We Never Thought We’d Say It, But This Designer Has Us Rethinking Boob Lights
Her colorful Hay pick actually looks good.
Published May 22, 2023 1:05 AM
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There are some things you can’t unsee once you’ve seen them. The boob light is one of those things. A landlord’s special, this mass-produced fixture gets its nickname for its dome silhouette and protruding tip, and is one of the top features we hear homeowners and renters complain about. But recently, interior designer Shannon McLaren, owner of Prairie Interiors, made a case for having a pointy-looking flush mount—and it’s something we don’t want to unsee.
“I told myself I need to go minimal, cool, and anti-McMansion,” says McLaren, while recalling renovating the dining room in her 2000s–built Newport Beach, California, home. Previously, there was a gaudy chandelier hanging in the space that fit the vibe of the, as she put it, “bad Coto de Caza, Mediterranean” architecture; it wasn’t at all to her liking. After swathing the walls in a glistening, fishy Pierre Frey wallpaper, the designer had her electrician replace the old light with Hay’s Matin flush mount lamp, or “the new boob light,” as she so cleverly called it on her Instagram Stories. “It’s not this grand thing; it’s this simple hall light that I thought was cute and cheerful,” she explains.
Matin Flush Mount, Hay ($200)
The $200 find was originally created by French designer Inge Sempé and features a pleated cotton shade along with a painted steel bracket for mounting it on the ceiling or on the wall (yes, you can treat it like a sconce, too). The flat-packed fixture shields two bulbs, which give it that soft, ambient glow—and if you want to swap them out with LED dimmable versions, it’s totally compatible. While the piece is hardwired, it can be assembled easily by someone with electrical know-how. We never thought we’d see this day, but we’re not mad about it.
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Chris Loves Julia Parasol Semi-Flush Mount, Pottery Barn Kids ($229)
Chris and Julia Marcum technically designed this scalloped piece with a nursery in mind, but we not-so-secretly want it for our adult bedrooms.
Santa Barbara Rattan Flush Mount, Serena & Lily ($498)
A hit of rattan ends much-needed texture to a flat white ceiling.
Model 26 Ceiling Light, Lightology (from $600)
This conical one is a splurge-worthy version of McLaren’s Hay piece. Designed in 1945 by Tage Klint, it stars his signature hand-folded pleating.
Utah-18 Ceiling Light by Gallery L7, 1stDibs ($1,800)
If it’s the boob light’s pointy tip that throws you off, opt for a disk silhouette, which looks more like a space shuttle than a body part.