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Don’t know the first thing about how to choose a lamp? You’re not alone. A lot of folks out there are in the dark when it comes to choosing the right lighting for their home. Luckily, I can help you. We love shedding a little light on some of the finer (yet still affordable) things in today’s home decor. But when it’s time to choose a table lamp for your living room, where do you start?
Since your living room is a common area, any lamps you choose to put in this room will be on full display for anyone who comes into your home. With that in mind, feel free to get a little more decorative with your living room lamp choices. Use floor lamps for your main ambient lighting, complemented by table lamps for filler light. Most importantly, the living room is a room for company and conversation; make sure you don’t obstruct the line of sight between any of the seats. You and your guests need to be able to see each other without ducking around your fantastic-looking yet ill-placed table lamps.
Try to find lamps that will complement the style of the living room. In a modern living room you probably choose a modern table lamp. In turn, contemporary table lamps fit amazingly into any modern or contemporary living room. Obviously, a chrome table lamp with black shade would look silly in a Victorian-styled living room. But, Victorian doesn’t always mean stained glass or gas-lamp with globe. Anything that has color or style elements that go with your décor would be fine. The point is that you should choose a style that will fit with the style in your living room so that the look is attractive and appropriate.
Next is the proportion. Look for living room lamps and check if they are sized properly for their placement. First, sit on a chair or sofa beside the table and measure the distance from the table surface to your eye level. Purchase a fixture whose base to the bottom of the shade length measurement does not exceed the table-to-eye measurement.
Second, calculate the shade length as 65 to 80 percent of the base length. For example, if the base length is 16 inches, the shade should measure 10 to 14 inches long. This results in a fixture about 24 inches tall; another way to calculate this is that the shade is about one-third of the total height, and should cover the light bulbhardware on the top of the lamp base. Lastly, choose a shade with a diameter no more than 2 inches less than the base length. For example, on the fixture with a 16-inch base, the diameter (or width) of the shade should not be more than 14 inches. Shades are listed as length from top to bottom, and width as the diameter, or widest part, of the shade.