Looking for some simple ideas for decorating with lamps? This post gives you all the ideas and inspiration you need to choose the perfect lamp for your space.
This world is full of unanswered questions.
Is Big Foot really a thing?
Was there really a Lost City of Atlantis?
Is the world going to be inhabited by aliens in the next century?
Who built Stonehenge?
Where did the Don Draper we all know and love disappear to during the last season of Mad Men?
Will the Downton Abbey movie be as good as the series?
And how do you decorate with lamps?
I know. I get it. I understand.
It’s scintillating content like this that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
We can discuss Big Foot and the new Downton Abbey movie much more in-depth later, but for today? We’re talking decorating. And lamps. And unanswered lamp questions.
Here are my best ideas for decorating with lamps.
Q: How tall should my table lamps be?
When decorating with lamps, start by determining the height of the lamp that you need for the space you are planning on putting a table lamp. For example, in my living room, I was looking for a lamp for the bookcase. Most table lamps for side tables and small bookcases like the one in my front room should be between 24″-32″. This lamp works perfectly in the space and it’s 26″ tall.
You don’t want to overwhelm your table.
Notice the scale of the table lamp to the bookcase. It compliments it. It doesn’t make it feel small.
A taller table lamp on this bookcase would look as out of place as a can of Aqua Net in 2019.
Q: How tall should my lamp shades be?
There are two important things to consider when choosing a lampshade. The width and height.
The height of the lampshade should be about a third of the height of the lamp.
The width of the lampshade should be about twice the size of the base of the lamp. Please don’t make the mistake of the awkward skinny lampshade. You know. The ones that look like they need a steak dinner.
Go big and bold with your lampshades.
Q: What shape of lamp shades are trending right now?
I’m not really one to follow trends.
They make me spend too much money and talk me into buying things at 2:00 in the morning.
I tend to stay traditional with my lampshades. I like a basic round drum shade for most of my table lamps. Occasionally I’ll go all fancy and choose one with a slight angle.
I currently do NOT like lampshades with panels. Instead, I’m drawing to simple shades with one seam in the back.
Which may or may not be a trend. In which case please completely ignore the first part of this statement.
Q: What are the best colors to choose for lampshades?
The answer to this question is super simple. When decorating with lamps ask yourself how much light you want to let into a space. The more light you are looking for, the lighter the lampshade should be. If I am going for a dark and moody come hither look in a room, a dark shade works perfectly. If I am going for light and bright, I choose a white or khaki linen shade.
Here are a couple of my best lampshade tips:
- If you go with a dark shade, sometimes choosing a metallic on the inside helps reflect light and make the room feel warmer.
- Woven, tweed shades like this are perfect in a study or office or other spaces where you want to warm up your light.
- I try to stay away from gauzy, translucent shades. I LOVE the look when they are turned off, but when I turn them on, all I see is light bulb.
- I do have one lamp with an outer translucent shade and a solid parchment inner shade. This combination works well if you have your heart set on the look of a translucent shade.
Q: What are some classic lamp bases I can choose for a timeless look?
Lately, I’m all about white.
I’ve painted my rooms white. I’m about to paint a floor white. I’m choosing white throws and white pillows.
And I put these white lamps in so many different rooms.
Maybe my house is trying to tell me to calm down.
I love the look of this timeless gourd base. I also like the farmhouse look of the wood lamp pictured on this post. If you don’t want to change out your lamps every couple of years, I’d stick to a neutral color palette and clean lines.
Add in one amazing brass pineapple lamp just for fun.
Q: How many lamps do you need in a room?
I like three.
Or any odd number combination.
Although 17 may be too many.
You want to try to create a triangle of light (not including the overhead light) with three lamps placed around the room to illuminate corners.
Q: Where can you decorate with lamps?
I like to place a lamp on the side of a hutch (like the one in my kitchen).
I like lamps on top of bookcases and side tables.
A little lamp on a bathroom counter or in the mudroom by the back door works well, too.
When it’s dark, I go outside, to see what the lamps look like when you walk by the house. Lamps near windows are one of my favorite things.
Q: Do all your lamps in your room need to match?
I love the look of different lamps giving different corners of the room different personalities.
I give you permission to place un-matching lamps in a room with one exception.
If you are putting two lamps on a side table or buffet or mantel? They need to be twins.
Q: What about ceiling fans?
I know that question has LITERALLY NOTHING TO DO WITH DECORATING WITH LAMPS.
But I like to stir up a little lamp controversy.
Are you on team ceiling fan? Or not?
I am a proud member of the ceiling fan club. I can’t help it. I live in Texas. I don’t care what any decorating show says. We HAVE TO HAVE AIR PEOPLE.
My best ceiling fan advice? Make it match the ceiling—then no one really ever notices it.
And you stay cool.
Emphasis on the word stay. You didn’t really need to become cool.
You already are. 🙂
PS One of my sponsors, Lamps Plus is having an AMAZING Fourth of July Sale! You can check out all the details here.
And now here are some other simple decorating ideas from some of my favorite bloggers.
Click on the links for more design ideas and inspiration.