It’s time for the second post in my new series exploring the stories behind iconic designs and looking at how they can be styled in real-life homes. Today I’m focusing on a piece which was created as recently as 2014 but which has already become a contemporary Scandinavian classic: the ‘JWDA’ table lamp from Menu.
The work of Stockholm-based designer and architect Jonas Wagell, the ‘JWDA’ was inspired by traditional oil lamps, and its simple shape and dial-like switch are modern interpretations of common oil-lamp features. It’s an embodiment of Wagell’s design ethos, which is all about creating functional everyday items that fit into people’s lives, rather than artistic objects to be admired but not used.
The lamp consists of a minimalist cylindrical base topped with a dome-like shade, and the frosted glass produces a soft, diffused light that’s perfect for living rooms and bedrooms; there’s also a handy dimmer function. It was originally designed with a concrete base and a brass dial – a beautiful combination of raw and refined elements – but over the years several other options have been added into the mix, including brushed steel, black powder-coated steel, bronzed brass, mirror-polished brass and white marble.
The understated silhouette and choice of finishes make it incredibly versatile, and it fits seamlessly into all sorts of settings. The sleeker materials look fantastic in elegant schemes and the concrete version in industrial interiors, but I also love the idea of creating contrast – for example pairing a smooth brass lamp with rough, unfinished or very dark walls, or perhaps using the concrete option to make a statement in a crisp white room.
I’m a particular fan of the marble version, which now sits in the corner of our living room. It’s a little larger than the other options due the design constraints imposed by such a heavy material, but the result is the perfect size for the built-in cupboard in the alcove. It’s a great addition to the largely monochrome palette and it’s a very practical choice for one of the most used rooms in the house, as we can turn the light up for reading and working or dial it right down to a gentle glow when relaxing in the evening.
I’ve also experimented with using the lamp in the hallway, where it creates a warm, welcoming mood to greet visitors.
Prices for the lamp range from around €180 / £160 to €310 / £270, depending on which finish you opt for and where you buy it, but I think that’s reasonable for such a timeless design. Bear in mind that it’s only available with a two-prong European plug, but it’s easy to find an adaptor if you live elsewhere.
What do you think of the lamp? And which of the various options is your favourite?
Menu kindly gifted my ‘JWDA’ lamp, but all words and opinions are my own
Most photography by Abi Dare; images two-five via Menu