Lighting has such a large impact on a space, it might be surprising to find out it can easily be overlooked when designing a room. We’re always searching for it, it has the ability to impact our mood, and of course, enhance the design of a room. From task lighting to creating general ambiance, lamps are inherently functional, but we’re here to say that you don’t have to sacrifice form for function – yes you can have your cake and eat it too!
I always strive to create layers of light within a room by using multiple light sources of varied types. I like to think about how the light will play in a room. The goal is a bright center, which is more typically achieved with overhead lighting, and pockets of light around the perimeter that highlight important elements, which is where lamps come into play. It’s clear from what we are seeing, that designers are having a fun moment with creative lighting! It seems like we are getting new lamp styles in everyday that are so unique and beautiful it is hard to choose a favorite!
Everyone has their own “rules” when it comes to choosing lighting for their spaces. For me, this is an area where I just like to have fun! I have picked up some tips and advice that hopefully can help you in choosing the perfect lamps for you. I like to think about the following prompts to get me started, because as we all know, rules (unlike lamps) are made to be broken.
- Incorporate color and personality. Lamps are an item that doesn’t have to be taken so seriously! Add whimsy to a space with an animal shaped base perfect for a child’s room. Or, add a pop of an eye-catching hue to add some brightness to a darker table top. Feeling adventurous? Switch up your classic white shade for one in black or another exciting color to stand out! You might be surprised by how many compliments start coming your way.
- Add a New Traditional touch and shop for double! Symmetrical lamps flanking a table are a key design element in New Traditional design. Using statement lamps can double the interest and the impact. This tip can be applied to any room or design aesthetic. Symmetry never goes out of style.
- Let your lamp lead the design charge. Use your lamp to tie in your accent color, incorporate pattern and texture to a room, or show your wild side. I like to suggest that you pick a lamp that really makes an impact and draws your eye – to borrow from Marie Kondo – choose a lamp that really sparks joy every time you turn it on.
- Treat your lamp as art and invest in it. I treat lamps as investment pieces. They are one of my favorite places to splurge in a room, because a good lamp truly makes such an impact on design. Some of my favorite lamps in the shop right now are these lovely hand-painted pieces from designer, Dana Gibson. The way she incorporates wild pops of color to traditional shapes and forms is brilliant.
- Don’t be afraid to mix and match! Using lighting to create balance doesn’t mean you have to create uniformity. Mixing and matching different lamps throughout a room is what gives your room character and highlights your unique style – don’t be afraid to mix some of your older, tried and true pieces with a more modern piece. You are not cookie cutter, and your room shouldn’t be either!
I hope these tips inspire you to look at lighting in a new way. If you still feel stumped, don’t forget, we’re more than happy to help. Our designers are always here to assist you in finding that perfect addition. What are some of your go to lighting tips? We would love to hear about them in the comments!
Meredith saysMarch 4, 2019 at 6:50 pm
This was a fun article to read and I love that you suggest buying 2 and keeping things symmetrical. I notice that your lamps have bases in acrylic or with feet. Is this a “new” look?
Anne Adams saysMarch 5, 2019 at 12:07 pm
LOVE THE Black and White dotted lamp with the Black Shade!!!!
So smart looking – graphic, but not way out there!
Thanks – Anne Adams
Nancy saysMarch 9, 2019 at 7:33 am
Timely article for me. Looking for pair of lamps to use on bedroom chest, either side of 25 inch high antique French rectangular mirror. Could change mirror to simple American mahogany of same size. Think max.height of pair 22 inches, column, cylinder, or vessel with slim shape. Hepplewhite chest got out of small Cotswold hotel that closed- 46″W and 44″H mahogany, wood knobs. I welcome your suggestions and whether you have a pair of lamps that might work or could be made up. I like Dana Gibson’s new pieces; thank you for re-introducing me to her. Knew her work long ago. Distant blog reader
Katie Wilson saysMarch 26, 2019 at 7:32 pm
Thanks for the tip about finding a lampshade with a personality. Finding something that is fun and interesting would brighten up a room. My husband and I are looking for a lamp, so we’ll have to consider the personality.
Laura Shultice saysMarch 29, 2019 at 8:25 am
I’d love your suggestions regarding LED lighting vs. (difficult to find) old fashioned incandescent soft white light bulbs & tips for selecting best ones visually to purchase. I’m not onboard with the brightness and lack of soft yellow that the incandescent ones offer. Any advise greatly appreciated.
Elisabeth Southgate saysJuly 31, 2019 at 10:43 am
I like how you said to incorporate color and personality into your lamp choice. I am thinking of redecorating my bedroom. Having a lamp with some personality could add a lot to the room.