Lighting your home: Picking out floor lamps

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​Lighting your home: Picking out floor lamps

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Collection: modern  by ateljé Lyktan, Modern
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Without the right lighting, no space is ever complete. Every room needs the right amount of glow, spread perfectly in a combination of general lighting, task lighting, and decorative lighting. And even though there are numerous options available for lighting up a room (thanks to lighting professionals), we want to dedicate today’s piece to the convenience of floor lamps. 

Consider for a moment just how functional and practical they are. Floor lamps can be placed behind a sofa in the living room, next to a bed in the bedroom, in a corner neatly filling up unused space… just about everywhere, really. And because they don’t usually take up a lot of room, moving them is no trouble either. 

Have we convinced you to purchase a few floor lamps to make your home seem more welcoming and practical, not to mention stylish? Then read on to see the homify guide to picking out the perfect floor lamp for your space, whatever the room’s size.

1. Planning ahead is crucial

Don’t believe that picking out the right floor lamp is as easy as grabbing the first option you see without a second glance. 

First of all, measure the lamp’s height and circumference. And always consider the weight – while lighter is fine in less-travelled spots, heavier and more stable designs are better for areas with small children and high traffic.

homify hint: Take scale into consideration. If your furniture is oversized, stay away from thin, skinny floor lamps, as they’ll be swallowed up.

2. Mixing your floor lamps with other lighting

Ombre:  Living room by Pixers, Scandinavian



Layered lighting is key for any room, which is why we recommend combining your floor lamps with table lamps, wall sconces, ceiling pendants, etc. This: 

• Adds height to your furniture landscape 

• Makes all lighting elements become decorative/accent pieces 

• Creates additional task lighting 

• Ensures splendid ambience for the room.

homify hint: Light three of the four corners of a room and try focusing one of those lights on an object, like an art piece, potted plant, etc.

3. Delicate details

Collection: modern  by ateljé Lyktan, Modern
ateljé Lyktan


ateljé Lyktan

Take advantage of the fact that floor lamps can become scene stealers in a room, but always balance them with the rest of the décor.

Think about buying floor lamps for a room as choosing accessories for your wardrobe: they need to fit the overall picture perfectly instead of being mere afterthoughts that only add illumination. 

Should you pick out an oversized lamp bursting with colours and patterns, the rest of the room’s style needs to be rather subdued / minimal. On the other hand, an already ornate space can do with a subtle, modern lamp with clean lines and a simple design. 

homify hint: For a modern / contemporary look, think simple and streamlined when buying lamps. Slim bases and drum-shaped shades can add height and drama to a room without overshadowing the rest of the décor.

4. What material should my floor lamps be?

A Contemporary White and Light Pine Set: modern  by Shine Lighting Ltd, Modern
Shine Lighting Ltd

A Contemporary White and Light Pine Set

Shine Lighting Ltd

Just like colours and patterns, material is also important, as it forms part of the fixture’s texture. Popular material choices include wood and rattan, yet metal seems to be the winner because of its versatility. 

Metal lamps can be made of various types of metal, ensuring numerous different styles and a lot of flexibility for any interior scheme. Think about how brushed bronze, antique brass or shiny silver will fit into rooms with modern-, classic-, and contemporary designs.

5. The different styles of floor lamps

Anora Collection Feiss Lighting :  Living room by Shine Lighting Ltd, Classic
Shine Lighting Ltd

Anora Collection Feiss Lighting

Shine Lighting Ltd

A console floor lamp is the most familiar, with a single upright pole in a round base. Although most console lamps use a single bulb, there are designs with two or three light sockets for increased illumination. 

Torchiere lamps feature a bowl-shaped shade, usually built into the lamp itself, focusing light upward. Although this design provides ambient lighting, it’s not always very functional. 

Two or more “branches” along a single pole equals a tree lamp. Usually, the branches can be adjusted and twisted to move light in the required directions. This, along with the fact that the sockets operate independently, makes tree lamps quite adaptable to modern spaces.

An arching lamp has a bent, curving pole inserted into a base, ensuring a curvy touch and an element of modernity. These are ideal for placing over a sofa or chair where someone is reading.

6. Which shades for your floor lamp?

Consider how much light you need from your floor lamp. Do you want to illuminate an entire room or provide task lighting for a reading corner? Opt for a translucent shade. However, if the lamp is purely for decorative purposes or an accent piece, try an opaque shade for a more dramatic look.

7. Picking a floor lamp for: your living room

Living Room:  Living room by deDraft Ltd, Scandinavian
deDraft Ltd

Living Room

deDraft Ltd

The living room is one of a home’s main socialising areas, meaning any lamp placed there will be on full display for everyone. So, get a bit more decorative with your choices. 

Use floor lamps for your main ambient lighting, combined with table lamps for layered lighting. For art pieces on the walls, feel free to use accent lighting (such as wall sconces or spotlights). 

And most importantly: as the living room is for company, never let any lighting fixture obstruct the line of sight between seats.

8. Picking a floor lamp for: your bedroom

Cloudsley Road:  Bedroom by 2 lovely gays, Modern
2 lovely gays

Cloudsley Road

2 lovely gays

No overhead light in the bedroom? A floor lamp or two can be ideal to provide light for the whole room. But ensure that these complement the main colours of your bedroom instead of blending in – and that counts for your nightstand tables as well. 

This helps create an attractive and interesting space for relaxation that’s more private and personal.

9. Picking a floor lamp for: your dining room

Even though chandeliers and pendant lights are the star lighting fixtures of a dining space, they can always benefit from an additional lamp or two. 

Try placing a floor lamp in a corner, or have two balancing on both sides of a sideboard. And let the lamp’s colours blend in with the room’s existing tones – you want those floor lamps to complement the room, not steal attention away from it.

10. A final thought on floor lamps

Noble Walnut Satin: classic  by Quick-Step, Classic

Noble Walnut Satin


Look around – there are endless floor lamp designs, meaning you shouldn’t necessarily buy the first one you see off a department store floor. Take your time to consider size, placement, style and function – and remember to have fun searching for the ideal floor lamp for your home. 

Speaking of illuminating thoughts, let’s look at 10 conservatory lighting ideas.

What other tips can you think of to help make searching for the ideal floor lamp easier?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd, Modern

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