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7 Tips For Choosing Lamps For Your Home

May 04, 2021

When you're about to order lamps for your home, you need to keep a few tips in mind to ensure they look wonderful yet also provide the function you need.

Here's some tips before you start lamp shopping.

1. Lamps need to work with your decor
You probably wouldn't add a lava lamp to a white-washed coastal decor home but something with rattan or capiz shells would look wonderful.

If you've seen a lamp online or in real life that's a bit too high, put it on a shorter table. But beware: short lamps, even when placed on tall tables, tend to have correspondingly narrow diameter shades and can look a little underwhelming. Err on the side of large, rather than small, lamps.

2. What shape are you choosing?
A drum-shaped shade is the most flexible of all lamp shapes but works particularly well with contemporary style. On the other hand, lamps which taper out from the top like an A-line dress best suit traditional decor.

3. Lampshades are an opportunity for texture and colour
You might repaint your home only every 5-10 years - but you can signal changing seasons with a new lampshade, such as in a faux suede animal print for winter, and a fresh, delicate cotton gingham shade for spring.

Introduce essential texture to your living room and bedrooms with white tassels, beads, pom poms, textured glass, feathers, fur, or sequins etc.

Get some contrast happening too. It can look very "same-same" if you have a wooden lamp base in the same woodstain as the table.

4. Consider the dimensions
For visually pleasing aesthetics, the width of your lampshade should be at least as wide as the widest part of the lamp base, and up to twice as wide.

The lampshade should be about half or more of the height of your lamp. So a 48cm high lamp base might have a 24cm high lampshade.

The width of bedside lamps need to be in proportion to your bed size. A king size bed needs a lamp around 76cm high and 18cm wide for it to avoid looking dwarfed. 

5. Is the size appropriate?
Too many people place dinky little lamps on bedside tables that are actually too short for casting light for bedtime reading and which only successfully light the bedside table.

At the other end of the scale, you don't want an absolutely massive lamp that forces you to see up into the internal lamp fittings - and even worse, the bulb/s inside like you're in an interrogation camp.

Whether you're sitting on the sofa or sitting up in bed to read, the bottom of the table lamp shade should line up with your chin giving your perfect reading light without glare.

6. Put it in the right place
Your bedside table should be the same height as your mattress.

When you sit up in bed to read, your bedside lamp needs to be high enough to give you adequate light to read by so you need to find a lamp that's approximately 71-76cm high.

One of the most welcoming and inviting sights at nighttime is your living room lit up with various table and floor lamps, especially so if they're beside the armchair/s and two- and/or three-seater sofas.

You don't have to buy the same lamp in bulk either, but choose a common visual thread such as the lampshade shape or colour, and base height.

7. Let there be enough light
If your lampshade needs to offer illuminate an entire room or let you read at night, a translucent (pale) shade is your best option. However if it is to add drama and occupy a space to create atmosphere, your lampshade can be opaque.

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