All fixtures are available at Cajun Electric. Photos courtesy Cajun Electric.

Lighting is going all natural. Here’s how to get in on the trend

In the time before electricity, using natural fibers like twine, rope or wood to surround your light source probably wouldn’t be the best idea, given fire’s propensity for, well, setting those things ablaze. But these days, bringing the outdoors in has become a trendy movement in interior design, particularly when it comes to the ways we light up our spaces. Just ask Cajun Electric’s Britt Davies and Maggie Kimble, who have stocked their shop with some of the nature-inspired fixtures sparking light—and conversation—in homes this year. 

“Natural fibers are trending now because we feel that most of our clients find joy in the simplicity of the natural materials, and also the organic nature of them,” says Davies, who notes that the coastal, vacation-worthy vibes of materials like rattan and straw saw an uptick in popularity as people grew tired with staying indoors during the height of COVID-19. “They can also act as a blank slate that can work well with any other color in the home.”

Baja Chandelier

Not that using natural fibers in design is brand-new. After all, materials like wood, bamboo, rattan and cotton already appear regularly in our tables, chairs and fabrics, whether indoors or out. But a chandelier wrapped in raffia, or laced with abaca rope (the strongest natural fiber in the world) lends a different feel, hovering above our spaces with an almost arboreal presence. True to the trend, Cajun Electric is also stocking options made with grasscloth, twine, branches, corn rope, natural rope, and water hyacinth, whose matte finishes and rough textures create a stark contrast with the smooth metals often found in light fixtures.

As an element of design, using texture in a space creates depth and interest,” says Kimble, citing the store’s Baja Chandelier, whose white beaded wood pops amidst the subtle sheen of antique brass. “Texture can make a space feel cozy, rustic or intimate, depending on how you use it.”

A light fixture made of natural fibers can also be a way to add a touch of drama to more casual spaces, which Davies says can be achieved by avoiding rigid shapes and emphasizing flow. The rounded, white, hollow beads of the Hannie Chandelier, for example, soften any harsh visual lines, as do the repeating loops of the Finley Chandelier, which also add a touch of whimsy.

For a natural take on more classic design, Kimble recommends pieces like the Luca Pendant or the Eman Pendant, whose coastal-inspired woven shades don’t try to hide the industrial look of their light bulbs. More modern shapes—like the convex curve and frayed edges of the Filamento Chandelier, or the bundled roughness of the Seychelles Chandelier—can offer an edgier vibe.

They’re a great way to give an existing space a fresh, updated look with very little effort,” says Kimble.

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