About Sue Johnson Lamps

Artful Home Lighting In Berkeley, CA

Established 1972

Over the past forty years Sue Johnson and her staff of artisans have created a breathtaking range of beautiful, functional home lighting, from tiny table lamps with mounted Netsuke to four-foot wide ceiling canopies of golden mica decorated with natural leaves. Drawing inspiration from our natural environment and from the rich decorative arts heritage in the Bay Area, we have worked hard to establish our reputation for creating extraordinary home lighting.

Innovative Lamp Design

We have developed our own techniques for mounting and displaying an astonishing array of artful objects for use as table lamps and floor lamps. Bill Jabas and Hank Schmutz put their woodworking talents to use making a large variety of wooden bases that enable us to extend our range of design options. Among our custom floor lamps we have mounted a trombone (completely removable) and we have turned an unused set of HO railroad cars into individual table lamps for one man’s grandchildren. Boxes of all types, wood and metal animals, African masks and ceremonial figures, and hand-hammered Mexican copper vessels have all been transformed into wonderful, unique table lamps and floor lamps. Antique Phoenix glass and contemporary Art Glass, antique and contemporary Art Pottery, Chinese cloisonné, Heintz Art Metal and Trench Art pieces are among the special items we use to create our unique lamps.

Lamp Shade Materials

In addition to the innovations in lamp design, we have developed many special techniques and materials that we use to create our custom lamp shades. Beyond the usual amber mica, we also have white and green micas. We embellish these with natural leaves and with various hand-cut designs, many of them suggested by decorative themes in our lamps. Other favorite lamp shade materials include our hand-toned and textured parchment papers, antique embroidery, hand-printed wallpaper, marbled papers and various ethnic textiles such as African Kuba cloth and mudcloth. We also can take your special fabrics and papers to design one-of a kind lamp shades to provide that perfect finishing touch.

Wall Sconces And Ceiling Shades

We have a fine selection of distinctive ceiling shades and wall sconces that provide dramatic accents and warm, indirect lighting to entries, hallways and stairwells. They also can be used to highlight architectural features and artwork. Our custom designs complement a wide range of decorative styles, at home in Craftsman bungalows, Asian influenced townhouses, and Sierra A-frames.

We are known for our versatility, our expertise and our commitment to customer satisfaction. Our site displays only a small selection of perennial favorites; we invite you to visit our shop on Solano Avenue in Berkeley, CA to experience the full range of our creative home lighting. Or contact us about your lighting  design ideas.

tribal trio lamps


Chez Panisse Berkeley
Absinthe San Francisco
Oliveto’s Oakland
Bay Wolf Oakland
Manka’s Inverness Lodge Inverness
Picante Berkeley
Le Bateau Ivre Berkeley
Chalker’s Billiards Emeryville, San Francisco
Citron Oakland
Zen Center Marin
UC Berkeley Library Berkeley
Wolf Coffee Co. Petaluma
Olivia Berkeley

Client Photo Galleries:

Lamps at home — Some of our clients share their photos >

Client Photos and Reviews

What Our Clients Say >

In The News:

Barbara Falconer Newhall.com
“Sue Johnson’s Lamps and Shades — Works of Art From a Little Shop in Berkeley”

Inspired House/ Taunton Press
How to choose a lamp shade. Guidelines and tips for choosing a shade that works. (download the PDF 541k)

SF Chronicle
Berkeley: Creative twists light up Solano Ave. shop

SF Chronicle
“Made in the Shade