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.
PeggiApril 22, 2021 at 5:26 am
A new lamp obsession! Just what I need. Your other one was fine, but this is definitely an upgrade; it really looks fab! I love seeing the various versions in different contexts. The history also fascinates me. Metal shades-genius! #3 above caught my eye right away! The shape of that shade is amazing. And, of course, I want the vintage Ralph Lauren pair for my mantle…when I become fancy. Honestly, I’m attracted to quite a few from this roundup! And, omg, did you SEE the Maison Jansen sconces on Etsy? You might need them. (I might need them…) Thanks for the introduction to this lovely lamp. I’ll be sure to notice them everywhere now.🤣
Here’s to a beautiful, sunny weekend! The boys and I will be weeding, replanting and setting up the patio, or getting a start, at least. They’re kind of insistent on regular play breaks. I hope you finally get a little weather improvement! I look forward to roofing and office updates! See you Monday!💜
SarahApril 23, 2021 at 9:32 am
Haha! You and I both love the lamps. When that lamp arrived, Emmett said, “ANOTHER table lamp?!” He has convinced me I need to list some we’re not using on FBMP. Haha! The prop closet is bursting. The vintage RL pair was my favorite and I *almost* got them, but it was more than I wanted to pay. They’re incredible though. How did I miss the Maison Jansen sconces?! Here’s to a good weekend ahead. I have two photoshoots (both tablescapes) that will give me a good reason to invite a couple friends over and make a good dinner. Here’s to hoping the forecasted rain misses us this weekend. I’m itching to work in my garden and start planting, but it has been chilly here. Somehow my flowers in my window boxes survived 4-5 snow flurry days, whew! I think your weekend sounds perfect. Here’s to pizza and a much needed glass of wine tonight. Haha! Have a good one, Peggi! xo
LaurenApril 22, 2021 at 7:47 am
The history behind these lamps is pretty fascinating- what a conversation piece! I love that you places yours in the kitchen, and it sounds like the metal shade will be so much more functional. I love the shape of the pair of lights-the link wouldn’t open for me, but they are stunning. I also really love the number 6, and the shade on #7 is striking to me. I don’t recall seeing any lamps like this recently, but I’m sure I will be more likely to notice them now. A new fascination to explore! Lol. It has been so cold here the past few days-I actually turned the heater back on and kept the fireplace going yesterday-I can’t seem to get warm. How I wish for a sunny day to play in the yard. I hope the weekend brings sunshine for you ladies! Yes please to an office renovation update-and I can’t wait to see the shed with a beautiful new roof! Happy weekend ladies!
SarahApril 23, 2021 at 9:24 am
Isn’t it interesting?! The pair of lamps was my favorite- they’re vintage Ralph Lauren (on eBay). I almost bought them, but they cost significantly more than the one I landed on. Sorry about the link! I’ve been struggling with my links and technology lately. Ugh! You’re definitely going to notice them now. I’ve been seeing them everywhere. I went to an estate sale yesterday and almost bought another one with a maroon shade. Emmett called and reeled me in. Lol! It has been chilly here, too. Today is supposed to be in the low 60’s and I’m jumping for joy. I’m just waiting on the clouds to clear, then I’m taking my laptop outside to work. I’ll work on updates for next week :) Have an amazing (hopefully sunny and warm) weekend, Lauren! xo
Jennifer LauraApril 22, 2021 at 8:00 am
Yes, these are so amazing! I have one on my desk, found at Goodwill for a few bucks and I love it so much!
SarahApril 23, 2021 at 9:21 am
What a find, Jennifer! That’s amazing. They’re definitely one of my favorite table lamp styles and I love the history behind them.
Dawn DavisApril 22, 2021 at 2:02 pm
This is gorgeous! I see them from time to time during my secondhand store travels but haven’t purchased. Will be harder to resist now with these inspiration pics.
PS What’s a puck on a remote? I have a spot I’d love to have a lamp on but there is no outlet near it, so I’d love to hear about this wireless option.
SarahApril 23, 2021 at 9:20 am
Thanks Dawn! I love them too. I went to an estate sale yesterday and almost bought another one. Haha! They are definitely difficult to resist. The puck light works on a remote (it’s battery powered), so a lot of people cut the cords out of their table lamps and operate them on a remote. It’s especially nice for countertops or areas where cords are in the way. I linked the pucks and explain more on that in this post: https://roomfortuesday.com/diy-cordless-plaster-lamp/
DawnApril 23, 2021 at 10:05 am
Anne HApril 22, 2021 at 3:51 pm
Nope, had never heard of these! Can totally see the correlation to poker. Wild! You found some great ones, but my fave is definitely yours! LOVE it! Thank you for the pronunciation, too! 😄
SarahApril 23, 2021 at 9:06 am
Thank you, Anne! Aren’t they fun? I love the look, and especially enjoyed diving deeper into their history. I took seven years of French and that’s a tricky word! I figured the pronunciation might be helpful :) Have an amazing weekend!! xo
Danna FApril 23, 2021 at 8:30 am
I believe that lamp was meant to be in your kitchen! The metal shade, pull chains to turn on….love! I had never heard them called bouilotte lamps. I’ve always heard them referenced as candlestick or buffet lamps. Learned something new…yeah!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I missed your post since we were gone looking at land again. We put an offer on a lot (7 acres) yesterday. If it’s meant to be we will know on Monday.
SarahApril 23, 2021 at 8:57 am
Thanks Danna! It’s making me so happy in that spot. Isn’t their history interesting? I love learning about furniture, decor, and design origins. I’m crossing my fingers for you!! SO exciting about your lot. 7 acres will be incredible. You’ll have to keep us posted on Monday :) Have an amazing weekend. Hopefully next week you’ll have something amazing to celebrate! xox