Alabaster wall lights - natural luxury, effortless style

socratesBeautiful, elegant, softly glowing... alabaster is a luxurious natural wonder and the foundation of Art Deco-style lighting. We've completely fallen in love with this uniquely translucent stone and created a new range of alabaster wall lights.

Here's everything you need to know about the material, the look, and how to use alabaster wall lights in your home...

What is alabaster?

Alabaster is a naturally occurring soft mineral stone which is white or light in colour and has a similar look to marble. A fine-grained form of gypsum or calcite, alabaster is noted for its exceptional smoothness, its distinctive ‘variegated’ streaks or bands of colour, and, most importantly from a lighting point of view, for its translucence.

alabasterImage: Creative commons

As well as its natural beauty, the softness of alabaster makes it easy to work with, and alabaster has been fashioned into a huge range of decorative objects and works of art over the centuries, from fine sculptures and elaborate carvings to canopic jars, ornate boxes, jewellery, vases – and, of course, beautiful lighting! 

The unique qualities of alabaster have made it a popular material throughout history and up to the present day. Alabaster has been utilised by a whole host of different civilisations around the world, from the Ancient Egyptians and the Etruscans, through ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, across mediaeval Europe, and beyond – alabaster pots even graced the ancient tombs of the Pharaohs. 

Alabaster and marble bust of Septimius Severus at the Capitoline Museums, Rome. Image: Creative commons


Alabaster and the Art Deco movement

In the early part of the 20th century, the Art Deco movement prompted a major alabaster revival, largely in the form of exquisite decorative lighting pieces, which featured in a series of special exhibitions – the ‘Salons de la Lumiere’ – held in Paris.

Art Deco enjoyed a range of different influences, from Ancient Egyptian and Mayan motifs to the abstract industrialism of Constructivism, and the stylised geometric shapes of Cubism. The pure, smooth marble-like finish of alabaster fitted perfectly with the Art Deco ethos and its emphasis on artistry, luxurious materials and clean, elegant lines. 

art deco
(l) The 1925 International Exposition marked a high point in Art Deco design; (r) An original Italian Art Deco alabaster uplighter lamp. (Images Creative Commons)


Why alabaster is perfect for lighting

One of the really magical things about alabaster is the way it transmits the light: it has a lovely translucent quality, and when used in lighting it emits a soft, mellow glow. Different types of alabaster have different levels of opacity, and it ranges in colour from pure white to cream and beige, with beautiful marbleised bands of colour which are caused by impurities in the stone – meaning that every piece is truly one of a kind. 

Wall lights and sconces in particular are ideal for providing layers of soft ambient and accent lighting, and this makes them a natural choice for showcasing the warm, soothing beauty of alabaster. A set of alabaster wall lights will bring a lovely calm diffused light to any space, and can also make a real design statement. 

Using alabaster wall lights in your design scheme 

Art Deco lighting has a timeless elegance which remains popular today, and with some well-chosen alabaster wall lights it's easy to recreate the Art Deco look and feel in your own home – whether it’s as part of a wider design theme, or if you just want to add a touch of classic Art Deco glamour without going full-on flapper.  

Cyrus alabaster wall light

We recently launched a new range of alabaster wall lights which really capture the style and elegance of the 1920s and 30s, and they look fabulous in any space – from the sitting room or dining room, to the hallway or bedroom, a cosy reading nook, or even the bathroom.

Here are just a few of our favourites, together with some ideas on where to place them…

Pooky's alabaster wall lights

The Pythagoras wall light: class and style with a modernist edge

pythagorasThe Pythagoras alabaster wall light in bronze is all bold geometric lines and interesting angles that were so much a feature of the Art Deco era - and its contemporary style means it looks just as at home in a modern space as it does as part of a more classical theme. 

The strong, striking bronze triangles hold an alabaster ‘window’, through which the light gently glows. The Pythagoras is perfect for making a classy style statement in an entrance hall, or creating a talking point near a dining room table. 

The Aristotle wall light: classic Art Deco stepped angles  


The Aristotle wall light in alabaster and brass is a real celebration of the beauty of alabaster, in all its gorgeous mellow glory. With its stunning Art Deco stepped angular design, reminiscent of the steps of an Aztec temple, it casts a lovely magical light up and along the wall. Named after the renowned ancient Greek philosopher, you don’t need to think too hard to appreciate the opulent splendour of this alabaster work of art.  

The Aristotle looks gorgeous placed in an alcove, a snug, or a reading nook for a lovely warm, calming vibe.

The Plato wall sconce: a naturally warm glow 

plato wall light

With its gorgeously smooth alabaster globe, the Plato alabaster wall light in antique brass emits a lovely natural glow. A pair of these elegant little sconces placed on either side of a bathroom mirror will give a beautiful, even, flattering light. Or try placing two Platos above the bed at shoulder height, as a classy alternative to a pair of bedside lamps.

The Gatsby wall sconce: 1920s glamour and elegance 

gatsby wall light

An angled square of alabaster set behind two symmetrical squares of heavy polished brass, the Gatsby alabaster wall sconce is named after the iconic 1925 novel by F.Scott Fitzgerald and echoes its Art Deco glamour. When it’s turned on, the glow of the light shows off the swirling bands of darker coloration in the alabaster. 

The Gatsby wall sconce brings that luxurious 1920s style into your home, and a matching pair of Gatsbys makes for a fabulous feature on either side of a roaring (perhaps even a Roaring Twenties?) fireplace.


...And that's just a few of them.

If, like us, you’ve fallen for the natural charms of this sensational stone, head on over and view the full range of alabaster wall lights here.


See also:

Get the look: Art Deco-style wall lights 
The History of Design in Table Lamps – Art Deco 
Classic interior design styles and how to light them – Art Deco 
How to position wall lights