Floor Lamps & Interior Design
Updated: Apr 19
Lighting is a hot topic in the world of interior design. As it should be. Lighting really does have the ability to make or break a room. We can have the most beautifully designed interior, but if the lighting isn't right the room really is not going to stand out and make a statement.
Each room has different layers of light. The first and most important layer is natural light. After that comes the second layer which is the main artificial light source, such as a ceiling fixture. The third layer is comprised of smaller light sources such lamps and wall lights. Today we are talking about the third layer of lighting and in particularly floor lamps.
Floor lamps help provide portable lighting and illumination in any room or space. Floor lamps are ideal for adding that extra layer of lighting without any extensive electrical works or installations. Typically with floor lamps there are three different levels or type of lighting; ambient, task and accent.
Ambient floor lamps are some of the most common floor lamps out there in the market. They provide general and all around light to a space. The light is projected in all directions and is not just focused ahead, up or down. Classic shaded lamps are the perfect example of ambient lighting. These lamps are great for corners, placed up against the wall, or anywhere where extra lighting is required.
Task floor lamps project a more direct and focused light as opposed to an all round light. These lamps are designed to project light downwards and therefore they create a more intimate lighting atmosphere. The arc lamp is a prime
example of a task lighting. Task lamps are great for illuminating reading nooks, desk areas, and the sofa or bed. They can also come with adjustable arms making these lamps highly versatile and practical.
Accent floor lamps help accentuate certain spaces. They are usually more focused and are used to illuminate things from underneath. They project an upward focused light and a prime example of this is a torch lamp. These lamps are usually used to light up a wall, or under a shelve or maybe some artwork, to really draw attention to the element they are accentuating.
So now that we have covered the different levels of lighting, we can now go in and explore some of the most common lamp styles currently out in the market.
Shaded Floor Lamp
This one is a classic and traditional lamp with a solid base and a lampshade around a bulb, which projects a beautiful ambient light. Shaded lamps come in a huge range of sizes, shapes and styles and are the ultimate floor lamps. These lamps can be used in a variety of interior design styles, from traditional to contemporary to modern.
Image : Carmella Floor Lamp, Brass & Marble by MADE.com
Column/Tower Floor Lamp
Column lamps project ambient light to a space with slightly more intensity than a classic shaded lamp. These lamps usually have a singular shade running the full height of the lamp. They will usually have multiple light bulbs placed at different heights under the single shade which allows it to diffuse the light evenly around it. Column floor lamps are very dramatic and can serve as an abstract piece of art when not in use.
Image: Orb 8 Light Floor Lamp in Smoke by John Lewis
Tripod Floor Lamp
This one is another common ambient floor lamp similar to a classic shaded lamp. It usually has a shade which sits atop a tripod base. These lamps are usually quite dynamic pieces which are ideal for rooms with a bit of extra floor space. Tripod lamps are statement pieces but be careful with the size and scale of these.They can over power a space quite easily.
Image: Hawkins Wooden Tripod Floor Lamp by Heal's Furniture
Arc Floor Lamp
The most common type of task light, the arc floor lamp is a bold statement piece. It is characterised by it's long arching body and finished off with a light bulb or shade at the end. The size of the shade at the end can vary from small to oversized. Arc floor lamps are perfect for placing over desks, sofas and beds. They do require a bit of floor space as they come with big solid bases so as to handle the weight of the lamp. Some also have swinging and adjustable arms and therefore require a lot of open space around it.
Image: Bow Large Arc Overreach Floor Lamp in Chrome & Marble by MADE.com
Down Bridge Floor Lamp
These lamps are similar to an arc floor lamp but not quite as big. This is a perfect task lamp for rooms with limited space. They are vertical like a classic shaded lamp, but they then curve down at the top and have shade or a bulb sitting at the end projecting light downwards. Some instead of curving over, extend an arm out at a right angle with a shade sitting at the end underneath the arm. Again down bridge lamps can be adjustable or fixed so keep in mind the space in the room when buying.
Image: Barometer Floor/Reading Lamp, Brass by Ikea
Uplight/Torch Floor Lamp
Accent lighting usually is not that common in interiors, but the when it is used, a torch lamp is the one of choice. These lamps project light in an upwards direction. The lampshade is usually triangular in shape and is placed inverted atop the arm. Again like a classic shaded lamp it is versatile and can fit into small spaces.
Image: Flugbo Floor Uplighter/Reading light in Brass & Glass by Ikea
All lamps come in varying shapes and sizes, at different levels of cost and in different design styles. A few things to bear in mind when buying a floor lamp are the use, the type of lighting and the size. The floor lamp should work in harmony and be in balance with all the other elements in the room.