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“The Case of the Forgotten Floor Lamp”…that’s what I really wanted this post to be titled (and then Jess changed the title…haha). It sounds like a Nancy Drew Mystery novel or The Boxcar Children book that I for sure would’ve begged my mom to buy at my elementary school’s book fair. Because, a mystery about interior design??? I. Am. There. So when Emily casually brought up in our Zoom meeting the other day that we should, “make a case for the floor lamp” I was ready. For the past couple of years sconces are what everyone, including us at EHD, have been talking about. From the micro bubble sconce trend to the large swing arm ones that replaced the traditional chandelier, they have been popping up everywhere in interior design. This may be because there are more plug-in and affordable sconce options than ever before. So, did the sconce replace the floor lamp? Well, I am here today to tell you why it has not.
One of the first things you learn in school for Interior Design is the importance of good lighting, natural and artificial kinds alike. If you are a renter or looking to revamp the design of your home I’d always say to first invest in quality window treatments and light fixtures that will enhance not only the style but lighting of your space. Good lighting means that you have two or more light sources at varying heights in your space, these can include a ceiling light, sconce, table lamp, & last but not least a floor lamp.
Here’s why you shouldn’t forget the floor lamp…
Makes a Room Feel Balanced & Adds Architectural Interest
In Emily Bowser’s living room above, you can see she was an overachiever and has included all 4 light sources. 😉 Let’s focus on the floor lamp over in the corner (one that Sara also used in her living room). It not only provides directional lighting to read a book (day or night) on the sofa but it also adds architectural interest from the lines of the fixture into the back corner of the room while not being overwhelming or making it feel crowded.
You can see in the first photo (the one of the whole room) that there are few elements that catch your eye along the back wall of her living room: the hanging planter, window, sconce, & round mirror. If the floor lamp was missing like in the photo above the white blank space would’ve first drawn your eye thus making the room feel unbalanced. Yes, she could’ve added a tree or blanket ladder there instead but a floor lamp was the more functional option which function is something she prioritized throughout her smaller sized home.
Creates a Layer of Light in a High Ceiling Room
In rooms with high ceilings like this living room, recessed can lighting at night might feel more like a detective’s harsh spotlight than anticipated. A good general rule to help this is to create some diffused ambient light using a floor lamp with a drum shade. This tripod light fixture is one of Emily’s favorite to use as seen in this, this and this space. Since the floor lamp in the background is more at eye level than the table lamp in the foreground it will help to evenly light the space to where the typical 8-9′ ceiling would be and then the recessed can lights can fill in the rest above. You can also ‘float’ a floor lamp where a sconce cannot cause you know… it needs a wall. Meaning if your sofa was more in the center of the room you could still have a floor lamp and small side table set up similar to the photo above.
Frees Up Limited Side Table Surface Area
Almost a year ago today this project was installed to make this main bedroom as bright and light feeling as possible. Meaning that we wanted to make sure the light, during the day and at night, was distributed evenly throughout the space.
Over in the reading corner, the side table although beautiful lacked the surface area for a table lamp so in stepped this floor lamp. It adds the necessary light, interest, and draws your eye up to those amazing Velux skylights.
Turns Up the Style of a Space
There are only a few rooms where you could get away with using what looks like the elongated version of a ‘Pixar lamp’. Okay, I know it doesn’t look exactly like it but there is something very playful about the scale of this simple black floor lamp. This makes it the perfect addition to a kid’s playroom and shows how the shape and scale of a light fixture can amplify the style of a space.
Now let’s get into the fun stuff, we’ve rounded up 30 floor lamps + 9 options for a smaller space where the side table is included. As someone who doesn’t currently own a floor lamp, I have my eye on a few below…
1. Stand Cylinder Shade | 2. Lauters in Ash | 3. Pavo Champagne Brass | 4. Cane in Green Wood | 5. Belgrave Leather Globe | 6. Delavan Tripod | 7. Raven | 8. Portila | 9. Siren |10. Hektar | 11. Olsted | 12. Valencia in Brass | 13. Mulberry in Navy Blue | 14. Ranarp | 15. Hudson in Natural Ash
#1 will always be a favorite of mine since it can work in both a slightly traditional space, like the Portland Main Bedroom above, or in a more modern space and I love the tall cylinder shade. #2 is a pretty and affordable tripod option and the fact that you can wrap the excess cord around at the bottom of the centerpiece is genius! The scale and lines of #7 immediately caught my eye and would be an ‘architectural showstopper’ in any room.
The Donna Floor Lamp in Jess’ living room was such a smart choice to add some color, light, & interest into the back corner which makes you immediately drawn into the space once you enter her apartment.
16. Kace Triple Head | 17. Seta in Black & Brass | 18. Witcher | 19. Brace Ombre | 20. Coulee in White | 21. Marcella Arc Lamp | 22. Rattan & Metal Clipper | 23. Nolan | 24. Donna | 25. Metal Crosby | 26. Dortch | 27. Riston |28. Walker |29. Gira in Matte Black | 30. Cylinder Floor Lamp
#16 & #26 are great picks for when you need to add some light into multiple directions in a room. #20 is a great price for a more modern take on a classic style and I’ve added #21 to my cart but it shall remain there since I have nowhere to put this simple wood arc beauty.
Lastly, for those of you who might be limited on floor space deciding between a cool floor lamp and side table we’ve got you covered. I was going to use one in our project for Apartment Therapy’s Small/Cool Event that went virtual earlier this year as one of our small space hacks.
1. Tiernan | 2. Granada in Wood & Metal | 3. Utilitarian Glam | 4. Delaney in Brass & Marble | 5. Stouffer in Black | 6. Cannella in Brass | 7. Mott in Wood & Metal | 8. Shelf Floor Lamp | 9. Miles Tripod in Honey
So…are you convinced that the floor lamp should be utilized more often? And what are some other design elements you think people may be forgetting to use in their homes?? Let’s chat in the comments below!
Opener Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Sara’s Living Room & Dining Room Reveal