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How to Choose the Perfect Table Lamp for a Stunning Interior Design

Everything Homeowners Need to Know About Table Lamps

Table lamps do more than just brighten up living spaces. They also become focal points of a space and have the ability to make rooms more comfortable and welcoming. Perhaps Elle Decor put it best in declaring, “Table lamps are storytellers, as enchanting as a sculpture or artwork whatsoever, to the point that they instantly provoke a ‘wow!’ reaction.”

If you’re considering introducing a new table lamp or two into your home decor, read on to learn more about why table lamps are important in interior design – along with tips for choosing the best table lamps and shades for your needs and style.

The 411 on Table Lamps

All table lamps are not created equal. For starters, table lamps and shades come in a wide variety of styles, shapes, and sizes from popular lighting designers including Robert Abbey, Koncept, Arnsberg, Jonathan Adler, and many others. Table lamps also serve different purposes in terms of both form and function.

Several common types of table lamps include:

  • Buffet Lamps – These are often used on serving tables and focus the light down so that guests can see the food and their plates.
  • Accent Lamps – Accent lamps are used to light dark spaces and to showcase a particular item in a home.
  • Hurricane Lamps – These lamps feature a unique, curvy glass shade originally designed to prevent the flame from blowing out. They are now used in traditionally styled homes, such as Victorians.
  • Torchiere Lamps – This kind of lamp looks like an inverted lampshade at the top. It diffuses light while directing it upwards.
  • Cordless Lamps – Cordless lamps require no plugins and are therefore ideal for wireless setups.
  • Swing Arm Table Lamps – These allow you to direct light exactly where it's needed at any given time.

Tips for Selecting Table Lamps

A few variables should be considered in order to maximize the impact of table lighting. Use the following tips while shopping:

  • Know Your Needs –  Choosing a table lamp isn’t as simple as clicking through a website and picking the first one that catches your eye. Rather, the choice of lighting should be guided by the space and the intended purpose. Are you looking for table lamps for your bedroom or living room? Knowing where and how it will be used can dictate requirements for everything from size to wattage. For example, a table lamp in a busy family room will need to be heavier and more stable than a table lamp in a formal sitting area.
  • Consider Size and Scale – Table lamps have a different effect depending on where they’re placed. For example, a large, beautiful table lamp may overpower a small space, while a small and delicate table lamp may get lost in a larger room. Before shopping for table lamps, consider its future location, including the size of the room, surface, and surrounding furniture. Tall table lamps may look best in rooms with high ceilings, whereas shorter table lamps are ideal for rooms with lower ceilings. Similarly, a petite lamp may be dwarfed when displayed on a massive table or alongside bold furniture, while a large lamp on a small table or alongside more delicate furniture may look awkward and off balance.

    One general rule of thumb for table lamps and floor lamps is to keep them within a uniform height range of 58 to 64 inches – the bottom of the shade should be at or above the eye level of a person sitting in the room. This creates an even and aesthetically pleasing plane.

  • Feel Free to Mix Things Up – While a pair of table lamps can look beautiful in a room, don’t feel that you must match your pieces perfectly. In fact, according to the interior decorator team at The Casa Collective, “Different lamp bases in the same room can look great. To unify them, top them all with shades that have the same shape.” However, you should pay attention to the table your lamp will be set on – a modern LED table lamp may not go well on a Hollywood Regency style side table. As long as the lamp coordinates with the object it’s placed on, it should be suitable for the space.

    One additional word of advice from The Casa Collective? “If you choose a lamp with a vibrant shade or base, add accents in the same color – like pillows or a throw – to tie the room together.”

  • Don’t Underestimate Dimmer Switches – In rooms that call for different degrees of light, dimmer switches can add ambiance. “Dimmers are the best-kept secret of lighting design. They allow you to control your lighting from day to night, for various events, and depending on your mood,” interior designer Jeff Fiorito told Good Housekeeping. For example, bedside table lamps are excellent candidates for dimmer switches.

Theo Richardson, director of development at design studio Rich Brilliant Willing told The New York Times, “Light is a powerful thing. The right light lifts the mood, inspires productivity, and motivates us. At home, light enlivens the little things – our morning routines, or the moments we spend with friends.” When incorporated into the decor of a room, table lamps are a winning combination of style and substance offering all of the above to your home and life.

Looking for the perfect table lamp to brighten up your space? Visit Fashion Light Center today to browse our selection of table lamps. We have hundreds of gorgeous options available to fit every design style.


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