Making the mood right with mood lights

 Tulip Shades Gem Shade in Natural hides a boob light in a cosy city apartment bedroom.

 Image of our Gem Shade care of our lovely customer Isabella

Winter is here — the days are shorter, the sun is a tad more shy, and the tenants of apartment buildings are, well, more in danger of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Having a cozy oasis in times like these could not be more crucial; in fact, without a fluffy nest to curl up inside for these times of hibernation, bad vibes become perilously possible for renters.

Lighting is, of course, everything, and the number one most effective way to transform a space is to switch up your typical apartment lighting for something more curated. And how is that done? Read on, friend:

Replace your boob light

There’s someone we’ve been dying to introduce you to. Someone you’ve actually met many times before, seen around at parties, in passing, in harshly-lit apartments and dorm rooms. Someone who should not be shamed, or ridiculed, but someone who, admittedly, is in desperate need of a makeover. Her name? The Boob Light. She was so christened because of her uncanny visual similarity to a certain body part, but her function is quite different: to cast whichever room she presides over in lighting that is unflattering, unsavory, and unwelcome in our aforementioned cozy winter oases. 

Enter, Tulip! By now, you know that our Shades operate upon boob lights much in the way Julie Andrews operated on Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries: providing a fabulous and transformative makeover. Whether you’re going with our classic Natural Shades, available in all three shapes (Gem, Drum, and Lamp), or firing things up with Terracotta, cooling things down with Lilac, or basking in the rays of Sunlight, there’s a Shade for every room and every vibe. Update your apartment lighting by replacing your boob light in seconds!


Boob light before and after in a downtown New York apartment with Tulip's Gem ceiling light shade in Natural.

 We love a makeover! A boob light before and after in a downtown New York apartment

The power of color in mood lighting

In fact, a recent Psychology Today report concludes that “Lighting, natural and artificial, has an important influence on how we think and feel in the rooms we use throughout the day.” And to get more granular, a study conducted by two former University of Michigan professors, Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, published as “The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective,” finds that different colors of light in a room can have different effects on that room’s occupants. Cooler shades increase energy and focus, while redder hues, like our own fabulous Terracotta, can lead to better sleep in the evenings by prompting the release of natural melatonin. Mood lights make all the difference!

We designed our Shades with an eye to the future, but we’d be nothing without the lamp-like sisters of our past. Where did lampshades originate from, you ask?

A brief history of lampshades

Mood lights begin with the art of the lamp. Some of the first prototype lampshades emerged on the cobblestone streets of 17th century Paris, when hand-lit lamps had shades conically directing light downward to provide visibility to those walking through the city after dark. And then, it was towards the end of the nineteenth century that an up and coming designer named Louis Comfort Tiffany created some of the first stained-glass lampshades — he was the inaugural design director of his father’s company, Tiffany and Co.

But we digress.

Other ways to cozy up your space

Obviously, we’re biased, but it’s simply true that installing a Tulip is probably the single most effective way you can unlock peak coziness this season, by replacing your boob light and reinvigorating your apartment lighting. But yes, there are other things we’d recommend to take your rented space to the next dimension. None of our tips will involve power tools, paint, or anything that could give your landlord an excuse to keep your security deposit.

Find textiles that give you joy

We're all about tactility when it comes to making your space a haven from the plummeting temps, whether it's a fresh throw pillow to brighten your sofa, or a soft new blanket thrown artfully over an armchair. We’re a tiny bit obsessed with this herringbone throw from West Elm if you’re looking for a place to start!

Find a scent that calms you

You aren't the only one that will thrive under the soft glow of mood lights. Finding a low-maintenance, low-light-loving house plant to add a dash of color and maybe even a gorgeous scent to your space can be key to your transformation as a whole. In addition to potted plants, fresh-cut flowers can be heaven even in the winter. Break the rules, live a little! Lorde does it. Lana Del Rey does it. Why can’t you join their ranks? There’s a moody songstress in you, we can just sense it. On top of that, diffusers and incense are affordable and efficient ways to change the scent of your space — Muji has some great options!

Introduce natural pieces into your space

Next time you’re walking in a park or along the beach, keep a weather eye peeled for fallen branches or small pieces of driftwood that you can (artfully) introduce into your space. A collection of beautiful twisty branches placed in a vase can add some sculptural height to a bookshelf or fireplace mantel, whereas small pieces of driftwood laid across a stack of books on your bedside table can add beauty and ground you (and remind you to go outside – even in this weather!).

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye

That’s all for today, darlings. We hope you’ve enjoyed our little guide to cozying up your rented space and talking all things mood lights, and we’ll catch up with you soon, all right love? In the meantime, tag us after you install your Tulip, so we can see how things have shifted for you since the big makeover!