General lighting in any room is usually known to be a bit too harsh if left on its own. Using a variety of light sources (known as a Layered Lighting Scheme) is the best way to light your home. As such, table lamps are one of the most important decisions for lighting a space.
These beauties double in style and functionality in a room, by adding a layer of light and allowing you to let your aesthetic shine through. A lamp has the potential to be the standout piece in any room, and this guide will help you decide on what kind of lamp is right for you.
What To Look For
Table lamps come in a variety of materials from the more traditional (ceramic and glass) to modern (metal and acrylic). Wood, alabaster, polyresin and concrete are also becoming more popular.
Table lamp styles range from the ever-stylish gourd shape, to sculptural statement pieces and even designs embellished with petrified wood or agate slices. More on styles here.
When it comes to shades, the most common contemporary shapes are drum, empire and rectangle. More traditional shapes include the box pleat, bell and pagoda. Paper, silk and linen are the most common shade materials. Sometimes a coloured or metallic inner is used to influence the warmth of the light emitted. If you are looking to counteract the natural light of your room with artificial lighting, this is something to consider.
One of our own drum shades on our MALMO base.
Some Tips For Using a Table Lamp
- Make sure to conceal its cables. This can be done by tucking them away or taping/stapling them to an unseen part of your furniture piece. Consider running the table lamp cable down a table leg for a neater look.
- While not always considered task lighting, table lamps are often used for more specific purposes, meaning you will need to consider different bulbs. If your lamp is for a reading nook or a desk, consider a brighter bulb (around 50 lumens). If the lamp is for a bedroom or creating an atmospheric environment, try a more subtle light (around 30 lumens).
- A dimmer function allows you to control the amount of light from each lamp exactly when you need it. This is something to consider when you begin to plan your lighting scheme.
- A mixture of lamps is perfectly fine! But try to keep bedside table lamps or sideboard and console table lamps (often called buffet lamps) the same.
- Care for your table lamps as you would any other accessory or ornament in your home, dusting and treating any metal, wood or glass where appropriate.
Placing Your Table Lamp
Table lamps are very versatile, as they will fit in pretty much any room. Our favourite spots for a table lamp are:
A table lamp makes the perfect addition to a console table in your hallway. On top of providing a source of light for the things you need the most (keys, wallet) they add interest to an often underutilized space.
The Side Table
Lighting schemes are often complete with a layer of lighting around eye level so a table lamp on a side table is a great choice, particularly in a living room or seating area. They can often act as the invisible boundaries of an intimate seating area, which can add another dimension to your space.
The Bedside Table
The right bedside table lamp will create a calming, romantic mood. Bedside table lamps shouldn’t dominate the space so try choosing a smaller design than one you would choose for a living room or hallway.
These are just three of our preferred spots but when placing table lamps, think about where your home needs a bit of extra light. These versatile beauties can really be used in a variety of settings.
For more advice on lighting your home check out some more of our lighting blogs!