Furniture Guides | Table Lamps

How to Choose a Table Lamp

Table lamps can be a decorative and practical piece of décor accessory. They are usually placed in the living room but can bring incredible charm into your study or dining area as well. There are many different types of table lamps, including both modern and traditional designs.

However, before you buy any lamp, you may want to make sure it goes well with your décor. There are also many other factors to consider that we will cover in detail in this guide.

How to Get the Right Table Lamp Height and Width?

The height of your lamp will have a significant effect on its decorating value. The most important thing is to make sure the height is properly scaled to the room.

This will make it look better and it also ensures the light produced by the lamp is scattered evenly across the entire space. Most table lamps measure between 24 and 31 inches. As you pick the lamp, it’s advisable to consider the eye level rule. In other words, the bottom of the shade should perfectly align with your eye level. This ensures the light is not directly shining on your eyes, which makes everything comfortable.

It is also important to consider the lamp’s width. The first thing is to decide where the lamp will be placed. If you are planning to put it on an end table in the living room or a dresser in the bedroom, measure them and get the right dimensions.

Compare those dimensions to the widest part of your table lamp. The golden rule is to make sure that the lamp is not wider than the table it’s going to be placed on. Make sure there is enough space around the lamp for your glasses, coffee, or even your book.

Mini Globe Metal Plastic Crystal Acrylic Table Lamp

What is the Right Shade for You?

The shade is one of the most important features of your table lamp. There are different types of shades, each designed to bring a certain type of class and magic into your living room. For example, if you have a traditional décor scheme at home, you may want to consider traditional shades such as box pleat designs, pagoda, or even bell shades.

However, if you have a modern or contemporary décor scheme, drum, rectangular, and empire shade designs should work out for you. Despite this, sometimes it helps if you can test out different shades just to see how they sit with your decor. This will make it easier for you to pick something that works.

How to match the shape to base? It's pretty straightforward as the shape of the lamp shade should pretty much reflect the shape of the base, so round shades are ideal for round or curvy lamp bases, rectangular shades go with wide rectangular bases, etc.

Drum Shaped Metal Iron Brushed Nickel Standard Bedside Table Lamp
Dome Shaped Desk Metal Iron Gold Table Lamp
Cone Shaped Desk Metallic Metal Stainless Steel Table Lamp
Round Shaped Marble Black Brass Standard Bedside Table Lamp
Bell Shaped Resin Red Gold Brown Tones Standard Table Lamp
Square Shaped Ceramic Navy White Standard Table Lamp

Should You Go for Opaque or Translucent Lamp Shades?

The shades also vary in terms of color. However, there are two broad categories – opaque and translucent. The kind of option you choose here will depend on how you intend to use the light from your table lamp.

For example, if your goal is to create lots of ambient light that can be used for reading, then you may want to go for translucent shades. Shades made from white fabric or any other light-colored materials should work here. The diffused light from the translucent shades will bounce through the walls and the ceilings, creating a well-lit room with the right ambiance.

However, if you prefer your rooms a little darker, then choose opaque lamp shades. It’s important to note that, just because these shades are opaque, doesn’t mean they won’t allow any light through. Opaque shades are often ideal in creating a focused kind of lighting.

Let’s say, for example, you have a home office or library and you want a table lamp that focuses the light only on your workspace without necessarily lighting up the rest of the room. A darker and opaque shade will do the trick here.

Standard Black Metal Resin Table Lamp
Gold Metal Standard Table Lamp

What Extra Features to Look For in a Table Lamp?

The primary purpose of a table lamp is to provide lighting. But modern lamps are designed to be as functional as possible. So, in some cases, they come with additional features. For example, some lamps these days have several USB ports that can be used to charge your mobile devices. This can be a handy extra feature for people who read using their tablet or smartphone.

Some lamps may also offer different color modes that allow you to customize the lighting to create the right ambiance for various occasions. Smart lamps with a timer are also very popular these days. The lights are not only energy-efficient but can automatically turn on and off.

Others also come with features that allow you to control the brightness of the light as you see fit. All these features are essential in helping you get more function out of the table lamp that you are about to buy.

Black Plastic Silicone Desk Lamp
Solid Wood Octagon LED Desk Lamp
White Standard Ceramic Solid Wood Table Lamp

How to Select the Ideal Lamp Shade Material and Color to Match Your Décor Style?

  • White and ivory linen shades are the easiest to get and versatile as they pair well with many décor styles, from traditional, through transitional, to modern and contemporary. They look fabulous with metal, ceramic, or glass lamp bases.
  • Grasscloth and other woven materials speak to rustic style. Pair them with wood bases for a complementary look.
  • Smooth fabrics and simple metal shades lean towards contemporary style.
  • Animal skin and leather shades complement lodge, country, or rustic interiors interiors, especially wehn paired with metal, wood or mixed medium bases.
  • Pleated shades (white or ivory linen or silk) yield a more formal, traditional aesthetic.
  • Brightly colored shades add a vibrant pop to a boho or modern space.
  • Pastel hues bring a sense of calm to kids bedrooms.
  • Patterned lamp shades are a means to make a statement in a bohemian-style or eclectic home.

Buying a high-quality table lamp that meets all your tastes and preferences can take time and effort. But once you get that perfect lamp, it will all be worth it.

Foter Magazine is a premier architecture, decoration, interiors and design website. We inspire and guide you to make your home a more attractive place.


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