Even today, table lamps can be one of the more conservative aspects of the decor of a living room or a bedroom. Most are still based on classical shapes like urns and fabric lampshades seen today wouldn’t have been out of place a half a century ago. Indeed, it’s not unusual for lamps that are still in good working order to be passed down through generations.
Still, a homeowner who’s a bit daring might choose a lamp for a public room in the home that’s a little out of the ordinary. Lamps like these are sold by companies like Crescent Harbor Modern. Some come in unusual shapes like pillar candles, sea urchins or gherkins, have bases made in eye-popping primary colors or are made out of unusual materials.
But no matter how unusual or avante garde a lamp is, decorators still agree on certain principles. The lamp should be scaled to the size of the furnishings around it. The base of the lamp and the object it’s set on should contrast somewhat. For example, a round lamp made of woven aluminum strands might look better on a nicely angular wooden side table than on a round side table made of metal. If the lamps have shades, they should all be the same color and more or less the same height.
Also, many modern types of lamps are fragile or seem to be. In any case, they should be kept out of harm’s way and ideally out of rooms that get a lot of traffic.