Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Floor Lamps

In order to create great décor in your living room, you need to find the right floor lamps, or as some people call them – standing/standard lamps. Floor lamps have more than one use. As well as providing a source of light in specific areas of your living room, they also look very attractive and can be used set the mood. Of course, in order to satisfy these requirements, you have to give a lot of thought to the exact type of floor lamps you need.

In order to help you to pick the right floor lamps for the job, we’ve put together a few useful hints. You can start by asking yourself five basic questions.

Question 1: What do you want your floor lamps to say?

Floor lamps can either be used to make a statement, or they can play a more subtle role; not stealing the limelight, but rather complimenting the furniture and fittings in the room.

If it is the former you want to achieve, you need to consider not only which style of floor lamps will fit the bill, what sort of height you prefer, and what colours will contrast with and/or compliment the environment in which they are to be placed.

What is you aim? Is it to "wow" any visitors, or is to enhance the room’s décor by blending in rather than taking centre stage?

One of the deciding factors will be how much available space you have in your living room. You don’t want the addition of floor lamps to create a cluttered effect. Strategically placing a pair of floor lamps in the room can look stunning, but if space is at a premium; just one will do the job equally well.

If you intend your floor lamps to make more of a bold statement, you’ll find that opting for plain bases, but having more eccentric shades, creates a more stunning accessory. The simplicity of the bases is balanced by the flamboyance of the shades, which lends even more impact.

The right style, colour and pattern of the shades you choose for your floor lamps, can ensure that they look as stunning unlit during the day, as they do when lit up at night.

Question 2: Matching the size of floor lamps to the available space

We’ve already mentioned the available space available in your living room from the viewpoint of not over-cluttering. Another important consideration when choosing floor lamps is the height of the ceiling.

If your living room ceiling height is relatively low, tall floor lamps will almost certainly look out of proportion with their surroundings. At the opposite end of the scale; if you have a high or vaulted ceiling, short floor lamps could look too insignificant.

With shorter floor lamps, you also need to take into consideration that fact they could easily dazzle visitors with their glare, rather than simply providing a more gently ambient light.

What you need to do to get the size of your floor lamps right, is to use a tape-measure and figure out what the optimum height is before it starts to over-impose.

Question 3: What sort of light will be more suitable?

Floor lamps can either provide illumination for specific objects or needs, or they can provide a gentler, ambient light. Determining what the purpose is, is a fundamental decision you need to make before you start your search.

Say for example, you are going to position your floor lamps adjacent to a sofa and/or chairs, in order to provide lighting to read by. You’re going to need to choose lamps whereby the shades’ bottoms will be positioned at eye level to those seated. If the shades are too high, the bulbs could dazzle and make reading irksome and difficult.

As a rule of thumb, the top of the shades will need to be approximately 60 inches above floor level, give or take an inch or so.

The other thing that needs careful thought is the type of shade. If one of the purposes of the floor lamps is to provide a gentle ambient light, you need to choose lamp shades that are partly translucent. If however, the idea of the floor lamps is to place accent of a specific feature, you should opt for shades that are opaque, as these will give the desired effect.

Question 4: Will your floor lamps compliment your living room’s shape and décor?

Floor lamps bases are available in a wide range of materials, including marble, metal, plastic and wood. They also come in a diversity of colours. However, the colour, pattern and even texture of the lamp shades have to be chosen with care in order to blend in and compliment the décor and even the shape of your living room.

You can choose anything from subtle linen, white lamp shades, to bolder colourful patterns in silk. There are shades for all types of décor, be they period or contemporary.

Question 5: Do you want to create new areas in your living room?

Floor lamps are extremely useful for adding character to a living room. You could for example position your standing lamps next to a leather chair and a small table and produce a comfortable area for reading.

Floor lamps also make excellent space fillers. If you have an area that looks a bit too empty, but would look cluttered with a chair or sideboard in it, a floor lamp will not only fill such a space nicely, but it will also bring character into it. Depending on the type of lamp shade you decide on, you can vary the mood or feel of that area too.

One thing you need to watch out for is when you are choosing exactly where to position your floor lamps, try to ensure that they don’t interfere with sight lines between chairs or sofas. The last thing you want to do is to inadvertently make any visitors have to sit on edge of their seats in order to see the person they are talking or listening to!

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