Creating a Chic Look With Floor Lamps
Floor lamps aren't just a functional element meant to light a dim space. They can further the aesthetic of the room and be a design focal point. 'They've become a stylish design element that brings interest and drama to a space in a way furniture and art can't compete with,' said Mary Maydan, principal and founder of Maydan Architects in Palo Alto, California. 'They also add ambient mid-level lighting, allowing for designers to build layers of light within a space.'
Depending on the type of light and shade you use, it can cast different effects, said Gideon Mendelson, founder of Mendelson Group in New York. 'Uplights bounce light off of the ceiling and help to light bigger spaces; if the light has a silk or linen shade, it can diffuse light, while a metal shade can provide light for a specific moment or task in the room,' Mr. Mendelson said.
To help you shed light on the right floor lamps for your space, follow these tips from the design pros.
'Aesthetically, a standing floor lamp can add verticality, scale and a sculptural quality to a room.
'The flexibility that comes from having different types of lighting and different styles of lights in a room adds to the experience and visual interest in the room.
'A single floor lamp can balance something weighty on the other side of the room, while a pair of lamps can emphasize a part of the room'something that you might be trying to guide the eye to like a window or a mantle. If you have two lamps that don't match, you don't want the two to compete; there should be balance. For example, you don't want a weighty lamp next to a weighty chair.
'What you are trying to accomplish will dictate how much wattage you need. For example, if you are trying to light up a room, you need a higher wattage. If the floor lamp is functioning as a reading or task light, you only need 60 watts to light your page.'
A standing floor lamp lends form and function to a living room designed by Gideon Mendelson of Mendelson Group.Eric Piasecki
Look to the Room Itself
'I prefer to add a floor lamp to a space that is slightly different from the style of the architecture. For example, in our ultra-modern spaces, we use floor lamps that are modern, rather than ultra-modern, bringing in an element of earthiness and softness.
'We love asymmetry, so we usually opt for two different lamps that are stylistically similar. However, often times one floor lamp is all a room needs. Two can begin to compete with one another, in some instances.
'It's important to get the scale right. Thin, minimalist lamps will get lost in a big room surrounded by oversized furniture, just as a heavy imposing lamp will take over a refined elegant room. The right lamp can be beautiful in the corner of a room or behind the sofa.
'Floor lamps are very versatile: They can work as task lighting, directional lighting or ambient lighting. Ambient or mood lighting should be in the 40-watt range while task lighting should be at least 100 watts. Having a dimmable option is a huge advantage. With LED, the color temperature is also important, 2700K will give the room a yellowy glow while 3000K and up will render cooler light.'
A modern-style floor lamp complements the contemporary vibe of a home designed by Mary Maydan of Maydan Architects.Cherie Cordellos photography
Set a Mood
'Floor lamps can enhance the intimacy of a room and provide lighting to specific seating or task areas by making them more functional. They can have a strong effect on the mood and the overall style of a room.
'There are so many to choose from, it helps to refine the style to complement the scheme of the room or space. For example, a tall straight floor lamp with a timber stem and a pleated silk shade might look a little incongruous in a contemporary setting with low level modern furniture. Think about the finishes, the setting and what is it bringing to the overall vision and lighting of the space'and if it can be dimmed.
' A mix of table lamps and floor lamps in similar styles can produce a beautiful effect. Make sure that all floor and table lamps are connected to a separate lighting circuit so that they can be controlled separately from any ceiling fittings or architectural lighting (recessed lights or feature linear LEDs).'
Designed by Susie McLaren at SHH, this living room at Regent's Park House in London features a modernist lamp that brings a sculptural quality to the room.Gareth Gardner
Go With What You Love
'Floor lamps add instant warmth to a room, and depending on the style, can add a sculptural element as well, so even when they are not in use, they are still beautiful to look at. Floor lamps look best when they're around a seating group and not off by themselves.
'Choose something for its shape'for example, an oversized large drum shade or an interesting base. Lamps pulls decor together and help a room feel finished, so they should sit alongside everything else you have chosen.
'You definitely don't need two that match, but instead of varying the styles, you could opt for one as a special point of interest. If you do mix and match, keep the tones or wood consistent.
'We love a dramatic floor lamp, but it's important it doesn't take up too much floor space. Also, look for something with a solid heavy base, which will help it from being too flimsy. For placement, set them aside or slightly behind the furniture they are serving.'
In this Brooklyn Heights brownstone on designed by Holly Waterfield, interior designer at The Brooklyn Home Company, a standing lamp functions as modern art.Matthew Williams
'We use floor lamps to set the mood and the scene. Many clients prefer decorative lighting (floor lamps, table lamps chandelier and pendants) to architectural lighting as they allow you to set the perfect tone and match the time of day or mood.
'We love to mix and match and also use different heights. It's great to mix two sculptural lamps in metallic finishes to really add the wow into the interior.
Floor lamps should be in key positions in a room to accent a corner or add a flash of color and light to a corner space.'
Source: Mansion Global'
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