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The humble table lamp

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By G.N
Tue, 03, 19

Decorating with a pair of table lamps is a popular way to create balance in your space. You! takes a look...

decor

Decorating with a pair of table lamps is a popular way to create balance in your space. You! takes a look...

As you get deeper into decorating your home, you will realise that it is the tiny details that end up making the biggest difference. While the style, theme and colour scheme of the room define it, it is lighting that ultimately sets the mood and creates an ambiance of your choice. Without proper lighting, even the most stylish space isn’t truly complete. In fact, a simple change in lighting can completely alter a room’s vibe and turn it from a dull, boring space into a cosy, inviting retreat or even a cheerful and exciting hub. And few lighting fixtures combine timeless charm, modern allure and smart functionality like the lovely table lamp. Believe it or not, a table lamp can really change the mood in a space.

Far from being stuffy and old-fashioned looking, today’s modern table lamps are showing off fresh finishes, bright colours, and beguiling textures that delight the eye. However, size, shape and style all need to be taken into account when selecting lamps to suit both your lighting needs and taste in home decor. Discover fresh ways to bring new style and visual appeal to your home, all by decorating with the humble table lamp...

  • Play with style: Think of a lamp as part of the jewellery of a room. You need to select the right piece to complement the rest of the room. Delicate crystal lamps add a feminine touch to a space, while dark wood lamps with angular shapes and solid, sturdy bases convey a masculine feel. Furnish a contemporary-style home with sleek silver lamps; use bronze lamps to complement traditional decor. Create a designer lamp by transforming your favourite piece of pottery, vase or pitcher into a lighting masterpiece.

True, often it is the shade that determines the overall appeal of the lamp, but there are plenty of cases where the body of the lamp makes a huge difference and defines it. Add a playful touch to a modern design with quirky, coral-base lamps.

  • Sleek shades: A lampshade can make or break a table lamp’s appearance - outdated, tattered or soiled lampshades can instantly destroy the aesthetic appeal of a spectacular lamp base. Exchange an old worn lampshade for a new replacement to instantly rejuvenate any lamp. White or ivory-toned shades deliver increased levels of brightness over dark-coloured lampshades. Mix and match bases and shades with contrasting colours to stir up visual excitement.

If you’re going for a modern or contemporary look, think simple and streamlined when selecting lamps. Currently in vogue, slim bases and drum-shaped shades can add height and drama to a space without overpowering its other decor. Shades with a tapered shape tend to blend well with traditional decor.

  • A world of colours: A neutral backdrop that is devoid of bold colour is almost the norm in most modern homes, and with neutrals like gray continuing to hold sway in 2019 as well, table lamps give you an opportunity to add a colour punch. If you need to add colour or texture to a room, an interesting lampshade will add just the boost you are looking for. Look for a shade with a bold pattern, an interesting texture or decorative touches like beads or tassels. In intimate spaces a table lamp creates a cafŽ ambiance, particularly when they’re painted in unexpected contemporary colours.
  • Size matters: Make sure the size of your lamp is appropriate for its location. You don’t want to put a massive lamp on a very small table - not only will it look disproportionate, but it might also be bumped into or knocked over. Likewise, a very small lamp will look out of place in a large room. The general norm here is to pick a lamp where the bottom of the shade is at your eye level when you are seated or resting. This works whether you are shopping for a table lamp that fits your reading nook, a beside lamp, or even one that goes next to the couch in the living room.


  • Mix and Match: The table lamp that you choose not only needs to blend in with the style of the room, but also must seamlessly add to the other layers of lighting that already exist. For a more unique look, try mixing two completely different table lamps with similar colours or geometric shapes to give the room visual symmetry with a fun twist!
  • Light factor: Another important factor to consider when choosing a lamp shade is how much light you need the lamp to cast. If you want the lamp to illuminate an entire room or provide light for reading, a translucent shade is the best choice. However, if the lamp is strictly an accent piece, try an opaque shade for a dramatic look.
  • Proper placement: After selecting the right lamps, deciding where to put them is just as important. If you have a dark corner in a room, the simple addition of a lamp will work wonders for the way the room feels. An end table next to an armchair or sofa is a natural spot for a stylish table lamp that can supplement the ambient light from ceiling lights. Candles on a window sill are a traditional touch, but you can update convention and create a wonderfully reflective pool of light by placing a table lamp there.
  • Be bold: Don’t be afraid to opt for something that will really make a statement! After all, it’s your home so it should reflect your own personal tastes. If you tend to gravitate towards neutrals and just a handful of decorative objects, go for something in a neutral colour but with a bold, geometric feeling that makes it feel like both a source of light and a sculptural object.

You can also go all-out with a bold colour for the base of the lamp and a fun, textural lampshade. Once you have chosen the right lamp for your table, you can always change up the style or add colour and texture to the room by changing the lamp shade.