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How To Pick The Right Lamp For Your Dresser + A Roundup

When Sara (social media coordinator/graphic designer over on this here blog) decorated her bedroom for the blog (see here) she said she had a real tough time figuring out what lamp was right, on virtually all of her surfaces. As someone who has placed like 976, 420 lamps on surfaces over the years it rarely occurs to me that it can be a challenge to others. So while we were shooting a recent guest room, we shot this mini video to help with such conundrums.

All these lamps are good in different ways, sure, but it doesn’t mean they can just be placed anywhere, all willy-nilly. Scale, style, shape, color, and finish all have to be taken into consideration, or your dresser (vertical or horizontal) will die a sad, dark death.

So, hopefully the quick video helps you when you are stuck in a life or death lamp choosing scenario.

Dresser_Lamps_Get the Look_grid

1. Cream Lamp | 2. Stick Lamp | 3. Tripod Lamp | 4. Brass & Marble Box Lamp | 5. Dotted Tripod Lamp | 6. Gray Gourd Lamp | 7. Black Task Lamp | 8. Printed Shade Lamp (Hilariously all lamps are from Target, as we had just done a big shop there for a few different projects – and while that wasn’t necessarily the intent with this video, they are all really good lamps in their own way).

This lamp, below, is the big winner for very obvious reasons.

Haiku Fan Guest Bedroom Interior Makeover-4

If you’d like more of these videos check out the Facebook Page, and of course leave your requests in the comments (we recently did a bed styling how-to video, as well).

Want more lighting tips? Here ya go: Brady Picks Some Lighting, I Love Lamp: Best Brass Wall Sconces, Let There Be Light.

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6 years ago

Love this videos! Keep them coming!

6 years ago

Cuuute :))

6 years ago

How about a post on how to pick a chic shower curtain? I struggle in this area. Print or no print? Scale of print? Any colors that are best for a guest bathroom? Any absolute no-nos? Thanks!

6 years ago

Thanks – that was actually quite useful. I find lighting to be by far the most difficult decorating decision. Lamps of course, but also overhead lighting, sconces etc. is my bugbear.

6 years ago

I love these video! My question was where tiny lamps *would* work. I have two that are way too small for our side tables (the shade is 6 or 7 inches, total 12 or 13 tall), so I swapped one out, but I’m not sure where I could put them. You don’t have a handy dandy ratio or anything like that, do you? Does the shade need to be at eye level or something like that?

6 years ago
Reply to  Lara


6 years ago
Reply to  Lara

I have heard that you only want the shade to take up 1\3 of the table space, and its been a pretty good ratio for me that I have used in my own home. Not sure about height though. If your side tables or nightstand makes the lamp look too small, do you have a small shelf, or could you put one in a corner somewhere? It would be a good opportunity to create a small vignette. That’s my two cents, anyways! ??

6 years ago
Reply to  Caroline Neal

Useful, thank you !

6 years ago
Reply to  Caroline Neal

That is helpful! I think it looks too small because it’s so low to the ground on my side table. Maybe I need to put it on top of a stack of books.

Marianne F
6 years ago

Ok so if I have two identical lamps on each night stand, can I put another different lamp on my dresser? Or is that just too many? My room is not huge.

6 years ago
Reply to  Marianne F

Definitely, give it a try and see if it feels too lamp heavy in the room. Although having multiple sources of lighting in your room always brings a very nice warmth into it.

6 years ago

Why do I find this so hard as well! It’s a lamp, not brain surgery! Love these types of posts keep them coming!

6 years ago

I love these Style School posts!! Keep them coming! I’m struggling with my lamps height on my nightstands . . . Is it okay for the lamp shade to be lower than the headboard, or should it higher than the headboard, or should it be even with the headboard? 🙂

6 years ago

Love it! I can’t decide on which lamp I love most!

6 years ago

I love this post! Thank you. I would love to see one of these posts for desk lamps. I’m struggling. I have a Raven map on the wall over our desk and don’t want to obstruct the view, yet we need a desk lamp. I keep thinking of that bronze task lamp you once got at Target — the one that sold out immediately.

Also, please tell us about the piece of art in this post. Artist?

6 years ago

I am totally agreed with your post…. It too good…

6 years ago

I read your all blog and so excited to learn more…

Kate Lim
6 years ago

orlando soria begs to differ on the small lamp…:x

Good post !! I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand.

6 years ago

The video is a great resource. Thank you!

6 years ago

I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.. great post .

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