Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta that I'll describe as "collected."
I got into design via Landscape Architecture, which I studied at the University of Virginia. I've been writing about design online for quite a few years over at Hatch: The Design Public Blog.
Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta... More »
The Arco floor lamp is a modern icon. It's a sculptural floor lamp that provides the same effect as overhead lighting without all of that pesky, permanent wiring and lack of flexibility that comes with a pendant or chandelier. Its shiny stainless steel finish gives it a sleek modern look that has never once become dated-looking since it was designed by the Castiglioni brothers in 1962.
A long arcing neck needs stability, which is provided by a marble brick base with a hole in it. Once you've found a spot for the base, the lamp can be placed over sofas, beds, desks and even dining tables. Is this form following function, or function following form? I was trying to declare one or the other, but this design makes it hard to determine! Whatever the answer is, the ingenious form and function earned the Arco a permanent spot in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection. There are not a whole lot of items you can visit at the MoMA and purchase for your own home.
Is the Arco right for your space? If you are planning to get one, placing it just right can be tricky. Spaces that are too small or cluttered can be overwhelmed by an Arco lamp. If you plan on purchasing one, be sure to look at the measurements carefully and figure out where you are going to put the base to get the lamp in the right spot. I'm going to show you a bunch of examples of how designers have used this iconic lamp perfectly - take a look and see if the space planning, scale of the room (including ceilings) and furniture placement resembles the space where you envision an Arco in your home.
Very high ceilings allow for a very tall lamp here. Also note how well this works for providing light to sectional sofas - usually the person in the corner doesn't get much, as it's awkward to place a table lamp or regular floor lamp right next to that particular spot.