How-To: Using Lamp Lighting

Growing up my mother taught me that you can have the most beautiful furniture, but if you use cheap lamps, the room is going to lose it’s savvy. I’ve known it my whole life.

It would be like putting on a beautiful dress and wearing plastic jewelry. It would kill the whole outfit. Recently, the brilliant Charlotte Moss, was asked in an interview, “What is the most essential element of a room?” She said, “Atmosphere. It’s the one thing you can’t buy. It’s not about an object; It’s about the end result.”

We create atmosphere with the right lighting, specifically lamp light.

The entire mood of a room can be altered by the addition of the right lamp, the right light, and the right amount of it.

Re-evaluate the lamps in your home. - Are they interesting? - What do they give to the room? - Remember, your lamps are turned off MOST of the time. So make sure they are inspiring even when they’re not on. They’re more than just a light source. Lighting is one of the MOST dynamic ingredients in a room.

FUNCTION: We have moved a long way from the idea of having one central fixture in a room. Successful lighting is created when we use various light sources, which creates pools of light exactly where you want them. Lamp light can be used for so much more besides to light up the area where you are reading in the evening. We use lamps to accent objects or artwork, to throw a shadow effect on a dark wooden surface, or to highlight a piece of furniture. The possibilities are endless.

HOW MANY? A good test would be turn off the overhead light tonight in whichever room(s) you want to focus on. Turn on your lamps. Does your room look inviting and comfortable? Do you have enough light to perform the tasks you need to? Are the special things in the room highlighted? Almost every seat should have a lamp nearby. Whether it’s a floor lamp or a table lamp, your lighting will dictate what happens in a room and how it will make you feel.

My husband and I like to sit down and watch T.V. at night. He likes to have all the lights off in the room for optimal viewing of his T.V. If he’s watching something that I’m not interested in, I sit on the edge of the sofa, where I have a lamp, and flip through catalogs. Then I don’t have to turn on the overhead light, but we can still be in the same room together, performing two different tasks.

MOOD: Lighting has a direct influence on the mood of a room. Nobody feels at their best when sitting in a flat light. It isn’t flattering, it’s a real downer. Try keeping the overhead lighting off tonight and see if your room looks attractive with the amount of lamp light available. If it’s too dark, it’s time to add more lamps.

STYLE AND SCALE: Some things you need to carefully consider when choosing a lamp are scale, shape, and the material the lamp is made from. It is a subtle but important element of a well-put-together room.

DESIGNER TRICKS: Lamps in pairs create symmetry and balance. use a pair on a sofa table as illustrated in the following room scenes. One trick we love to play is to place mirrors on the wall behind the bedside lamp. You get 2x the light… and the mirror adds glamour to any space.

xo- Jessica

Don't forget about our LIGHTING SALE going on now!

[photos from Lonny Magazine, Rue Magazine, Elle Decor, by Nicole Hill Gerulat]