Top tips on using table lamps and floor lamps effectively

Top tips on using table lamps and floor lamps effectively

By Steve Davey

Top tips on using table lamps and floor lamps effectively

Top tips on using table lamps effectively….

Last time we talked about pendant lights and discussed the importance of layered lighting in your home to create ambience and define zones.  Today we move on to lamps and how to use them to add character to your design scheme and their different functions in terms of lighting your room. Starting with table lamps.

The main considerations when choosing a lamp is deciding it’s function, how it lights the space, it’s design, colour and size.  Do you want to make a statement or do you want the lamp to blend in and simply illuminate?  Do you want a striking overall design or a simple base with an extravagant shade? So much to think about!  Here at Cloudberry Living we are passionate about lighting and the impact it has on your home.  Lamps are a way to let your personality shine through and we’d love to help you choose the right lamp for the job.

Before we get started here’s a quick recap about the 3 main types of lighting………

AMBIENT.  This is the base layer of light for overall illumination.

ACCENT.  This is directional lighting to highlight certain aspects of the room such as a fireplace, artwork or piece of furniture.

TASK.  This is to add extra brightness for daily activities.

Lamps can be used to achieve all of these functions.  Traditionally people tend to think of the ceiling pendant as their ambient lighting source but you can mix it up and change the pendant for a purely decorative feature and use a mixture of table and floor lamps around the room to create your ambient, accent and task lighting.   Versatility and flexibility is key and can be achieved very easily with moveable lamps and multiple light switches.

Vita Copenhagen Carmina table lamps floor lamps Scandinavian lighting

Layered lighting Vita Copenhagen

One of the basic principles of layering light is to avoid relying on a single overhead source. Instead, use multiple lamps – table lamps, floor lamps, wall lights and pendants. This allows you to be flexible, especially in rooms with multiple functions. For example, with different lighting ‘scenes’ the same room can be a bright home office during the day, a glamorously-lit dining room for guests in the evening and – with a well-placed armchair and table lamp – a cosy reading nook at night.

Floor lamps and table lamps are so versatile as they can be moved around the house with ease., some even have the option of wall use too.

le klint muattio table and wall light blog image 852 639

Le Klint Mutatio 356 Table Lamp

Think about the size of your room.  You may love a tripod floor lamp but will it take up too much space if your room is a bit on the small side?  Considering using a smaller table tripod lamp, which you can also move around easily.  Or something like this Birdy lamp below. This has directional lighting, so great for spot or reading tasks the head and top arm is moveable, so you can angle it just so.

Think about how much light you need from your lamp and how it is directed.  Your choice of shade will impact on the way the light is emitted.  Pale or translucent shades will emit a soft ambient glow, while opaque or dark shades will channel the light up and/or down for a completely different look.  Are you after an ambient glow or a decorative accent light, or more directional such as the Birdy table lamp above, which also comes in a floor tall version…


andtradition Milk Lamp, ambient lighting, Scandinavian lighting, contemporary lighting, mood lighting

Andtradition Milk Lamp with opaque shade for soft ambient lighting.

Have ambient lighting and a sculptural lamp that really adds personality that looks good even when not lit…..

be&liv Blossom table lamp sculptural lighting ambient lighting

Sculptural statement lighting Blossom Lamp by Be&Liv

Don’t forget a dramatic shade will look just as great in the daylight when the light isn’t switched on as it does in the dark when the light is in use.

Consider the height/size of the lamp within your room so the proportions are pleasing to the eye and the light emitted doesn’t dazzle onlookers. If you want to use your lamp next to the armchair for reading make sure the bottom of the shade is at eye level while sitting down or a good height so the angle does not glare in to your eyes when seated.


Eos feather lampshade table lamp

Eos feather lampshade with tripod legs is a statement light that adds to the room decor and feel with it’s texture and shape.

Looking for a pop of colour with your lighting to create a cohesive design then coordinate or make it shout out as a statement.

Adjustable table lamp Normann copenhagen Cap lamp, table lamps, contemporary lighing

Cap Table Lamp by Normann Copenhagen

Lamps can be a chance to add colour to a neutral design  or to coordinate with the decor scheme if you fancy mixing it up a little.

Lightyears Owl Lamp Scandinavian lighting

Owl Lamp give and ambient light as well as directional downward glow, so can be used on the desk, bedside or for ambient lighting

A sculptural light that also blends into the colour scheme so does not over power the space.

Think about using different areas in your home for your lamps, highlighting  different types of light and areas to really make the space feel cosy, warm and inviting as well as useful. You can match them to floor or wall lights for a cohesive look and to add the layered look throughout your scheme.


For more inspiration take a look at our lighting section here:

Light up your life and home with layered ambient lighting.