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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
The scale of #1 would be great in a living room next to a sofa plus I love the red cord design detail. #2 is the lamp that I was going to use in the project above and it is such a classic design.
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
The timing on this article is perfect for me! I have been searching for a floor lamp to put in our living room. We have the couch floating in the middle of the room, and behind it is a games table and two chairs. I want to have a floor lamp for the games table. It’s in front of a span of floor-to-ceiling windows. Would you put a lamp there, in front of windows? I want to leave the tabletop clear to leave a puzzle etc on, and I can’t do a sconce since there is no wall to hang it on.
You could also consider swagging a plug-in pendant to be centered on the table if you don’t have a ton of extra space around the table.
Thanks Julie! I love floor lamps and this is a great selection!
Thank you! Living in an older house without overhead lighting means we can never have too many light roundups. Thanks, EHD Team!
hey what a great article i was looking for floor lamps and ended up on your site you show me a large collection now i can replace my my old floor lamps thank you very much i’m thinking maybe i get some more about couches in living room i am very confused with old fashioned couches any suggestions Emily??
Thanks in advance.
This wasn’t mentioned, but there are floor lamps that arc out pretty far and can take the place of an overhead light over a table. I have this one over my dining table. It extends 80 inches from the base:
Here’s another example:
The pharmacy-style floor lamp is often a strong choice when task-related lighting is needed and you need something to take up a bit of visual space, but not be the star attraction. It’s what I would have used as the reading lamp paired with the chair in the mountain house. The lamp picture, while beautiful, seems to have the bulb way too high.
the price on the rejuvenation cylinder lamp is incorrect.
The only thing I hate about floor lamps is the glare above. Do you have solutions to make sure you’re not blinded by the light? Are there floor lamps that have a way to filter the light pointing below the way an actual lamp shade works?
Our style so similar 🙂 Products are so stylish.
My two (adult) kids are moving into a condo while they attend university. There is no overhead lighting in the bedrooms, so my daughter has been looking into floor lamps. A small part of me died inside when she showed me a lamp from IKEA, called NOT. And that is exactly what I was thinking. It just brings back memories of the ’80’s, where everyone had a torchiere light like that in the corner of their living room. I am pretty happy about this line-up so I will show it to her. Unfortunately, the price on the NOT lamp can’t be beat so I have a feeling I will probably lose the battle.
Such a timely post–our living room has the same issue where we need a floor lamp in the corner next to the sofa for reading but also to balance out a blank space and add some architectural interest and height. I just bought this Cedar & Moss floor lamp from Rejuvenation (I live in Oregon so always happy to support local brands) https://www.rejuvenation.com/catalog/collections/cedar-moss-floor-lamp/products/5c5c8d83fb039008ee6ea39e It was recently on sale and the quality can’t be beat. Can’t wait till it ships out in a few weeks!
Awesome Collection! Definitely in this post, you have shared some excellent floor lamp reviews for our living room. I really love most of these products and interested to pick the best lamp among this list to decorate my living room. Anyway, I am Sarah live in New York a passionate girl who loves traveling and cooking. As my profession, I am a freelance writer at https://edubirdie.com/coursework-writing this educational writing services company where we are especially working for students for their different kinds of academic writing solutions. I love to decorate my home that’s why I really appreciate the author for sharing this awesome lamp collection. Thank you.!