Lighting is a great tool in adding dimension, setting a mood to any space in home decorating. Use a combination of table lamps, floor lamps, sconces, chandeliers, candles to set the mood and atmosphere of any space.

A single light with varying intensities sets the atmosphere of any setting. A combination of lamps can define functional areas within a larger room. When mixed the color, tone and intensity of the lighting creates zones – soft and soothing for casual living; bright for tasks. Translucent shades of sheer fabric, paper or embroidery are great for reading and adding ambient light to your room. Opaque shades of silk, thick material directs light in defined, up-and-down beams, perfect for highlighting objects and setting a mood.

The mood that lighting sets up makes for inviting spaces. A cozy spot to read a book under a table lamp, a dramatic floor lamp/table lamp holds its own, tall modern lamp shades are good for gathering, a chandelier fits into big foyers, hallways, on top of dining tables etc.

Here are some factors in choosing a lamp for your space


A lighting source, table lamp, should foremost complement your décor and follow some basic visual guidelines. It should ‘blend’ into its surroundings, be an element of your design and not block other design elements like artwork from view. You can always experiment with styles and adding color to an otherwise minimalistic setting.

Remember , the lamp or candle should be considered as a design element in the space when it is not performing as a light source. Its shape, size and color should work together with other elements in the room. Also the lamp might have a different mojo when it is turned on at night as opposed to the look in the daytime when it could be turned on or off. Consider the effect of the light on walls that might be neutral or colored.


Modern or contemporary looks call for slim bases and drum-shaped shades. Shades with a tapered shape suit traditional décor. Bases that have that a round shape call for drum shades. Bases that  are square or rectangular call for square or rectangular shades. A mix of lamps in a room can be pleasing, just be sure the tops have them same shape and at roughly the same height. Maintaining a visual line or plane is pleasing to the eye.



A lamp and lampshade that has a pattern, color, print or pattern becomes a design element in and of itself. Be it a bold pattern or print, a texture or any other interesting detail the lamp itself becomes a decorating element in your space. Don’t be afraid to mix the material of the shade base (with color and texture considerations) on top of tables that have a contrasting medium.

Use trims and beads and other embellishments to tie in other design elements in the room such as artwork, window treatments or objects in the room. And to top it all a carefully selected finial on the shade will enhance everything.


While this might sound obvious, there is a something to be said about things that go together. A round shade with round lamp base, a square or rectangular shade with a square or rectangular bases. A drum shade works well with a tall thin base. Also pay attention to the overall size of the shade

The shade itself should be about 1/3 the size of the entire lamp and shade put together.


 Make sure the size of your lamp fits in the space that it occupies. A massive lamp on a small table or surface not only look disproportionate, but it throws the dynamics out. Similarly, a very small lamp looks out of place in a large room. The shade itself should be about 1/3 the size of the entire lamp and shade put together. The  width of the shade should be atleast 1/2” larger than the biggest dimension of the base.

 Choosing the right table lamp is personal. You should start with defining for yourself what kind of mood you are trying to achieve within your home or in a particular room. It is essential to take a close look at the scale and purpose of specific rooms in your home. If a room is large and ceilings are high, go with lighting fixtures that are significant in the scale. Pay attention not just, to the height of the lamp, but to the diameter of the lamps shade as well.



Place a lamp where you need it – a dark corner might call for a floor lamp. Scatter table lamps as needed. Lamps on end tables should be at the same level – and yes they do not have to be the same kind either. Just make sure that they are the same scale and emit the same kind of brightness to the overall scene.



Let there be light!  Make sure the lighting you choose is sufficient for the that you want to do in that space. Be it reading or working – it is not fun to work in a dark space. A bright space is not conducive for a relaxed seating. For reading make sure that you have a bright light that does not throw glare into your eyes – a shade that is opaque works best.


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