These have been around forever, so I don’t know if I’d necessarily classify them as “trendy”, but I have been noticing more of them styled into the homes of designers I follow in my feed. Let’s talk bouillotte (pronounced boo-YAHT) lamps! These metal French table lamps are timeless, traditional, and super durable. I’ll share more on their history in this post. I found my vintage bouillotte lamp on Etsy and it’s looking pretty beautiful in our kitchen, and has replaced my inexpensive countertop lamp. Click through for a fun and interesting post, and to see a big vintage roundup of similar options!
According to my sources, bouillotte was actually a card game that was popular in France in the 18th century… kind of like poker, I believe? You can read more about the gambling card game here. Apparently the game was so popular, table lamps were created specifically for it. Traditional bouillotte lamps have arms (that held candles back in the day) and a metal shade (that couldn’t be burned by the candle flame). The top piece that looks decorative used to control the shade height as the candle burned down. Pretty clever! Of course these days, the classic shape looks similar, but we use light bulbs instead of candles…. unless you have an antique one!
As the years have passed, the style has evolved and you can find variations inspired by the bouillotte lamp all over. I’ve been saving lamps in this classic French aesthetic for the past few months before I finally decided to get one. I thought it would be fun to share contenders I saved, in case you also like the look!
Click directly on the items to be redirected to the source- or use the numbered links below the collage to shop…
01: lamp one // 02: lamp two // 03: lamp three // 04: lamp four // 05: lamp five // 06: lamp six // 07: lamp seven // 08: lamp eight // 09: lamp nine // 10: lamp ten // 11: lamp eleven // 12: lamp twelve // 13: lamp thirteen // 14: lamp fourteen // 15: lamp fifteen
I *almost* ended up with number three, as I wanted to use it in my home office, but I already have a pretty solid lighting design plan. My next thought was to replace our cheap Amazon lamp that lives in our kitchen on the countertop, which led me to the option I bought…
It arrived this week, and I styled it all over our kitchen in a million different ways before deciding it made the most since exactly where it started. Haha! I like having a light near our range because we have additional cabinetry lights above our sink, we have three sconces on the adjacent wall, but the range wall doesn’t have any additional lighting (aside from the hood, which we only use for cooking). Having a fixture on that side of the kitchen to switch on during the later evening hours is really nice and functional.
I’ll admit, our previous lamp with the fabric shade did take on a little bit of grease being close in proximity to the range… not terrible because we’re not messy cooks, but it’s definitely something I had to clean from time to time. I like that the entire bouillotte lamp is metal and will be much easier to clean. If you’re going to have a countertop lamp near a cook surface, this is probably the way to go, in terms of cleanability.
Even though I mentioned it in IG stories when I first shared my new (vintage) lamp, the questions rolled in… “Where is the cord?!” It didn’t come wired- I think the cord had been cut out, which is totally fine with me. It’s easy to rewire a lamp with a simple lighting kit. Whenever I get around to it someday, I’ll try to remember to share a blog post tutorial! In the meantime, I popped the puck from my previous lamp in there for now, which is on a remote. Eventually, I’ll wire it and plug it in though because it has dual bulbs and will be a nice, bright light source (there is an outlet behind the cookbook and flour).
Have you ever heard of a bouillotte lamp? Have you been noticing more of these in your feed? I’d love to know if you like the look! I’ve definitely been inspired by some of my favorites follows recently- like Jean, Gwen, and Paige. Our kitchen keeps getting better and better (in my humble opinion, haha). It just goes to show that even after a space has been finished for quite some time, you can find ways to love it even more. That’s the beauty of home- it keeps evolving with you! I hope you all have a lovely weekend ahead. I owe you an office renovation update soon, as well as a roof recap! I’m hoping to work in the garden this weekend if the weather cooperates.