Modern Classics: Nelson Bubble Lamps

Modern Classics: Nelson Bubble Lamps

Adrienne Breaux
Sep 6, 2012

If there was a top ten list of the most recognizable modern design pieces ever, there's no doubt George Nelson's Bubble Lamps would be on it. Though they come in quite the variety of sizes and shapes, their core design — a space-ship like, self-webbing plastic lamp — is the look that many folks gravitate to when looking for an element to add a touch of modern design to a space.

First created in 1947, Nelson Bubble Lamps were designed to be made up of materials that were developed for military use, which was typical in the postwar era. You can learn more about their history and read about them in George Nelson's own words in this history of the bubble lamp.

Its rich history aside, the soul of the Nelson Bubble Lamp is its ability to blend perfectly with many different styles and also stick out just enough to add a punch of personality. Some might call a Nelson Bubble Lamp a safe choice (they're not a crazy color or particularly "loud"), but we don't think so. Any time you use one of these lights in a space, there's a strong energy that permeates the whole room. It's a bold choice, and a classic one. We grabbed some shots from around the web that show how great George Nelson Bubble Lamps look in a variety of spaces, from traditional to very modern.

1. Simple and bright at The Brick House
2. Corner classic in Marsi & Robert's Bright and Tidy Southern Ranch
3. Looks perfect with wood. John Lum Architecture, Inc. via Houzz
4. Living room lovely from SF Girl by Bay
5. With the wood ceiling, from another angle by John Lum Architecture, Inc.

6. Hollywood regency via Desire to Inspire
7. Vintage and dramatic in the Brooklyn home of Jordan Provost and Jason Wong via Design*Sponge
8. A lucky break in Dwell Magazine
9. Simple and sleek in Vancouver via
10. Global-inspired in a dining room by Aaron Hom

What do you think? Feel like you need one for your space now? Find resources for where to get one or more in this post.

(Images: 5: Sharon Risedorph & Michelle Wilson (Sunset Books), 7: João Canziani; all others as credited above)

Apartment Therapy supports our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.
moving--truck moving--dates moving--dolly moving--house moving--cal Created with Sketch. moving--apt