Lamps Take the Floor


It's an interesting phenomenon - when people come into our store to choose lighting options for their home, they are far more likely to choose a table lamp, chandelier or sconce over a floor lamp any day. And they seemingly have good reasons.

Floor lamps take up space, they say. They are always at risk of being knocked over, and are usually relegated to occupying a corner where they end up serving time as a dust magnet, rather than the attractive, useful lighting option that they are. But I tend to feel differently.

Stunning Pair of Two French Bronze Ladies 'Torchere' Floor Lamps

Stunning Pair of Two French Bronze Ladies 'Torchere' Floor Lamps

Whether you're looking for additional lighting to either add to the total light levels of a room, or to serve as an alternative to the main light source, floor lamps can do both jobs admirably, and when it comes to Art Deco or Mid-century Modern lamps, they do it in style, with class and with flair. But how do you choose a floor lamp, and what do you do with it once you have it?

Quantity versus quality

When choosing any secondary light source, from wall sconces to table lamps to floor lamps, it's important to work out how much lighting your room really needs. Buying a floor lamp just because it's attractive and suits your decor doesn't help much if they're never turned on.

Decide whether the room needs additional lighting, alternative lighting or both, and how many extra sources you need. And remember to work out where that light is needed as well. Two well-placed floor lamps can be better than several poorly placed light sources.

Style choices

French Art Deco Figured Wood and Bronze Floor Lamp/Torchiere

French Art Deco Figured Wood and Bronze Floor Lamp/Torchiere

The right floor lamp or lamps need to complement the style of your room. Remember, as always, that with both Art Deco and mid-Century Modern decor, these items are functional as well as attractive, so take some time to choose lamps that will serve as not just lighting, but as attractive pieces on their own, whether on or off.

For practical purposes, pay attention to things like materials - for example, if you have small, active children, perhaps it is better to choose lamps that don't have delicate glass shades. Also pay attention to stability, height and the size of the base and shade.

Location, location, location

As with any lighting, placement is important for floor lamps. You need to work out where the light is most needed and place the lights appropriately. A floor lamp, for example, can serve really well as a reading lamp in a living room or bedroom if it is placed strategically next to a sofa or the bed.

Plan the placement of your floor lamps along with the planning for the rest of the room, so that they don't end up relegated to the corner, out of the way and mostly out of sight. As with any planning, take the time to draw out a floor plan and work out where each piece of furniture and lighting should go.

Signed Original Ulla Darni Floor Lamp/Torchiere

Signed Original Ulla Darni Floor Lamp/Torchiere

Don't trip

One of the primary hazards of any lighting source that isn't built into the wall or ceiling is the power cord. This little piece of wire can cause people, pets and the lamp itself to go flying if due care isn't taken.

Take the power outlets into account when planning your room's layout, including the lamps' placement, and try to minimize exposure to the power cords. Try to keep them out of the high traffic zones or, if that's impossible, make sure they are properly covered by runners or rugs. If covering a cable, however, make very sure that it is in good condition, with no exposed wiring, and check on it regularly!

Bring your floor lamps out of the corner where they so often hide and give them a position that shows off their beauty while they give you all the extra and mood lighting you could possibly need, and enjoy these unique and too often neglected pieces of decor.

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  • Matthew Pillet
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