Tiffany style floor lamps were originally developed as a part of the Art Nouveau movement, largely a reaction to the architectural and stylistic brutality of the industrial revolution. Instead, the Art Nouveau movement focussed on using the materials of the industrial revolution, but with curved shapes and floral and organic themes. Louis Comfort Tiffany designed what came to be called “Tiffany Lamps” based on this inspiration. As his father was Charles Lewis Tiffany, the founder of Tiffany and Company, he had a ready-made venue to sell his new design.
What defines a Tiffany Style Lamp the use of stained glass in the shades of the lamp. Tiffany, faithful to the Art Nouveau movement, populated the glass with floral and leaf patterns. As church-builders had done for centuries, stained glass affects the quality of the light, muting it and removing its harshness. It also provides different colored light to different portions of the room, creating a kaleidoscopic effect. Tiffany Style Lamps, then, not only soften the industrial materials, but the entire room.
The style was immediately popular, and Tiffany lamps became some of the most sought-after lamps in the world. They changed the very feel and appearance of the home. Soon, other companies started making stained-glass shaded lamps inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, and they have stayed one of the most popular styles to this day. The difference between a Tiffany Lamp and a Tiffany Style Lamp is that a Tiffany Lamp is actually designed by Tiffany & Company, while a Tiffany Style Lamp is any lamp with a stained-glass shade.
Traditional Tiffany Style Floor Lamps
A traditional Tiffany Style Floor Lamp will have a solid base from the shade to the ground, usually made of a metal such as bronze. It will also have a traditionally oriented, stained-glass lamp shade that focusses the light from the bulb on the ground below the lamp, while providing a smaller ray of light to the ceiling. A good example of the traditional style is the Mission Tiffany French Bronze Floor Lamp. It retains both the traditional materials, orientation and themes of Mr. Tiffany’s vision.
Torchiere Tiffany Style Floor Lamps
One of the most popular styles of Tiffany Style Floor lamps is the “torchiere” style. These lamps have an inverted lampshade, and rather than cast their primary light downward, they instead cast it upward, onto the ceiling. Such lamps lend a room a theatrical feel, and the lights resemble a “torch”, from which they get their name. The Torchiere Tiffany floor lamp dragonfly design stained glass provides a good example of the kinds of natural themes present in the stained glass, in this case, a dragonfly theme.
Contemporary Tiffany Style Floor Lamps
The Tiffany Style Floor Lamps have blended with modern tastes as well, producing the hybrid contemporary tiffany style floor lamp. These hybrid lamps will pick up the shapes and oriental themes of contemporary lamps, but employ a stained glass lampshade in or to create a softening effect. This combines both the rich stylistic options of contemporary lamps with the softened lighting of a Tiffany style lamp. A good example of this combination is the Contemporary Floor Lamp with Tiffany Style Shade , which is a direct fusion of the two styles.