This Is the New “Beautiful” Home Staple You’ll Want for Every Room

published Feb 5, 2024
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Decorated living room with gallery wall and brown leather couch
Credit: Julie Florio

First came the retro SMEG fridge, then Samsung’s Frame TV, then the Windmill AC — all proof that certain home appliances and technology can actually look, well, pretty. This trend of transforming eyesore essentials into stylish standouts honestly feels like a long time coming. But I anticipate it trickling over into more interior product categories, especially as brands (and renters and homeowners alike) continue to embrace both form and function. 

That got me wondering: What will be the next big “beautiful” home basic for 2024? We already have an aesthetically pleasing TV, window air conditioner, and refrigerator, so which utilitarian fixture will get a cutting-edge makeover next? To get the scoop, I polled a handful of designers on their predictions for the upcoming year (and beyond), based on client projects and technological innovations they’re noticing in the industry. 

Responses varied, from sink faucets to coffee machines, but one clear winner stood out as having the most design-forward potential: lights and light switches. In terms of lighting, New Jersey-based interior decorator Kate Dawson expects cordless lamp styles — which have already started gaining traction — to eventually be considered the new norm. That goes for battery-operated chandeliers and overhead lighting, too — even beyond the restaurant-worthy mini table lamps I’m now noticing everywhere.

Credit: dabyki.nadya

“How is it possible that we have cell phones, yet we still need a plug for a lamp?” she says. “I predict that in the coming years we will be able to get any lamp cordless, giving infinite new possibilities for lamp placements, which will also save money on electrician costs.” This would eliminate the need for inconveniently placed light switches, or installing new electrical boxes, too — pain points that Dawson knows firsthand from her clients. 

Victoria McKenney, founder of Enviable Designs, also expects the convenience of wireless lighting to take off in the near future. “Cords have always been so unsightly, and they are always so hard to disguise or find a plug in the right spot … so these new portable/cordless lamps are the perfect solution for disguising a typical electrical component,” she adds.

Speaking of concealing electrical elements, Dan Mazzarini, principal and creative director of BHDM Design and ARCHIVE, also pointed to “retro” light switches and dimmers as another emerging advancement. Both Mazzarini and Portland-based designer Max Humphrey mentioned the minimalist Forbes & Lomax toggle switches as a prime example. “They’re vintage-inspired and can be used with LED now,” adds Mazzarini. “They tend to add a historic element to a home.”  

Time will tell if the marketplace goes all in on cord-free lighting designs and stylish switches, but for now you can shop modern portable lamps from brands like Schoolhouse, West Elm, Design Within Reach and IKEA. Anthropologie even carries a colorful selection of the popular Flowerpot V9 rechargeable LED light, as well as a charming wiggle-shaped switch plate