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i'm in the process of picking out table lighting for a few rooms in the house, now that, for the first time in two years, our house has a solid paint color in all 6 rooms. we need bedside table lamps, a little light for the bathroom (i love small lamps in bathrooms, it makes everything feel homier) and possibly something for the newly painted music room. i'm thinking akari for at least two of them and these are my choices so far. i'll probably only get one or two but i thought i'd see if anyone had had a bad experience with an akari lamp in their home. just want to make sure the paper won't rip if i accidentally poke it or something...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

paper will rip with ease-- paper lamps and cats do not go well together. I know from experience.

9:01 AM  
Blogger wayne said...

Funny enough I have the Akari (Bottom right next to
the bed photo) on a chest of drawers in our bedroom.
The problem I have with this lamp is the cord weighs more than the lamp so it tends to pull it off and on
to the floor!! You have to "make slack" with the cord
because if it's to tight it will pull it over. MAybe some of the other styles have a better cord to lamp weigh
balance. They are wonderful lamps and you can't beat a classic regardless of its kinks.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Carlene said...

Is that your bedroom? It's beautiful!

We had a paper lamp much like these. It was destroyed by a nosy little dog. Thankfully, it was only about $9 (Ikea).

Oh, yeah, they rip. But they are so beautiful, if you can keep them away from...everyone, they might survive.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous elizabeth said...

These lamps are wonderful. I love the black and the green in particular.

I was going to ask - do you have any great paint colors to share?

10:16 AM  
Blogger shoobe01 said...

I always call these Noguchi lamps. Hmm. Seems they are the same thing.

The legged ones are way too light to put up on things. They only really work on the floor unless you tie off the cord nearby.

The ones with the blocky iron bases are way easier to use.

I have only had one rip ever. The cat decided she just had to get to the grass on the shelf way up on the wall. The very narrow shelf. Cat, planter, etc. came down and tore the paper off the metal frame pretty much completely. This was also the only time I have had a CF bulb break (and it just cracked a hole in the corner) so it was a pretty violent excursion.

No damage at all to any others, even with being knocked over, mauled by children, etc. The paper is pretty sturdy in my experience.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous jerseyfresh said...

i've also been wanting one of those colorful little akari lamps, ever since i saw them in your coverage of the icff. i'm hoping that they are slightly more sturdy and well-made than your average ikea paper lantern... and thus a little more resistant to tears (but that's probably wishful thinking.) if you do get one, could you let us know what you think?

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to have one. I had mine for over 3 years. But after all that time, i can say that the paper was hard to clean (dust) and it did rip. it was beautiful while i had it. i miss my akari lamp, but i don't think i'd buy one again.

10:55 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

shoobee- these were designed by isamu noguchi so you're still right ;) their official name is "akari" but you got the designer right.

oh man, paint has become my life for the last few years, but none have really bowled me over. our whole house is pretty neutral now because our furnishings have gotten pretty pattern and color heavy.

i use benjamin moore's senora grey and stingray. my bedroom is senora grey- you'll see it's a lot warmer than the color preview online. i love it. i just finished painting our music room (aka, ac's room) stingray. it looks exactly like the senora grey in the room next to it because the room doesn't have any windows and is much darker. worked perfectly.

our dining room is a benjamin moore color called waynesboro taupe- but i'm mixed on it.

the living room and kitchen are off white called sea pearl. it's pretty nice, but i'm not a white wall girl so it's taken a while to get used to.

d*s ;)

11:03 AM  
Blogger Aude said...

Hi Grace
It's been a few months now that we bought a Noguchi table lamp (the bottom one on your top picture) and are pretty happy with it.
It's true that the cord is a bit heavy for the lamp but that's ok and I do think too they are quite sturdy and made to last a bit
And it remembers me a story in marie-calire maison mag some years ago from the chief editor who had a Noguchi lamp for years, a bit damaged, customised with a red ribbon instead of the broken switch but still beautiful after those years

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had an original ( not the Ikea version, sorry they do not compare on any level) for 25 years....
on the floor on tables whatever, I have never had a problem but at this age the paper is alittle fragile and I am looking to replace it. any ideas where I can?

You will love the mood this charming light creates.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had an akari for a few years that i adored, the diffused light was perfect for a bedroom but i also had a problem with cleaning it and it ripped after a while. But I love the the blue and white one - so beautiful.

You have a 'music room' in a NYC apt???

12:58 PM  
Blogger Mollie said...

I don't have a comment about the lamps, but I do love that print above the bed! Can I inquire as to who did it??

1:54 PM  
Anonymous stephanie said...

What is that print above the bed? I've seen it before... Love it!!

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had the small one pictured next to your pillow for YEARS. I have a cat and have moved with it twice (three different places) and it's never ripped. I've never had a problem with the chord either. If you are even a tiny bit careful with your belongings (as I'm sure you are) this will be beautiful for years to come.

2:07 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

the print above the bed is actually a wallpaper sample from nama rococo :)

our music room is actually just a small room off of our bedroom that's been named the "music room" because it's where ac goes to play his guitars. we have a long railroad apt with oddly broken up rooms and we just sort of ended up with this extra space. it used to be our tiny living room but we swapped it out for this. i'll post pictures when it's done.

thanks for all the info guys


2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have first hand experience with Akari lamps, but I'd be concerned with lightweight paper in a bathroom with the humidity (even if there is good ventilation).

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just today received and assembled an Akari floor lamp - 10A (called "reverse pod" at Room and Board though I bought it from Quasi Modo in Toronto). Anyhow - I'm delighted. Easy to assemble, sculptural, beautiful - it really makes that corner of the room come alive.


7:22 PM  
Blogger stierwaescherin said...

So glad you posted this--I've been considering an Akari for my bedside table as well!

Where is your headboard from?

8:12 PM  
Anonymous zee homebug said...

The framed Nama Rococo wallpaper looks fantastic! Framing wallpaper is an idea I may implement myself- I'm forever falling in love with wallpaper prints and agonising for ages over how I where I could use them even though I know that I'll be in love with a different wallpaper in a week's time.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the Noguchi lamp pictured. I love it. It's lasted for years with damage and a weekly dusting is all you need to keep it clean. But, if you have a lot of activity around your bedside table (ie - cats jump up to steal a drink from your water glass) I'd be careful. Although it is sturdier than you'd think, it still needs some TLC.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! I tried to post yesterday, but it looks like it didn't work. I just wanted to ask if you'd considered the porcini lamps by Jasper Morrison--the shapes are very cool, they are a little less ubiquitous and they come in a variety of different sizes, meaning that you could make a kind of vignette out of them. Anyhoo, here's a link: http://www.nova68.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=JMPO&Category_Code=


11:07 AM  
Anonymous samodernist said...

I love my Akari Lamp too, but I will also back up the issues with the cord weighing more than the lamp - Mine is over 10 years old and has fallen a few time because of the cord, but the paper has held up very well with on rips at all

11:32 AM  
Blogger peanut and planet said...

My parents just went to the Noguchi museum yesterday, so this is very topical for me. My grandparents owned a couple of different lamps of his and they lasted many, many years. That said, my grandparents are very careful people.

When I was a kid we lived in Japan for a half year and I remember going to the workshop where they made these lamps. Totally fascinating for a little kid.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Yes, the Isamu Noguchi akari are extremely beautiful in any room that has not too much decoration.
I have been selling them in my interior shop in Belgium for 20years.... Our oldest akari have been produced in '54... with a cast iron stand which they don't produce anymore and the paper is still OK, of course it became more yellow through the years.
It's still a small company in Japan producing the lamps, completely handmade..
You can order some of the paper shades separately at the European company: VITRA www.vitra.com
In US maybe at the museum: www.noguchi.org
And...if you are around Shikoku, Japan, you have to see the Noguchi Garden Museum...beautiful...
http://www.isamunoguchi.or.jp ...he's more than a light designer.
Enjoy your 'akari'....

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a child of an ex-hippie, artist, I grew up around Noguchi lamps. Nothing beats their difused light and, if taken care of, they can last a very long time.

That being said, I would def not put one into a bathroom. The paper will moisten and possibly grow mildew and will crack. Make sure you lightly dust them often because if you allow a build-up of dust, they become more difficult to clean.

I'm attaching a link to one of my favorite sites (Get Back Inc). They carry vintage industrial lighting. I know it may be a little "hard" around the edges for everyone, but mixing in an old Jielde floor lamp or Milk Glass wall lamp will do wonders. They work with any interior.


As for your bathroom... Check out antique finds at Lost City Arts and 1st Dibs. Choose something hard (no paper or fabric). Being a designer, I always go straight for these two sites for unique finds which is particularly important when placing a tiny lamp in a bathroom.

Love how your place is turning out! And trust me, we have 12 architects and 3 designers and STILL have to struggle with paint colors. They are THE hardest to perfect!

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I found an example of the type of "hard" lamp that I think could work in your bathroom. See this white owl from Jayson.



5:46 PM  
Blogger April said...

Tips on akari lamps. If you have a rip, simply use some scotch tape, you can try and cut a piece that is roughly the same shape as the rip. As far as cleaning them goes, use a dry soft paintbrush for dusting. These tips will help your akari last for years. Try putting the lamp on a switched outlet, so that using the cord does not become the issue of the lamp. A simple table dimmer can be dicretly mounted near the lamp so that you never need to touch the switch and can create different moodes with it!

8:54 PM  
Anonymous mike said...

I love my akari lamps but if you use the bulb provided you don't have enough light for reading next to the bedside. Not sure if you endanger yourself upping the wattage with a brighter bulb.

I would recommend the Leaf Personal Light by Yves Behar for Herman Miller.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Tattfoo&Ensze said...

The Akari is a perfect reflection on the japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi. nothing last forever, enjoy the moment. I have the one that looks like a horn with bamboo pole. very hard to change the bulb but it is amazing

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have had Noguchi lamps for ever. The biggest problem related to their delicacy is that the heat genrated by incandescent bulbs dries out the paper and glue. Slavation is at hand by using compact fluorescent bulbs since they burn cool and nowadays are close to the 3200 degrees kelvin of incandescent, plus you don't see them. Works great.

4:12 PM  

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