Monday, 26 October 2009

Get turned on to feature lighting

As the nights draw in, lighting becomes ever more important in any room we are living in: not only from a practical, but also a decorative perspective. The amount of light and its positioning will drastically affect the look and feel of any room – and during a long winter this can also considerably alter your mood for good or bad. A floor (or standard) lamp is exceptionally important as a lighting option in the home – most notably in general living areas where is can be useful in providing more general light than a table lamp, without the harsh glare often found from overhead lighting.

Uplighter floor lamps feature an inverted shade that, as the name suggests, cast light upwards making a great alternative to a ceiling light, giving a warm glow that provides a softer, more forgiving background for your room. These can be particularly useful in the working environment as an alternative to neon bulbs and may help those who suffer from headaches or eyestrain.
Floor lamps are particularly useful in dark corners or in areas that other lighting may not reach.

The Monochrome Standard Lamp from The Baobab Tree is a great example of an updated corner classic, using recycled lamp bases in black gloss teamed with traditional lampshades recovered with a patchwork of luxury fabrics (£165; – 0845 388 1475).

Where more direct light is needed, they also make practical task lamps: perfect for reading by. To give the best possible reading environment ensure that the light is cast from behind the reader’s shoulder to provide optimum light, with the bottom of the lampshade roughly at seated eye-level to minimise glare.

The Pimlico Tripod Boom Arm from Artemis is a beautiful example of an adaptable, contemporary task lamp. It comes in three metal finishes to suit any scheme and simply oozes modern chic (from £620; contact Jamie Hempsall Ltd for details – see below). For task, with a hint of “tongue-in-cheek”, look out for the 70 year anniversary edition of the Anglepoise lamp in Anthracite Grey. At three times life size it does require a little more room than your standard desk lamp, not to mention a slightly larger bank balance (£1,909; – 02392 224450: pictured at the top of the article).

If you have the luxury of re-planning your electrics consider including some floor recessed plug sockets in the main body of your room. These allow you to position floor lamps away from walls without the trip hazard of snaking cables. Hide your sockets under pieces of furniture for minimal visual impact.

A great floor lamp to use within a room is the Blenheim Wooden Standard Lamp which also features an integrated table top to hold mugs or your current favourite read (£185; – 01473 828989).

Of course, floor lamps can also stand alone as a tremendous piece of lighting sculpture serving no other purpose than to complete your scheme or to add an intriguing talking point. If this idea appeals you should consider the intriguingly named “Light Shade Shade” lamp from Rume. The outside shade is a one way mirror that reflects its environment when not illuminated. However, when turned on it reveals a hidden vintage lamp to give comfort and character to any room (£1,652; – 01273 777 810).

Alternatively, enthusiastic equestrians simply have to adore the Moooi Horse Designer Floor Lamp. At 16 hands it is about the size of a thoroughbred and is sure to keep everyone talking throughout those long winter evenings! (£2,980; – 08456 448022).
Jamie Hempsall is a member of the British Interior Design Association and one of the region’s leading interior designers. Visit him at or contact him on 01777 248463.

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