Lamps are critical to good interior design and they often support the ‘wow factor’ in a room because they can be ornate, structural, simple, modern, eclectic, you name it—there is a lamp for every style.
They are a necessity but not just for looks but for function as well, which makes choosing more difficult. This post will focus on table lamps. They provide not only decorative but functional needs as well, such as accent and task lighting and they can be part of your “layered lighting” design for the room.
Take a few things into consideration.
In larger rooms such as living rooms and great rooms, you will want to consider the effect desired and which lamp shade will offer the best solution. Darker and textured shades add drama and highlight specific pieces or areas in a room and they cast downward vs an outward cast. White or more transparent shades make the lighting brighter and will reflect to show the entire space. Silks and cotton are generally used here. Semi-opaque or diffused lighting offer a softer glow and create a mood. Linen and burlap shades do this nicely.
The material and color of the lamp base play a big part in what effect they make on a room as well. Contrasting colors will give the lamps dominance whereas more tonal colors will subdue their presence. Mix and match the colors and styles as well. There are no limits to what you can do when you have fun with them and that will come through in the look and feel of a room. It also offers a more layered look to the room making it more interesting.
A quick test is to note whether or not you can see the neck of the lightbulb or the socket from a seated position. If so, then the lamp is too tall or the shade is not tall enough. But, if you find a base that you absolutely love, you can replace the shade or change the harp (metal structure the shade connects to), finding one that will cover the bulb. Some lamps have adjustable features built in so you can replace the shades and adjust them to the lamp itself.
If your seating is large, look for medium to large bases.
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Depending on the size of the room, two to three table lamps is a good rule-of-thumb.
A more opaque shade which would be better to knock out glare or reflection on a TV or monitor.
Reading; a semi-opaque fabric or paper provides a warm glow for reading and the bottom of the shade should be at eye level when you are seated. Here, you would want the shade to measure at least one-half to three-quarters of the lamp base, again, making sure the bulb and socket are not visible.
You will want to use at lease an 8 1/2 LED bulb, comparable to a 60 watt incandescent bulb. Dimmable bulbs are great for giving you options to the space.
Be sure to get a lamp that is weighted at the bottom for stability.
Table lamps are a great way add mood to any room by light or by its design.