Tips for Selecting and Decorating with Table Lamps

May 15, 2014

What’s not to love about table lamps? They’re a simple way to change up a room, adding flexible ambiance as well as a style statement.

There aren’t many hard and fast guidelines for using table lamps when designing your home. A table lamp can be used anywhere you need a little extra light. For example:

  • Add a little glamour with an unexpected lamp on your desk
  • Use a table lamp to brighten up a corner and make a reading nook with your favourite chair
  • Add some style to your dining room sideboard with a pair of statement lamps
  • Change the mood of your bedroom with a fresh bedside lamp
  • Create homey intimacy with a table lamp on the kitchen counter

Table lamps as house jewelry

“Think of a lamp as part of the jewelry of a room,” interior designer Judith Balis says. “You need to select the right piece to complement the rest of the room.”

Unless you’re a master of quirky matches, choosing table lamps that continue the style or theme of the room is a good route. Here are some examples:


Cottage or nautical themed room



What size of table lamp is right?

Scale is one way to play with table lamps, since a large, bold lamp can contrast nicely with a delicate table or fit right in on a more solid piece of furniture.

One rule to light them all

Though there are many ways to design a room, there seems to be one design rule that you should follow: when sitting near a table lamp, you should not be able to see the light bulb or socket.

If you can see the light bulb or socket, the lamp is too tall in relation to your furniture and people in the room will experience uncomfortable glare.

“But, I love my lamp,” you say. “I refuse to let it go!”

Save the day – and your favourite table lamp – with a larger lamp shade that hangs lower on the table lamp, hiding the bulb.

More Inspiration

Check out our Pinterest board for Table Lamps