Have a dark corner but no room for an end table? Try a floor lamp. Besides his own, Rick Singleton, a D.C.-based lighting artist, thinks there are three good types of floor lamps to go with. The first is a torchier on a dimmer. “You get the light that bounces off the ceiling and diffuses around the room,” he says. The second is a multi-armed candelabrum with a shade. And the third is a pharmacy lamp, such as Restoration Hardware’s 1900s Pharmacy Floor Lamp, good for reading ($249, Restoration Hardware).
Add some glamour
A good chandelier is like a good necklace: ready to transform any outfit or space into something a bit more special. Gale Singer, owner of Circa Lighting, says the Oslo Chandelier is a bestseller because of its glamorous crystal beads yet simple, traditional shape. She suggests hanging chandeliers five feet above the floor in dining rooms, unless the ceiling is especially high ($1,008, Circa Lighting).
Classics are classic for a reason
“I just so often think that things are overdone in the lighting category,” says longtime D.C. designer Frank Babb Randolph. For that reason, he overlooks trendier pieces for classics such as the Tizio Table Lamp, designed by Robert Sapper in 1972, best for task lighting in drawing rooms and home offices ($525, Museum of Modern Art).
For the bedroom, Randolph says a swing-arm lamp, such as the classic Hinson, is the go-to choice. “There’s nothing like a swing-arm lamp in the bedroom because it gives you the proper lighting at the proper height,” he says. Similar lamps can be found in many places, such as the Classic Swing Arm Lamp by Circa Lighting ($252, Circa Lighting).
Another classic is the Anglepoise Lamp Original 1227 desk lamp. Designed by George Carwardine in 1932, it was rereleased last year by Anglepoise for its 75th anniversary ($250, Rejuvenation).
Tips for your table
Choosing a table lamp can be trickier than choosing a bedside or task lamp, because there are so many choices. If you’re overwhelmed, Interior designer Zoe Feldman suggests a gourd, such as the Porcelain Table Lamp by Garnet Hill. “There’s tons of different ceramic gourds that are all sorts of colors,” she says, making it easy to find one that complements your color scheme. For shades for any type of lamp, Feldman recommends a basic white linen or paper shade in a drum shape ($231, Garnet Hill).