15 favourite lamps... and why you need one gallery

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The Battery Lamp from Kartell adds a dash of colour to any room.

French Country Collections ball design antique silver lamp base, $189 (base only, shade sold separately).

Kmart pink wooden table lamp, $19.

Kmart geometric table lamp, $22.

French Country Collections urn design rough silver lamp, $395 (base only, shade sold separately).

Kmart Cantilever table lamp, $27.

Trenzseater Metropolis lamp, $1021.

Kmart Cemento lamp, $22.

Leopold Hall brass extendable desk lamp in antique silver finish, $596.

French Country Collections Grande Urn brass lamp, $298 (base only, shade sold separately).

Freedom Furniture Mael table lamp in brass, $159.

Freedom Furniture Esperance floor light in Natural, $319.

Trenzseater Shard table lamp, $1499.

Porta Romana pear lamp from Diva International, POA.

Leopold Hall handmade brass ribbed lamp in antique silver finish, $435.

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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." 

Wellington interior designer Bridget Foley loves lamps, particularly the sparkle of a lamp with a glass base.
JANE USSHER

Wellington interior designer Bridget Foley loves lamps, particularly the sparkle of a lamp with a glass base.

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.

Lamps provide a warm glow in a cosy, wintry room.
JANE USSHER

Lamps provide a warm glow in a cosy, wintry room.

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.

READ MORE:
What's hot in feature lights right now 
How to make your bedroom restful and romantic
How to get a sense of hygge at home 

 
A pair of lamps on either side of a mantelpiece balance the room as well as lighting the space.
JANE USSHER

A pair of lamps on either side of a mantelpiece balance the room as well as lighting the space.

More tips from Bridget Foley on using lamps well:

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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.

Lamps add to the symmetry of this stylish bedroom.
JANE USSHER

Lamps add to the symmetry of this stylish bedroom.

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.

There's nothing more flattering than lamplight, as the golden glow from this Kartell Bourgie lamp shows.
TESSA CHRISP

There's nothing more flattering than lamplight, as the golden glow from this Kartell Bourgie lamp shows.

Floor lamps, like the one behind the sofa, add height to a room.
JANE USSHER

Floor lamps, like the one behind the sofa, add height to a room.

Table lamps beside a sofa create a snug reading spot.
JANE USSHER

Table lamps beside a sofa create a snug reading spot.

 - NZ House & Garden

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