Fri, Aug 17, 2018
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Having grown up in Seattle with the Space Needle in my backyard, I am very aware of how influential the “Atomic Age” of design was on our society.
During the cold war era, space age style architecture, interior design, furniture and art became a national obsession. If you love furniture from the 1950’s and 60’s, the good news is that it hasn’t gone out of style yet.
In fact, one of the most iconic creations of that era, the Sputnik chandelier and starburst light, can still be found in homes all over the country.
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This light fixture was inspired by the first artificial Earth satellite, called Sputnik 1, which was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. The satellite was a polished metal sphere with 4, long radio antennas.
As you can see from the photos in our gallery, this Space Age style design is still influential on our furniture and design trends today.
This dining room is a great example of how versatile a sputnik chandelier can be. It works well with contemporary wall paper, a rustic wood dining table and minimalist dining chairs. While we are used to seeing these types of chandeliers in midcentury modern homes, this proves that 50’s style lighting can work in almost any style decor.Photo via Lizette Marie
I had to include this oversized chandelier in this gallery because it is rare to see one this large in a dining room. As you can see from the photo, this is a more contemporary version of the traditional sputnik chandelier. It features 40 light bulbs and would be a great addition to any contemporary dining room or living room.
In contrast to other rooms in this gallery, a decorative chandelier can be an easy way to add detail to an otherwise simple space. You don’t need to have a large dining room to enjoy a sputnik chandelier. In fact, they are available in small sizes and can fit in just about any room you choose.
Here’s a classic midcentury modern style home in Los Angeles. The high ceilings about the stairwell is a great place to display a large light fixture like this one. In fact, with all the natural light the chandelier doubles as a floating piece of artwork as well as a light fixture.
To prove that a mid-century modern chandelier is welcome in any style home, here’s a contemporary french style living room. The straight lines and geometry of the sputnik light contrasts perfectly against the organic shaped furniture, rug and art above the fireplace.
Notice how in this open concept kitchen the chandelier becomes the centerpiece for the entire space. This is successful thanks to the flat panel kitchen cabinets, natural stained wood and minimal decor. While not everyone dreams of a contemporary kitchen this should still give you a few ideas on how to pull this off in a more traditional style home.
I couldn’t wait to share this dining room with you. While the designer calls this dining room “eclectic” I think it is a great example of how you could incorporate a mid-century modern light fixture into a rustic space. In contrast to the wood paneling and rugged dining table, the sputnik chandelier gives the room a touch of modern design.
Chandeliers are great in any room of the house, including the bedroom. I should point out that most bedrooms could not accommodate a chandelier due to their low ceilings. However, this bedroom has high enough ceilings that there is still plenty of space to walk underneath.
Looking for a more abstract chandelier for your contemporary home? Look no further than contemporary Miami condo filled with mid-century furniture. This large light fixture is mounted close to the ceiling and leaves plenty of room above the table without blocking the diners eyelines.
A traditional white kitchen can be a great place to introduce a fun chandelier. The designer has done a great job to balance the white cabinets and countertops with a few splashes of color as well as with a few whimsical decorations. If your kitchen is feeling too bland, maybe it is time to spice it up with a fun light fixture.
While he didn’t invent the Sputnik chandelier, Jonathan Adler has certainly made a name for himself with this iconic light fixture. No matter what design magazine you open or renovation TV show you watch, you are likely to see Adler lighting. The only thing that prevents more people, including myself, from having Adler furniture in their homes is the price tag.
Love chandeliers so much you want to hang a few in the same room? Here’s a great example of how to incorporate two sputnik chandeliers into a living room. The long orientation of this space as well as the vaulted ceilings prevent the chandeliers from overtaking the room. Plus, two smaller light fixtures help the room feel less formal compared to one large chandelier hanging from the center of the room.
No matter what style home you live in there’s a room in your house that could use a Sputnik chandelier. As you saw from the pictures above, they are a great addition to dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and stairwells.
While this mid-century modern style light fixture was first made popular in the 1950’s after the Soviet Union launched their first satellite, they are still popular today.
The best part is that you don’t have to go to estate sales or antique shops to find one. Today you can get one online from Amazon, Restoration Hardware or your local lighting store.