I know on this subject, I am like a broken record, but lately, since we’re in the middle of winter, watching the rain (in the Westcoast) day after day, even with all the lamps in my house, I still feel the darkness.
So I thought this might be a helpful post if you’re feeling the dark, dreary, winter days too!
A lot of people want paint to do the heavy lifting, but here’s the thing, if I had to choose between filling my house with lamps (NOT recessed lighting) or putting up a fresh new coat of paint, I would choose lamps EVERY TIME.
Lamps WITH a shade is key. I’m not talking about recessed lighting or torch lights, or light fixtures where you’re looking at a naked bulb. These lights do little to create atmosphere.
And lamp shopping is difficult. How I know this, is because I’ve never met anyone who didn’t need more lamps in their home (unless she/he was a designer).
So here’s the first one you should own.
Gourd lamp x 2
Here’s the hot tip about this style of lamp. It comes in many different colours, so all you have to do is look around your living room or bedroom and choose a colour you already have in your decorating.
Remember, throwing orange cushions into your all-grey living room is not enough. An accent colour should be repeated in small, medium and large gradations for the room to look truly pulled together.
And, if you buy two of them you’ll be able to flank your sofa or bed with them, or place them on a sofa table or sideboard like I did in my dining room below:
Here’s white ones but they come in many colours. Just remember to insert ‘gourd lamp’ into the search bar!
Or if you don’t want to commit to an accent colour, it could be as simple as, you have a navy sofa and you repeat the navy in lamps!
The next light is two uplights placed on the floor behind your sofa
I only turned on one lamp, the morning that I took these photos. Obviously, the room would have been brighter overall, if I had more lamps on, but I just wanted to show you what this side of the room looks like with only one light on in the corner and then the room with two uplights behind the sofa (below):
Uplights are really inexpensive and I love the warm glow they add to the room. I think it would look even better if the sofa were up against a wall instead of the window as shown here.
When I drive by the house at night, a warm yellow glow emanates from the window outside!
Mini accent lamp
The next lamp everyone needs is a short one that you can place underneath your cabinets or upper shelving in your kitchen.
I bought this lamp in a local home decor store but Thomas Hicks by Visual Comfort has a very similar one.
Basically you want one that is less than 18″ which is the standard height between your countertop and cabinets.
Here’s what is so great about this style of lamp. It’s simple and clean, and doesn’t have so much personality that you have to spend a lot of time wondering if it will work with your decor.
Buy two of them and trust me, you will find a dark corner to place them in!
My family room corner after I completely restyled the bookshelves this winter.
If you buy it from Restoration Hardware (like I did) order the white shade, the sand linen colour looks pink beige to me. This white shade is also far from a stark white shade (which always looks cheap).
Here’s a much better priced lamp brought to you by one of my generous readers who found it:
Wisteria has one as well, but it’s a powdery grey blue shade so it is not as versatile as this one (above).
If anyone has any sources for other floor lamps this skinny, post them in the comments below. The above two are the only ones I could find.
Swing Arm Lamp
I don’t have these lights installed in my house (both my sofas are positioned in front of windows). These lamps are perfect for behind sectionals sitting up against a wall, because then you end up with a dark corner making it hard to install a standing lamp.
Also, if you have small children and worry they might knock your lamps over, this is a great way to manage that.
Well you have to visualize what I’m talking about with the above photo, most of us don’t live in houses with this many beautiful windows, and two sitting behind a sectional. However, note where the lamps are positioned. Same principles apply in your room without the windows.
Basically if you have a lamp positioned every 4 feet around the room, that’s when you know you have enough (not kidding).
They are also fabulous on either side of headboards in bedrooms! And you can hardwire them but also buy plug-ins with a cord cover like this one (above).
Hope this gives you some inspiration! Since I wrote those two posts (here and here) this past summer from Finland about lamps, I have heard from many of you who reported that you went out and bought some more lamps and it made such a difference! Hooray!
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