While people tend to focus their energy on big-ticket, big-big items like sofas and tables, lighting really has the ability to tie a room together and set the ambiance. Whether you're in the mood for some distinctive retro pendant, a set of modern-chic wall sconces, or a little bit of neon to light up your life, the Hudson Valley has got you covered—electric tech whizzes and glass blowers extraordinaire, vintage thrifters and modernist makers. No need to go to the city to find the perfect fixture.
Most of these shops and showrooms are located on quintessential upstate Main Streets, alongside other cute shops and restaurants. So hop in the car, make a day trip out of it, and explore these local lighting gurus.
Niche Modern | Beacon, NY
Is there anything more magical than brightly colored, hand-blown glass bulbs? Yes: brightly colored, hand-blown glass pendant lighting. For more than a decade, the team of artisans at Niche Modern, headed by Jeremy Pyles and Mary Welch, has been creating glass products renowned as much for their contemporary simplicity as for their stunning depth of color. The company’s pendant lamps grace a room like floating gemstones. Another Brooklyn transplant, Niche Modern now operates out of the 1911 Talix factory building in Beacon.Also, every spring they have a dope Factory Sale
where you can get their characterful fixtures at steeply discounted prices (up to 80 percent off).
Culture+Commerce Project | Hudson, NY
The Culture+Commerce Project
is a Hudson-based design consultancy, representing a wide range of regional makers and artists. Though they have closed their brick/mortar retail store, the business continues to a web retail store or by appointment. One of their artisans, Rafael Avramovich, founder of Brooklyn-based Work and Design
, creates his “Living in Harmony” pendants from mixed-size strips of recycled metal; iron, steel, and brass. Their dynamic forms arise from his intention to evoke emotion beyond the visual, and their organic-industrial feel makes them welcome in the city or country. For more info call (518) 828-9219 or email email@example.com
Materia Designs | Accord, NY
Materia Designs aims to “blur the lines between art, design, utility, work, and life.” Husband-and-wife team Matt Ensner and Megan Sommerville use their varied backgrounds in fields ranging from choreography to landscape design as inspiration for their lighting, furniture, home accessories, and, increasingly, residential and commercial interior design projects. Their design ethos extols elemental materials such as marble, parchment, porcelain, un-lacquered brass, and leather (hence the name), resulting in clean, rich-looking pieces that exude authenticity. Their new 4,500-sqaure-foot production facility in Accord brings everything that they do under one roof; housing a showroom, design studio and a full workshop where all of their hand-crafted items are produced.
Luddite Antiques | Germantown, NY
If you're going for more of a vintage vibe on the illumination front, then you're going to want to head down up to Columbia County. On Main Street you'll find Luddite Antiques, a Brooklyn retail expat specializing in early electric lighting. From Victorian chandeliers to Art Deco sconces to neon bar signs, Luddite illumines every era of history. The light fixtures are intermingled with antique gems strong on personality like wooden card catalogues, Soviet-era globes, and 18th-century apothecary cabinets. Whether you're decking out a boutique hotel or redoing the guest room, it's worth checking out the inventory in their tin-ceilinged showroom.
Lite Brite Neon | Kingston, NY
Custom neon work: Tavares Strachan: I Belong Here (Exploded), 2011
Now for a bit of a Vegas twist: Hudson Valley's very own neon studio. Lite Brite began in 1999 as a way for founder Matt Dilling to support his own practice as a neon artist, which focuses on the decorative and architectural possibilities of neon: chandeliers and lighting fixtures. Over the years, the studio expanded to include a range of neon artists working in everything from original gallery work to commercial signage and restoration. When the business outgrew its original Brooklyn location (which now serves as a showroom) in 2017, Dilling moved production to a 15,000-square-foot former furniture factory in Midtown Kingston. Lite Brite’s 12-member fabrication team works on 500 to 700 projects a year and operates like a sculptural foundry. Artists and clients bring concepts at various stages of ideation to Lite Brite—some are detailed renderings, some are back-of-the-envelope sketches—and the team transforms them into neon reality.
FRG Objects & Design/Art | Hudson, NY
is the brain child of stylist-cum-photographer-cum-interior designer FR Gillette, who in 2013 relocated his design studio to a 3,000-square-foot space in Hudson, that triples as his home, office, and showroom. Through his winding career, Gillette has cultivated a careful aesthetic that demonstrates itself in his spatial understanding and use of color. His work was recently featured in Design Hudson 2018
, when he took over a room at 217 Warren Street. Gillette's curatorial approach strives to disrupt, “eliminating traditional boundaries, stepping out of the box when it comes to color, mixing fabrics and art.” On June 30, FRG celebrates its latest partnership, Design by Demand lighting collection, a collaboration with Italian engineer and product designer Daniele Gualeni. Each light is produced exclusively in Italy in collaboration with master craftsmen of metal, ceramic, murano glass, and marble. There will be an opening reception on June 30, from 5:30 to 8:30pm.
Lightexture | Troy, NY
Handmade Claylight Sconce.
Troy-based design studio Lightexture’s perforated white clay spherical and egg-shaped pendant lamps provide a subtly dramatic way to illuminate a modern kitchen or dining area. The lamps’ perforation patterns—lines or dots—create a starry effect on the walls and ceilings above, and shine a warm colored light on what’s below. Each pendant comes with a 50-watt xenon bulb that’s twice as efficient as an incandescent bulb, and has a lifespan of 5,000 hours. A plug-in version of the lamp is also available.
Entner Glass | Rhinebeck, NY
Barry Entner’s sculptural lights begin as visions rather than commercial product designs. Each sculpture of glass and metal appears wildly free flowing, devoid of gravitational constraints, but is actually meticulously planned. Entner, who works out of a studio in Rhinebeck, utilizes several hundred components for each piece, evolving it from concept to rough sketch to scale drawings. His work has been shown in Germany, Japan, and Switzerland, and is included in private and public collections worldwide.