Decorating with Lamps 101

Decorating with Lamps 101

The ambiance of any space is inseparable from the style and placement of its lamps. Properly placed lamps enhance your decor and set the mood of the room. Read below to learn how to use your lamps to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere in your home.

How to Decorate with Lamps

Decorating with Floor Lamps

Floor lamp in dining room

Living room lamps should be arranged so they won’t be in the way while guests socialize in the sitting area. Position pairs of matching lamps on both sides of a sofa or entertainment center to bring a stylish symmetry to your social area and evenly illuminate your space without them getting in the way. The height of the lamps and style of shades should hide the bulb from view when you’re standing or sitting near them. The light from floor lamps is also perfect for reducing shadows created by overhead lighting in a dining room or bedroom. For soft mood lighting, use torchiere floor lamps with glass shades and low-watt bulbs.

Floor lamps can also provide bright lighting in smaller areas. A lamp with an adjustable neck or shade allows you to direct light where you need it the most — these work great as reading lamps or desk lamps. Use arc floor lamps with downward facing lights to provide overhead lighting in a living room or over a dining table.

Lighting Tips:

  • Lamps near sitting areas should be around 68 inches high so the shade conceals the bulb whether you’re standing or sitting next to it.
  • Choose a lamp shade that will accentuate the style of your lamp and control the intensity of the light. Use our How to Buy Lamp Shades guide to find the perfect option for your lamp.

Decorating with Table Lamps

Table Lamp Ideas

Table lamps work alongside your decor to bring beauty and light to your living space. These space-conscious light fixtures are generally paired with a desk, side table, buffet table, or another flat surface that gives them the height to softly illuminate a room. If you need more light than a single table lamp can offer, then place multiple table lamps throughout the room. Decorating with a pair of table lamps is a popular way to create balance in your space. Place a lamp on either end of your sofa, console, or buffet table to add symmetry to your decor. You’ll bring balance to your bedroom when you add a table lamp to the nightstands on either side of your bed. Paired lamps don’t necessarily need to be the same. Try mixing different lamp styles of similar heights for a more eclectic look.

Desk lamps and bedside table lamps provide localized lighting that can make working and reading easier. Choose lamps with opaque shades or adjustable lights to brighten a desk or reading nook without lighting up a whole room. Because these lamps are usually only used during certain activities, pick touch lamps or lamps with easy-to-reach switches that can conveniently be turned on and off.

Lighting Tips:

  • Table lamps on nightstands or side tables should have a height and a shade that will conceal the bulb while you sit or stand near it.
  • When arranging multiple table lamps, choose lampshades of similar materials so the amount of light filtered through the shades stays consistent.

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2 Comments on "Decorating with Lamps 101"

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Dawn Felisiak
Dawn Felisiak

I’m interested in purchasing item #15825545. The Nantes 2 pc. Lamp set. I’d like to know if these lamps use 3 way bulbs. Thank you.

Dawn Felisiak

Overstock Team

Hi Dawn,
We love that lamp set! Those particular lamps feature a simple socket switch. Unfortunately, they are not built to work with 3-way bulbs, but are sure to provide plenty of light with the intended 100-watt bulbs.