A New Lamp Is a Bright Idea

Every time I walked past the little bar cart in my living room, something just bugged me. Something was off about the display. It looked nice, but didn’t wow me. Then I put my finger on it. It needed a new lamp.

The white lamp I had on the bar cart just didn’t add much to the display, so I swapped it out for a new one that just came in to Nell Hill’s. Truth be told, I had been itching to get this unique red floral lamp into my cottage somehow, somewhere. And the bar cart turned out to be the perfect place. The photo above shows the same lamp, styled at Nell Hill’s.

Lamps are design super heroes. They swoop in and save the day. Trading an old, tired lamp for a new one can refresh a room. At Nell Hill’s, our customers often bring us photos of their homes and ask for ideas on how to update their spaces. Almost always, we recommend retiring their dated lighting for new lamps. Presto: The room looks newer, fresher.

What’s big in lighting these days? Honestly, just about everything.  We’re showing a lot of lamps with colorful ceramic bases, from traditional or contemporary blue and white patterns to to chinoiserie in all colors. Metals have made a huge comeback, too, and we’re selling lots of oil-rubbed brass. (I will be blogging about the comeback of brass next week.)

We like lamps that have some heft, with clean lines. They add some presence. Another fun, modern touch we adore is a lamp that sits on a small Lucite base.

Gone are the small, dark lampshades of yesterday. Today’s lampshades are larger drum shapes in white. Not only do these big, open, light shades look clean and modern, they also ensure the lamps really can light up the space around them. These are lamps you can read by.

There are no rules to follow when deciding whether or not to mix all the lamps in a room, with no two alike, or to have a matched pair on either side of your sofa or dining room buffet. The choice is yours, because everything is in now.

For example, in my living room, I used to have a single lamp on the table behind my sofa. Now that I’m so crazy about houseplants, I decided to rework the table. I put a large plant in a cachepot at the center and flanked it by two matching pharmacy lamps. I love the new look!

Next Week … Warm metals are sizzling hot right now. Here’s how I use them in my cottage.