How to Choose the Best Floor Lamps for Your Home
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How to Choose the Best Floor Lamps for Your Home

Selecting the right floor lamp for any room will depend on usage and style. Additional factors will include the size of your furniture and the size of the room and the function of the room for which you are choosing the lamp. Following a few guidelines and decorating strategies will help you find a lamp within your budget.

The Right Lamp for Each Room

The first piece of information for finding the right floor lamp is determining which room it is for. A lamp that is going in a den or office or children’s room is not likely to be the best lamp for your bedroom. Follow these general principles for each room:

Children’s rooms require a floor lamp that is durable and stable. A lamp with plastic or aluminum shades would be appropriate. Make sure that the lamp has a large base and is not top heavy. The on/off switch should be easily reached or plug the lamp into a wall socket connected to a switch.

Living room floor lamps are generally used for ambient light rather than for tasks or reading. Unless you use your living room as a multi-purpose room, you have large leeway on your choice of style. Upward lighting is often a nice light for a living room to avoid harsh lighting. You may also consider a floor lamp with large decorative shades and a single light rather than multiple arms such as you find on task lamps or reading lamps.

Bedroom floor lamps may serve a multiple purpose, or you may want to choose both a task lamp and a single light floor lamp. Many people read in bed and a floor lamp that has two components, both a flexible arm light and an upward pointing ambient light. A floor lamp with a dimmer is great for a bedroom. Soft upward light is good for watching TV in bed. Pay attention to where the on-off switch is. An on-off switch on the floor is not going to make you happy when you are sleepy and just want to reach over and flip it off.

Office, study or craft work rooms require floor lamps that are flexible and provide bright natural light. Consider a floor lamp with multiple arms that can be bent and twisted to direct them to where you need them. Floor lamps such as Ott-lite full spectrum lights or similar task lights that have a telescoping poles are particularly versatile.

The style of floor lamp that you choose will naturally match your general décor.

Modern Style or Art Deco

  • Clean lines
  • Metallic, highly polished wood or plastic finishes  
  • Italian glass lampshade

Traditional Style or Formal Style

  • Fabric lampshades in silk, linen and glass
  • Ceramic, wood and glass bases with embelleshments

Ethnic Style

  • Wood and natural materials
  • Lampshades in natural materials
  • Ethnic style patterns on lampshade
  • Carved or painted bases

Art Nouveau Style

  • Lampshade of stained glass
  • Cast bronze bases
  • Floral, leaf and vines with sinuous lines

A floor lamp in any room is a wonderful decorating element that can enhance your environment and it is more versatile because you do not need a table to place it on. You can tuck them into corners or behind furniture in a small floor space. If you are on a very limited budget, try thrift stores for lamps that can be changed up for your own style by just the addition of a new lampshade.

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Comments (5)

Who knew floor lamps were so exciting! Interesting and entertaining read, well researched. I look forward to more.

You beat me to it, Judith. I was thinking of writing an article in response to that question, but you beat me to the keyboard. Congratulations on a well-written article that covers the subject from A to A.

Article displays good detail and nicely laid out, too.  I like shopping for lamps..they add beauty to any room. It's just a matter of selecting the right lamp for the right room and location is important, as well.  Good job here! 

Floor lamps are usually taken for granted, but your aritcle highlights their attractiveness and functionality.  Great job! 

Thank you for the nice comments. I think there is definitely room for another article Jerry. I am going over to the thread to post a related question that you may be interested in.