Decorating Ideas

Essential Table Lamps to Brighten All Your Spaces

Essential Table Lamps to Brighten All Your Spaces
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The Slimliner: The Candlestick Lamp

The first candlestick lamps pretty much mimicked their namesake, and lamps that resembled pre-electric lighting fit well with Early American and rustic decor. But today’s candlestick lamps encompass everything from ornate gilded tapers to minimalist glass columns; what they share are slender, straight silhouettes. Since they take up little surface space, these lamps are ideal for small nightstands, buffet tables, and compact consoles.

Photo by Lesley Unruh

Photo by Lesley Unruh

The Showstopper: The Sculpture Lamp

From ginger jar lamps to complement a collection of chinoiserie to geometric creations for a dash of midcentury panache, there’s a sculptural base for just about every space. Generally speaking, the more eye-catching the base, the simpler the shade should be. You can’t go wrong with a plain white or off-white shade: Linen will provide a soft, diffused light, while a gold lining will add warmth.

Photo by Nicole LaMotte

Photo by Nicole LaMotte

The Classic Beauty: The Gourd Lamp

The iconic curvaceousness of these timeless lamps offer a subtle (and welcome) counterpoint to the straight lines and right angles that dominate most rooms. Glossy finishes show off the sinuous shapes to perfection, though a matte or highly textured surface will bring an element of surprise. For pure glam, opt for a gold- or silver-leafed base; for a quieter touch of luxe, limit the metallic gleam to the base’s pedestal.

Photo by Manuel Rodriguez

Photo by Manuel Rodriguez

The Taskmaster: The Desk Lamp

Gooseneck, architect, swing-arm, and other types of desk lamps are most notable for having adjustable angles and heights. But these versatile options are now stylish enough that they don’t have to be shunted away in an office or a library. Add one with a warm brass or bronze finish to a small table beside a chaise or a bed, and you’ll have an instant cozy reading spot.

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