The very first article that I wrote for Beyond Bespoke was about lampshades and I only realise now, sixteen months later, that I never did one on lamp bases. So to save all those bottomless shades from aimlessly floating around…here are the lamps.
What you never realise about lamps until you come to place them, is that they can totally transform a space for better or for worse. There are also millions of lamps out there in various colours, materials and sizes and that is why I’ve split them into two parts; there are simply too many to choose from.
My first choice is a bit of a cheat, as I’ve gone for a designer rather than a specific lamp but when it comes to this company it’s impossible to choose just one. Rosanna Lonsdale lamps are an absolute breath of fresh air; jazzy, colourful and decorated with all manner of things from pineapples to lobsters and leaves. A colourful lamp base works wonderfully well on a console or dresser, as you need very little else with it. Hand-painted ceramics pair beautifully with wood (painted or otherwise) and Rosanna’s lamps sit happily on the fence between grand and homely. Their simple vase shape makes them phenomenally easy to place and the range of colours and designs means that there really is a perfect choice for every room. The flamingo lamps, which have had a fair bit of press themselves, are perfect for bedside tables in a room with soft interiors, like a baby’s nursery or Bedroom. The maroon elephant or blue lobster, being less feminine would work well to liven up a Study or Hall. Pair them with a cream or white pleated Pembroke shade and it couldn’t be simpler. If it were up to me, I would simply have to have the lot.
Every time I look at this lamp, I fall in love with it a little more. What I like most is that on first glance, it’s extraordinarily simple but actually strikes an ideal balance between traditional and contemporary design. Made from coloured blown glass and placed on a classic chrome square base, this lamp is available in Cobalt (pictured), Garnet and Tourmaline and each one brings a wonderful sense of calm to a room…which is rather apt given that it’s called The Orba. The clean lines and polished chrome mean that you can afford to go for a pleated shade, such as the knife pleat lampshade pictured, just to give it that extra oomph. A pair of these Orbas would make for beautiful Hall lamps on a simple console or either side of a sofa in a comfortable Drawing Room. The Cobalt is lovely for a very quiet colour scheme, but go for the jewel like colours of Garnet and Tourmaline for spaces that could do with a bit of livening up.
Graham & Green
Ardenne golden turned wooden lamp
If subtle is more your cup of tea, then nothing beats a simple wooden lamp. This Ardenne version is a traditional carved wooden lamp base with a distressed gold finish; taller and slimmer with minimum fuss. The finish is gold enough to be warming but not at all glittery and so will complement rather than distract from your interiors. At 52cm high, this is taller than your standard table lamp but this means that it doesn’t have to be placed front and centre. Instead, place it somewhere where the focus needs to be up rather than out, like on a pedestal table or mantelpiece. Lampshade wise, a drum shape such as the one pictured provides an elegant juxtaposition of lines, but the simplicity of this particular lamp (in both colour and style) means that a brightly coloured ikat shade would work just as well.
Souk 30cm table lamp
As well as treated wood, treated metal is also a very popular choice for lamps as it provides a welcome contrast from existing textures like fabric, plaster, wood and stone. A hammered metal lamp is elegant, functional and surprisingly easy to place. They usually take the form of a bulbous urn shape so that the detailing can be seen more clearly, and when paired with a simple card lampshade, they make for excellent additions to your home. The trick with metal lamps is that light bounces off them in a totally different way to other materials. Of course, an overall lighting effect comes from the light bulb and lampshade combination, but with metal lamps, you get this lovely soft glow that can make (or break) the feel of a room.
The above are all rather simple in their design but there are some really weird and wonderful things out there, if you know where to look. ‘Lamps’ doesn’t just apply to table lamps; floor, wall and even ceiling lamps can all tie up a scheme nicely and moving them around can give a room, and a home, a whole new lease of light.
If you would like to read Letty White-Spunner’s article about lampshades click here.