Is Mediterranean style lighting the same as Tuscan style lighting?
A common misconception about Mediterranean lighting design is that this warm, inviting style comes exclusively from Italy, when, in fact, Mediterranean style lighting is a cross-cultural fusion of the Spanish, French Country and Tuscan styles.
The origins of Mediterranean style lighting takes us back more than six hundred years.
With the rise of the Renaissance in the early 1400’s, Spain, France and Italy began trading a tremendous amount of goods - including pottery, glass, tapestries, marble, bronze, copper and wrought iron. The great families of the time utilized these materials as they competed with one another in building the most impressive mansions, cathedrals and palaces.
In this exciting time, skilled artisans, inspired by rival craftsmen from neighboring countries, utilized the fine, imported materials that were at their disposal. They further developed and expanded upon the creative designs that were flowing back and forth. A style with a common look and feel emerged from this exchange of materials and ideas.
Although this style essentially merged into one, Mediterranean lighting still retains certain, individual characteristics of its three mother nations.
Each country’s best characteristics remain evident today. Wrought-iron chandeliers and suspension-lighting with tea-stained, frosted glass derive from the Spanish style; while hand-carved, botanical details with rustic-gold and burnt-red metals stem from Country French; and finally, the heavy, wrought-iron fixtures and stone and amber glass shades of Mediterranean lighting originated in Tuscany, Italy.
Mediterranean lighting design continues to flourish today.
The forging of these unique but complementary designs has resulted in an enduring style that is as popular today in the United States as it was in Europe 500 years ago - most notably in the desert areas of the southwest.
Because earth tones suit arid, desert environments so well, Tuscan style housing has become a common architectural trend in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. And what better way to adorn the Tuscan motif than with the complementary coppers, heavy wrought irons, marbleized glass and burnished bronzes of Mediterranean lighting fixtures?
With such a rich, diverse past, there are a wide variety of Mediterranean lighting fixtures to choose from. Whether you’re looking for rustic, wrought iron pendants for your ranch or ornate, artistic suspension lights for your downtown loft, brands like Ottocento offer exciting options in Mediterranean style lighting.
No matter what environment you are illuminating, you’re sure to find Mediterranean lighting fixtures to suit every space at Lighting55.com - we invite you to take a look around!