Find the Right Table Lamp for Your Living Room

Consider living-room lamps as both light and sculpture. They should be lovely to look at whether on or off. Just make sure they don't block the view or get in the way of conversation.
Height: Most living rooms can handle a lamp that's 26 to 34 inches tall. "But you don't want to be looking up into the hardware," says Jamie Young, a Los Angeles lighting designer. To see if your lamp is right for a table, sit on the sofa or the chair next to it, she says. "The bottom of the shade shouldn't fall higher than eye level."
Base: The base even a skinny, candlestick-style one should be substantially weighted so those who talk with their hands won't rock the lamp if they bump it by accident.
Positioning: Generally rooms should have a light source every 10 feet or so. If a lamp is on a table between a sofa and a chair, "consider a thin or transparent base," says Steven Sclaroff, an interior designer in New York, "so sight lines and conversation flow freely."
Shade: A fabric or semi-opaque paper shade will give a warm, gentle glow. If put near a TV, an opaque shade of any material would be better as it can minimize glare. Generally speaking, drum shades look more modern; while conical ones more traditional. And remember, a shade should never extend past a table's perimeter.
Bulb: If the lamp is needed for reading, the bulb should be at least 60 watts; a three-way bulb or a dimmer will modulate the brightness.
Style: Living room is an excellent place for a lamp made of something smart, such as a vase. You can turn to a lighting-repair store for wiring.
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