How-To: Pick the Perfect Floor Lamp
Finding the right floor lamp is about striking the perfect balance between function and form. A seemingly simple task, we’ve found that it can be quite daunting of a search. Whether you’re looking to make a sleek statement or add character to an otherwise dull corner, we've got you covered. While picking the perfect floor lamp is more art than science, here we outline two key findings to focus on — design and functionality.
Decide on Design
There's no shortage of floor lamp designs to choose from, so you’ll want to get specific. Start by getting a sense of your personal style to find a look that complements the colors and shapes already in your space. Among the many options out there, most modern lamps fall into three main categories:
Subtly sophisticated, modern lamps often feature clean lines and organic shapes. Take note that sleek does not have to be synonymous with sterile — floor lamps can be packed with personality and still feature minimal, Scandinavian-inspired designs.
Heritage-inspired lights were influenced by the shaker style movement that was famous in the 19th century. The characteristics of this era are simple silhouettes and geometric shapes that highlight the beauty of its natural materials.
Over the years, vintage has come to mean different things to different people. There are even some regional distinctions between the term, but common features are muted shades and a time-honored touch.
Figure Out Functionality
Next, take a moment to think about how your family uses the room where the lamp will be used. For example, is it going in a bedroom for nighttime reading, or will it be used in a work-from-home office? Is the room already well-lit or is it an interior space with no windows? Answering these questions will help narrow down the floor lamp that best meets your needs. Here are a few functions to consider:
If setting the mood is your goal, select a lamp with a shade to gently filter light. Due to its size, floor lamps with fabric or glass shades are typically placed near a chair or in the corner of the room. Their striking silhouette adds a time-honored touch, while their bases are heavy to offer stability. Many floor lamps showcase standard drum shades and are perfect for setting a warm and welcoming tone.
If you’re looking to illuminate an interior and make a statement, choose floor lamps that spotlight specific spaces. To achieve this, look for an angled or arc lamp that is sleek and sculptural. Elegant and effortless, they often feature a long arm that gracefully extends upward or outward from a heavy base. Although they brighten an entire room, the sightline for these lamps often draws the eye to whatever sits nearby. If well-placed above a side table or chair, an angled floor lamp can easily become the centerpiece of a room.
The perfect task light, adjustable lamps assist by allowing for an array of orientations and work well for rooms where there is no overhead lighting or little to no windows. They are typically divided into sections and include multiple arms for wide-reaching illumination that can be focused in many directions. As a bonus, these floor lamps often come with rotating or tilting heads to ensure light reaches every corner.
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Written by Nafeesah Allen