Most houses contain quite a few table lamps. They are the obvious choice for the bedroom, the home office, and, of course, coffee tables, end tables and all other varieties of table. But, perhaps precisely because they are so ubiquitous, it’s easy to overlook the potential design value that a beautiful table lamp can bring to a room, and instead opt for something basic and uninspired. This is a shame; good lighting design is the key to setting the mood in any space, and there are countless designers out there who are doing really cool things with table lamps. Here are just a few examples.
These beautifully fragile light-bulb-within-light-bulb lamps would be perfect for adding a subtle touch of the extraordinary to an understated living room. The black lamp is particularly interesting, given how unusual it is for such dark colours to be used in creating a lighting piece.
This is a more stripped-back take on the light bulb theme. In this case, rather than involving a real light bulb contained by a light bulb shaped shade, the light bulb itself is the lamp. It’s very simple, very sweet and would look great on a bedside table.
Which way is up, and which is down? It doesn’t matter with this lamp, which can be flipped either way in order to cast its light either upwards towards the ceiling, or downwards to create a more calming mood.
This little lamp is reminiscent of the children’s nightlights that comforted many of us through the afraid-of-the-dark years of our early lives. Its small size, its heavily shaded glow, its warm colours – all serve to reassure that everything will be OK in the end, and there are no monsters lurking in the wardrobe.
The intricate dome of this piece seems to have been carved from frost, and the effect is especially powerful where the edge of the shade meets the wooden base. The piece’s shape, seen as a whole, is similar to a child’s drawing of a tree – and clearly, it’s a tree that’s been heavily snowed upon. Although fairly minimalist in its design, this lamp also has strong features, such as the beautiful grain of its base, which would help it to fit in equally well with a more old-fashioned, even rustic, style of room.
Standing straight and proud, this mushroom-like lamp holds its head up high. Its charm comes as much from the bold simplicity of its silhouette as it does from the perfectly matched trio of materials used. It’s easy to picture this lamp shedding its warm coppery glow across the desk in a home office or library. With its heavy shade and the downward projection of its beams, it’s a modern reinvention of the iconic green library lamps of the past.
The light emanates from the centre of this lamp like the nectar at the heart of an exquisite bloom. The striking red cord, meanwhile, is the stem. It’s a highly modern design, reduced to the most basic forms, and yet the natural inspiration behind this piece is still clear to see.
This lamp is less discerning in where it casts its light. In fact, the main body of the lamp is just a big ball of brightness, as if someone had captured the moon on a particularly clear night and pinned it to the earth forever with a stick.