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Designer Spotlight Wilhelm Wagenfeld


Wilhelm Wagenfeld

Wilhelm Wagenfeld was a famous German designer of the 20th century, and a disciple of the famous design school Bauhaus. According to Wikipedia, he designed many types of lamps for several German design companies. Due to their popularity and mesh with modern designs, several of his designs are still being produced today.

We carry perhaps his most famous one, the Bauhaus table lamp.

Wagenfeld’s main idea and theme behind his works was that household objects should be “cheap enough for the worker and good enough for the rich”. His most famous design, the Wagenfeld Lamp, was extremely popular when it was made, and is still being produced to this day.

Wagenfeld Table Lamp

Most of Wagenfeld’s designs focused upon cured lines and simplistic beauty. The famous Wagenfeld

lamp uses a curved dome over top of the lamp to cover the bulb, with a single chrome stand leading down to a glass base. Most of his lamps use a curved dome or a round oval glass shape covering the light bulb, giving off a softer and dimmer light. Some of his other lamp designs include a lamp intended to be screwed into a wall, with an almost egg-like shape covering the light bulb, or another lamp similar to the Wagenfeld lamp, but with a triangular shaped shade covering the bulb. All of the lamps have simple designs with only one color of paint, accented with clear glass or chrome. Wagenfeld believed in a simplicity that, like his theme, would look simple in a worker’s home and simplistically modern and elegant in the home of the rich. Please also check out our other modern table lamps.

Wagenfeld didn’t only design lamps; he also created several home accessories. His famous tea set that was made in 1938 was made of clear glass so you could see the color of tea inside. The pot, tray, cups, and saucers are all made of clear glass, without any adornment. When filled with tea, this creates a simple elegance that highlights the drink rather than the cups and teapot it is served in. IN addition to this set, Wagenfeld also crafted salt and pepper shakers, coasters, and other dining glassware to fit in with this theme.

Wagenfeld Commemorative Stamp

Besides clear glass, Wagenfeld liked to deal with stainless steel and chrome. He made a chrome set of silverware to go along with his dining set, along with a candlestick holder that gave the impression of a hanging chandelier, but set upon a table. While glass was his main medium, for any accent work, it was always stainless steel or chrome, achieving that futuristic, simplistic look, which has a timeless quality that has the effect of still being popular today.

In later life, Wagenfeld experimented with colors and straighter lines, a contrast to his usual monotone, curved designs, but they remained less popular than his classic works. Wagenfeld was especially popular in Nazi Germany, where his works were mass produced for the populace. Today, he is remembered in a museum in Germany dedicated to his life, the Wagenfeld House, and many of his authentic pieces can be bought for several thousand dollars.

Wagenfeld Teapot

Those looking to decorate their homes with Wagenfeld pieces will find they fit in best with Modern and Minimalist inspired designs. His lamps, especially table lamps, make a great accessory for any living room or bedroom designed upon minimalist themes, while his kitchen accessories work best for a Modernist kitchen. The famous Wagenfeld table lamp can be bought from authentic versions, to knock offs made around the same design. It is very difficult to find the tea sets and other kitchen accessories without finding authentic versions, due to the fact that it was not as well known or popular as the table lamp. Decorating in Wagenfeld pieces will add that great bit of elegance and modernism to any room.