Have you ever been out shopping for a lamp only to get underwhelmed? These days it has become increasingly hard to find a good looking lamp that does everything our high multi tasking lifestyle demands. One of THE most important factors in choosing a lamp for a room is selecting one with proper scale. If you are unclear about scale make sure you read this post about Scale and Proportion. As I perused the internet I was amazed to find so many photos with the wrong scale of lamp.

This is a beautiful room, however the lamp is getting lost next to the large sofa. In fact the lamp shade is really the only thing that the eye sees.

The lennox
Once again, this lamp is too small. It is too close to the adjacent wall color and the size does not work for the large items next to it.

This little floor lamp should go back to her super model days, she is just too skinny and wimpy in this room of high ceilings and large furniture.
When choosing a lamp always remember our motto, “GO BIG or GO HOME”. A home doesn’t need a lot of accessories. But lamps are a necessity. Choose lamps that are tall, 30″ or higher. And pay attention to the wall color that the lamp will be up against. Ask yourself these questions when choosing a lamp.Will there be a contrast? What color is the shade? How large is the shade? Will the type of shade provide the right amount of light for my room? Does the shade work with the wall color, and the furniture next to it? Does the lamp have the right scale in proportion to the other pieces in the room? Here are some examples that will leave you with a bright idea on selecting your next lamp!

Here is a beautiful example of the perfect lamp for this room. It has a wonderful proportion, beautiful contrast with wall color and the shade also has contrast. It applies to our “GBGH” (GO BIG or GO HOME) motto and the shade is the perfect size to diffuse light onto the sofa for an afternoon of guilty pleasures with Nora Ephron.

Perfect symmetry to balance a well decorated room. Black shades are the perfect choice against the handsome burlap colored silk draperies, adding depth and texture. The height is ideal for reading and the lamps will create a bewitching glow and shadowing, in the evening as the light dances in and out of the drapery folds.
Selecting lamps 101
1) Make sure the scale and proportion works for the room you are decorating. ( review the photos above. It is easy to see that the lamps are not “right”.
2) Choose a shade and lamp that has contrast with the adjacent surroundings. Contrast can come from direct color variation or simple texture differences.
3) Select a lamp shade that works with the function of the room. Round shades ( also known as drum shades) put out a lot of light in all directions. Ribbed shades that are rectangular, or bell shaped will generally push light down and constrict the light to a focused area.
4) GO BIG or GO HOME. We don’t need a lot of accessories. Choose a great sized lamp with a beautiful shade and you don’t need any other accessories on the table. Remember 30″ or higher is always a good rule of thumb.
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