Adding a splash of playfulness to a creative design usually gives a product a colorful jolt. Need proof? Check out OWL paperlamps, the fruit of the imagination of two architects based in Lisbon, Portugal.

night owl paperlamp

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“We were inspired by the origami art of creating paper figures, but we were looking for more than just another animal figuration,” say Hugo Formiga and Teresa Almeida, the owners, creators and designers at OWL paperlamps. “We were seeking true liveliness in our creations, so it was clear from the start that our concept had to combine light with larger-scaled paper models.”

Now their colorful creations are available for people to enjoy in their homes — after they put them together. Don’t worry; you don’t have to be a crafting genius or model-maker extraordinaire. The models come in different levels of complexity corresponding to their size, the amount of detail in their design and the number of pieces.

The designers recommend the Barn Owl for beginners, since it is the smallest and easiest lamp to assemble. OWL paperlamps actually lives up to its name by offering a full trio of barn owls for beginners. The designers say it takes about an hour to assemble each of these, but they promise that you can check their website to find some tips and tricks if you are nervous.

barn owl paperlamps

Barn Owl 1 is white, but you can choose from eight other colors for the second and third birds. Stick with a traditional owl color if you like, or go pink or yellow — it’s up to you.

Once you’ve honed your skills, you can make your way through the rest of the models, tackling the Night Owl, the Parrot, the Emperor Penguin, the Small Penguin or the Tortoise if you choose. While we love the cute little Barn Owls, Aurora, the Night Owl, is a majestic way to illuminate your living room. The Emperor Penguin is also striking, and while you have color options for him too, we have a soft spot for the blue back and wings with a pure-white tummy.

emperor penguin paperlamp

Parrot lamps bring a sunny look to any room, even in the depths of winter. Perch them where you will, with tails hanging over ledges or shelves, and guests will give them a double-take when their eyes set on them.

The Tortoise may be slow, but he’ll grow on you. Affectionately called “Fred” by Formiga and Almeida, the tortoise is designed with plenty of detail in his shell that pops with bright color when the light is switched on.

parrot paperlamps

tortoise paperlamps

The lamps are made out of high-quality 160-gram paper, which allows for flexibility as well as sturdiness. Formiga and Almeida put a lot of thought into the colors of the paper: “They were carefully selected to create different and unique ambiences when the Paperlamps are lit up,” they explain.

“Each Paperlamp design presents individual features enhanced by the animal’s movement and position,” they add, “and glowing in the dark is the ultimate effect to bring out each creature’s liveliness.”

Lamps or art…? We think these can be both. And we can’t wait to see which creatures will be added in the future to expand this lively lamp family.