Noguchi-esque Rice Paper Shades Soften Modern Rooms

A recent house tour in Remodelista showed a cool, minimalist renovation of a 1940’s summer cottage in Denmark. The hard angles and rectangles so common (and problematic) with a modern aesthetic were softened by huge, translucent paper spheres hung from the ceiling, pioneered by Isamu Noguchi in the 1950’s. They’ve long been a favorite of ours because the are a simple way to add ethereal, sculptural rounds to an angular interior, and because there fine inexpensive knock-offs that will achieve the same look.

Mikkel Mortensen

Mikkel Mortensen

Designers Paolo SoleriSam MaloofWharton EsherickRuth and Robert Hatch and George Nakashima all used the big globes to great effect; they are in many interiors of the lovely book Artists’ Handmade Houses.

Nakashima Living room light Noguchi

Don Freeman

You can read all about them, and where to buy real Noguchi shades AND the knockoffs here.

Photos: Mikkel Mortensen

3 Responses to Noguchi-esque Rice Paper Shades Soften Modern Rooms

  1. FM 02.08.2016 at 10:32am #

    I am unable to hang a lantern but would like to achieve that floating effect with standing, round paper lanterns. Any suggestions on a base to buy/make that is “invisible”?

  2. Sally 02.08.2016 at 12:26pm #

    I would just buy an inexpensive lamp the right height and configuration to hold a shade and ditch the shade it comes with…Use a paper shade. This Ikea table lamp or this one are good examples: utterly simple, with an adjustable height that would accomodate many shade types. Also google “Noguchi table lamps” for inspiration.

  3. FM 02.16.2016 at 4:08pm #


Leave A Comment

subscribing = loving

If the Improvised Life is a source of creativity, inspiration, ideas and change in your daily life, please consider becoming a Friend with Benefits. A little bit goes a long way towards helping us publish fresh AD-FREE content each day.