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The humble table lamp makes a comeback!

The humble table lamp makes a comeback!


As all home interiors aficionados know full well, lighting is king when designing a room. And whilst there is endless technical, practical and styling advice on triple pendants, outdoor accenting and bathroom LEDs, in this post we’re going to focus on the humble table lamp. Once regarded as a bit old fashioned, it is now enjoying a modern revival, coming in all shapes, sizes and styles.

The great thing about table lamps is that they only need a socket to produce their magic (and a table, apparently) and you can fine-tune their position more easily than any other type of light. Because they are so flexible, they can play a part in all sorts of lighting scenarios, from focal point to bedside light and from reading light to romantic glow.

So here’s our room by room low-down for the table lamp revolution.


The living room

Think of the living room table lamp as one part light and one part sculpture. It should be great to look at, on or off. Just make sure it doesn't block the view … or run the risk of getting in the way of a good conversation!

A fabric shade works well in a sitting room, giving a warm, soft, flattering glow. Near a TV, an opaque shade of any material is good for minimizing glare. In general, drum shades look more modern and conical ones, more traditional. Top tip: a shade should never extend past a table's perimeter.

The hallway

First impression count, and the hallway is a great place to get away with a boldly designed lamp or one with a strong colour. But as every hallway differs, there are fewer rules than elsewhere, other than making sure your lamps create atmosphere.

If you’ve got the space for a focal point, go for it - If you haven’t then slip in a small, neat lamp just to create a glow. Top tip: A wooden based table lamp is often more homely for a hall than a metal one.


The dining room

A candlelight dinner is great, but you also need at least one lamp so you can see what's what, without disrupting the romantic mood. A table lamp or two on the sideboard also gives the room a finished look.

In dining rooms, table lamps help fill out light from pendants and wall lights. On a sideboard or a surface other than the dining table, try a design with lots of height and drama, but not so high that the light shines in your guest’s eyes! Top tip: Avoid large-based lamps if it’s sitting on an area you might need for serving etc.

The bedroom

First things first, bedside table lamps should be soft and subtle enough to befit your private sanctuary. But for those that like to read and work in bed, task lighting is ideal, make sure the angle and height of the light is sympatico with curling up in bed with your favorite book.

The base of a table lamp for the bedroom shouldn't be too flimsy, but nor should it be large, either - and exactly the same principles apply to the shade. A sleek stainless steel table lamp can work perfectly. Top tip: To create a clean, balanced look, symmetry is key.
The humble table lamp makes a comeback!