Lamps $199 & Under

Lighting in a room usually comes from several different sources. That’s a good thing, because it gives you more control over ambience and illumination, allowing you to create picturesque vistas inside the house. True, a stunning crystal chandelier is impossible to miss, but light fixtures like floor lamps, table lamps and sconces that complement a major accent piece like a pendant help give the room your personal touch. At Pottery Barn, we love lighting with personality. Our lamps $199 and under add emotion to the home and give you lots of options that fit your distinctive design vision. Not quite sure how to get lamps to flow in your existing lighting scheme? Here are a few tips and tricks for decorating with lamps.

First of all, what can lamps bring to the table – literally – that’s different from other light fixtures? For one thing, they’re mobile. Unlike chandeliers and pendants, which are totally impressive but locked into one location, you can move lamps to a different location anytime you feel like changing up your room layout. Lamps also give spaces an especially intimate feel. Why? First, lamp shades create indirect illumination – ambient lighting that glows gently without seeing the actual light source – that is extremely soothing. Also, lamps sit closer to people, so you develop a kind of personal connection with them.

Light fixtures usually focus on three different areas: ambient lighting, accent lighting and task lighting. Ambient lighting creates the backdrop of a room’s light scheme, giving it overall illumination that fits the mood you’re trying to create. Accent lighting focuses attention on a specific spot or a couple of areas, usually the focal point in a space. Paintings, coffee tables and mantels above a fireplace are common spots for this kind of lighting. Task lighting makes it easier to read, work or check the messages on your phone. Which of these areas can table lamps handle?

They excel at all three. Of course, for ambient lighting in larger spaces, lamps usually have to work together as a group, or with other light fixtures – like a flushmount fixture overhead to spread light further – to cover the entire room. They have the same effect as a wall sconce when highlighting artwork, except the base adds a little extra in terms of color to the vignette. Where lamps are really awesome is task lighting. They radiate light for reading or conversation, but are comfortable and easy on the eyes. At the same time, the base style makes the room seem vintage, elegant, modern or artistic easily.

What are some good spots in the house to use lamps for lighting? They work beautifully in virtually any room of the house – though in the kitchen you might want a pendant to maximize your work space – such as the living room, bedroom, bathroom, entertainment room, office and dining room.

In the living room, there are endless placement possibilities. They fit naturally on side tables, providing illumination beside seating and pops of decor that accent your design. Where else can you use lamps? A console table with a lamp or two directs the attention of guests to a centerpiece, mirror or painting propped up against the wall. Smaller lamps fit nicely into open spaces in a bookcase, adding extra light at night and chic during the day.

Should you use pairs of lamps or do they work well alone? That’s totally up to you, and also depends somewhat on the surroundings. An even number of lamps makes people look at whatever is in between them – usually art. With a single lamp, it usually becomes the focus itself, especially in a group of smaller decorative objects like candles, bowls and vases.

Does size matter? It’s up to your creative vision. Generally, smaller accent tables look great when a lamp is about half their top surface or less. Narrow bases are easier to fit on shelves, for example. But there aren’t any specific rules you have to follow. When it comes to height, focus on what makes you feel comfortable when conversing or reading; usually that’s a little below eye level or lower.