Scandinavian Design: Four Vintage Lamps to Have at Home

Throughout the evolution of Scandinavian design, lighting has never ceased to be a center of interest for designers. More than a simple object, lamps and light sources are key elements in the room of a house. Lighting sets the tone and atmosphere of a room. The light bulb first appeared in 1878 instilling a desire for innovation and modernity for designers of the era to create unusual, original, and modern lights. The field of possibilities was infinite since everything must be invented. Lighting is therefore a playground for designers who take great pleasure in creating and inventing lamps with iconic shapes and characteristics. Some of these lamps are today considered vintage and belong to a past rich in history. Here are four vintage lamps to have at home!

Poul Henningsen's PH5 Lamp

Poul Henningsen

Poul Henningsen was an architect and designer born in 1894 in Denmark. Throughout his life, he was passionate about lighting and lamps. He was constantly researching and finding improvements to the homes of the Danes. In love with the kerosene lamp and its warm atmosphere, he saw the flaw in the invention of the light bulb: its intensity of light and its aggressiveness in diffusion.

In 1958, after years of exploring the subject, he invented the PH5 lamp. This vintage lamp instantly became a remarkable innovation. Poul Henningsen had the idea at the time, to use a lampshade overlay system. Three shades in a row allow the light to be diffused slowly and gently. To create the PH5 lamp, Poul Henningsen used aluminum and glass materials which gives it a light, welcoming, and warm appearance.

After the success of this invention, the Danish designer decided to redesign the lamp in all possible forms: suspended, on feet, and applied to streetlights. This vintage lamp created a huge success for the designer and is still known for its daring and original design.

The Panthella Lamp by Verner Panton

Born in Denmark in 1926, Verner Panton is known for being one of the greatest designers in Danish history. With his pioneering spirit and ambition, he was one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. He liked to create objects with unusual shapes and quirks, yet still be functional. Functionality was a priority in the Verner Panton creation process. He wanted to be a meticulous designer, serving the consumer and their everyday comfort. His works are known to be innovative (utilizing modern materials such as plastic), colorful and futuristic. He was the first to invent injection molding which revolutionized the design industry.

In 1970 he created the Panthella Lamp. Shaped like half a sphere, the lampshade concentrates and directs the light downwards from the lamp. During the diffusion of this light, the material (opalized acrylic) allows the light to move throughout the room harmonically. Thanks to the opaque aspect of the lampshade, the light is soft, cotton-like, and delicately diffused. Verner Panton also decided to redesign the Panthella as a floor lamp. It is difficult to adapt all types of decorations and environments while keeping a soft and natural light always present.

Verner Panton Lampe Panthella

The AJ Royal Pendant Lamp by Arne Jacobsen

Born in 1902 in Copenhagen, Arne Jacobsen was a pioneer of Danish design. Throughout his career, he was respected and admired by his audacity and his creations. Passionate about architecture as much as design, Arne Jacobsen is famous for the creation of several buildings still visible in Denmark, today. He was an artist who had an eye for detail and perfection. He loved to be part of big projects that allowed him to challenge himself. In 1956, the designer took up the challenge of creating the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. It builds and design hotel of its foundation to any interior design e : furniture, wallpapers, floor lamp s … Arne Jacobsen invented a whole all hotel straight out of his imagination.

It was during this magnificent and incredible project that the designer and architect invented the AJ Royal lamp. In the shape of a half-dome, the lamp illuminates the different rooms of the SAS Royal hotel. Its round and generous shape was imagined to provide welcoming and modern lighting. Its shape is elegant, diffuses the light downwards and creates perfect lighting. It is a vintage, timeless lamp that appeals to consumers and allows Arne Jacobsen to still live on today.

The AJ Table Lamp by Arne Jacobsen

The AJ Table Lamp is also an integral part of the famous creations of designer Arne Jacobsen. It was also created in 1956 during the birth of the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. This vintage and iconic lamp is famous for its original shapes and colors. In the shape of a flamingo, it is stripped of flare and gives a refined style to lighting. The lampshade is connected to the “leg” and looks like what could be the head of a bird. Only a button adorns the base of the lamp. Its metallic material gives it a modern industrial style. It is a functional and futuristic lamp, based mainly on table lighting. Its lighting is focused down in a warm and intimate way. It allows the person who uses it to engage in business in a relaxing atmosphere. It was important for Arne Jacobsen to create contrasts with the dynamic atmosphere of the hotel.


Even if the consumer is in a common room, he must feel confident and relaxed. To make a balance with its sleek design, Jacobsen decided to redesign it in different colors. These colors once again recall the colors of birds and we can have fun guessing what species of bird the AJ lamp could be. It is a vintage lamp still famous today and loved by customers. It is a modern and soft lamp that crosses eras without aging.

Find the lighting and lamps of famous designers in our stores in Paris or on our website  Our experts in lamps and vintage Danish design and will be pleased to advise and share with you the secrets of Scandinavian design.