Now that it’s fall, it’s time to add even more layers to the cozy factor of our homes with the best, most unique lamps for making us look like worldly, erudite, and well-lit people.
The job of your lamp isn’t just to illuminate your space/the secret messages within the Declaration of Independence. Studies have shown that bright, blue lighting tends to increase productivity, while warm, amber lighting has a relaxing effect for sleep, smashing, or hosting an Eyes Wide Shut-themed dinner party.
Of course, there’s no shortage of aesthetics when it comes to lamps, and so it can be tough to know where to start if you want statement lighting in your abode. We have rounded up the best unique table and floor lamps to light up your life, from Japandi lamps that take a nod from Isamu Noguchi to a vintage brass floor lamp that looks like it sprouted out of the earth. Whether you have a budget of $40 or $1,000, there’s a memorable mushroom, globe, or mid-century modern lamp out there to light up your life.
The best unique table lamps
Japandi table lamps
The portmanteau of Japanese and Scandinavian, “Japandi” decor pulls from the minimalist, warm design cues of both Japanese and Nordic design to create a uniquely inviting, calming aesthetic. There’s an entire VICE article dedicated to the sculptural lamps of the late Isamu Noguchi and their lookalikes, but this rice paper orb from the article remains one of the round-up’s bestsellers for both VICE readers and Amazon shoppers thanks to its gauzy, relaxing glow.
When Article isn’t busy tending to the cult of its bestselling Sven leather sofa, it makes a damn good Japandi table lamp. The Kana table lamp is not only under $100, but blends dark wood legs and a caned lampshade together to bring even more texture to your home.
Mushroom lamps are forever
Mushrooms have been having a cultural moment recently, and whether you’re a Deadhead or a fan of MCM Murano Italian glass, you have probably been smitten with those mushroom-shaped glass table lamps. They remain GOATed in our hearts, but don’t you think a wood mushroom lamp is a more unique move for the 2023 cozy season?
If you’re a little more 1965-Pierre-Cardin-Mod than Japandi mushroom lamp, this orange shroomy is a welcome, futuristic departure from the norm and an excellent pop of color during the dreary winter months. Plus, imagine how good it will look next to a stack of big TASCHEN art books.
Fall is also the perfect time to lean into Enyacore, which is the moodier, Medieval-revival side of the Y2K Renaissance that favors earthy, ye olde materials such as clay, velvet, and stone, and brings in plenty of wrought-iron candle holders and cozy lighting for fall and winter. The ethereal swirls on this mushroom lamp make it the perfect mood lighting for the next time you bump “Caribbean Blue.”
Ponder your orb
A unique lamp can also pull its aesthetic weight as a postmodern art sculpture for your home. Consider this delicate orb table lamp from Wayfair, which has a 4.6-star average rating from reviewers and comes in both clear, blue, and amber glass colorways.
You want an antique look
Didn’t you inherit this intricate lamp from your late, well-traveled great-grandmother? The one who visited 13 countries, had five greyhounds, and hooked up with Charlie Chaplin? Maybe not. But that’s what we would be telling our house guests if they asked where we found this porcelain lamp.
The best unique floor lamps
Japandi floor lamps
… What, did you think we’d stop at table lamps? There are plenty of unique, Japandi floor lamps out there, including this abstract Yoji Lamp from Urban Outfitters. The dual orb nature of the futuristic floor lamp offers plenty of lighting, while the natural wood material of the base brings it back to Earth.
Listen, you really can’t go wrong with a Noguchi-style rice paper floor lamp; it can compliment both minimalist and maximalist design aesthetics, is incredibly lightweight, and looks just as great in a living room as it does a bedroom thanks to its warm, sheer material.
A minimalist floor lamp
Speaking of minimalism, this glowing rod-esque floor lamp from Amazon is another VICE bestseller, because it takes up hardly any space while delivering a golden glow to any corner of your home. We would bet big money that Tadao Ando has one chilling in the corner of his own Brutalist library.
This classic MCM lamp
This arched chrome lamp is another GOATed mid-century modern staple and space saver, because the curve of the neck makes it possible to position right over your favorite reading chair or couch. It has a 4.4.-star average rating from over 1,700 reviewers on Amazon, including one pleased customer who says it’s the perfect alternative for a similar lamp that they saw “in [Architectural Digest] for several thousand [dollars].”
This sexy version of the Pixar lamp
Perhaps one of the most classic lamps on our list, this matte black floor lamp from Article is like a souped-up version of the Pixar lamp after it moved to Paris for a few years, took up (and then quit) smoking, and became besties with Rick Owens.
The best truly out-there lamps
Remember, one person’s out-there lamp may be another person’s casual Sunday thrift store find. And while we can’t accompany you to the next Rose Bowl flea market to find an epic 1970s clown lamp, we can let you in on some of the best, truly next-level lamps that the internet has to offer, starting with this ceramic, 1960s black panther lamp with a sexy red shade. It’s just begging to be styled next to this amber glass ashtray and a vintage Playboy magazine.
The Yamada Shomei table lamp was one of the coolest pieces of lighting to come out of the 1970s, because it both looks like the arm of a robot and folds-up for easy storage. Place on top of a Kartell Componibili side table to complete the mod look.
Red sauce kings, tomato girls, and cottagecore folks will go crazy for this tomato lamp from Urban Outfitters, which sure would look great in the kitchen by our Alessi coffee pot, and was probably hiding in the prop closet somewhere for Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
This vintage copper lamp came into our life at the perfect time, and not only because we just found a backpack filled with $2,000, but because it reminds us to think outside of the box when we want to invest the kinds of unique art pieces that our descendants will fight over. The French floor lamp looks like it crawled right out of Fantasia.
Don’t be surprised if this feathered floor lamp comes to life when you leave the room. The palm tree-esque design comes in a few different colorways, and makes it ideal for at-home tiki bars, powder rooms, and basically anywhere you want to imbue with the same fuzzy warmth that you feel after sipping on a piña colada and (not) getting caught in the rain.
See, doesn’t that feel better? Next up, we’re shopping for giant, luxurious area rugs to keep those toes toasty this fall.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.