15 favourite lamps... and why you need one
Flattering lamp light will make both you and your home look more beautiful, says Wellington interior designer Bridget Foley, who admits to being crazy about lamps.
"I have six lamps in my living room... oh, and a floor lamp too," she says.
Why lamps? They create a lovely ambience, Foley says. "I find overhead lighting harsh, unless it's lighting you need for specific tasks, such as in the kitchen."
And the soft light of a lamp is much more flattering – everyone looks lovelier under lamplight.
Low wattage soft-tone bulbs are best for a gentle, subdued effect. And where she does have overhead lighting, it's always on a dimmer.
Lamps are great for reading too, says Foley, who places them on either side of a sofa or on a table behind a sofa.
A well-placed lamp on a mantelpiece or console acts as a focal point and creates a pool of light to illuminate items placed nearby. And of course, a bedside lamp creates soft, romantic atmosphere.
More tips from Bridget Foley on using lamps well:
Consider mixing styles: An antique lamp can look amazing in a contemporary home and vice versa.
Don't forget floor lamps: They add height to a room.
Get the size right: When it comes to choosing shades, it's important to get the proportions right and it's a good chance to add colour to your home. If there's a particularly beautiful fabric you love consider having a shade custom-made. Even if it's an expensive fabric, you'll only need a small amount.
Glass is good: Look out for lamps with glass bases – they add sparkle and lightness to a room.
Line your shade: Gold lined shades cast a beautiful light.
Deal with cords: Cords can be an issue, so when designing a house or renovating, do a furniture plan so you'll know where lamps are likely to be sited and make sure there are enough power points. You can even get them placed in the floor. There are ways to disguise cords – for example consider taping the cord down the back of a table leg. Look out for cords in attractive colours – they don't always have to be ugly and black.
- NZ House & Garden