Interiors, Styling

Create a Mood: Put a Lamp on It

I love lamps in lonely places.  A small lamp can add magic to a dark bookcase, an old desk, a kitchen counter, a dusty bar cart – really any odd corner of your home that looks unloved and has an outlet nearby.  That last bit is important.  We have a small, awkward entry (but at least it’s an entry!) and once a year I experience a memory lapse and exclaim: “Oh!  I’ll add a lamp!”  This is followed by an embarrassed pause as I remember that there are no outlets in our entry.  The cat has the decency to look away.

Overhead lights can be unflattering, over-bright and, in my opinion, they can suck the joy out of a room kind of like canned mushrooms on a fresh pizza.   Ideally you should have multiple lamps in a room.  I love seeing a teacher’s classroom where they’ve permanently turned off the overhead fluorescent lights and have scattered lamps around the room.  When I see this, I know I’m meeting a kindred spirit.

Here are a few ideas to get you on the same “Put a Lamp On It” page as me.  In general, these aren’t lamps to read by, these aren’t lamps to even play a hand of rummy by, these are just ambiance lamps.  Lamps to bring some cheer, some romance, some warmth to a dark spot in your home that needs it – these are mood lighting lamps.

lamps on shelves
Why have one little lamp when you can have three? There’s a lot going on here and I love it. (Photo Source)
lamp on piano
I prefer asymmetry over symmetry most of the time and I really enjoy a single lamp on a piano. I love the different color blues in this photograph! (Photo Source)
lamp on a bar cart
Bar carts are a classic spot for an interesting lamp.  This quirky pineapple lamp brightens up this area without even being on.  (Photo Source)
lamp on a toiletries cart
Small, cute brass lamp on a toiletries cart – don’t see that every day, eh? (Photo Source)
bathroom lamp
I love all the non-bathroom things in this bathroom. The lamp on the antique cabinet is perfect as is the color on the walls! (Photo Source)
lamps on bookshelves
I love a lamp on a bookshelf and because this is the home of Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan the shelves are filled with fun, quirky objects. I bet this looks fantastic at night. (Photo Source)


ikea lamp
This little lamp is perfect for a small shelf or small space on a table. I love the color and it’s IKEA, so the price is right. I’ve been thinking about it for our small record player table.  (Photo Source)
black table lamp
I love how stylized this lamp is. I think it’s meant for a desk, but it would look cooler and more unexpected in an entry. (Photo Source)
white and brass lamp
What a cute little lamp! Perfect for a bookshelf or even a piano! (Photo Source)
Ceramic Cat Lamp
I’m thinking this crazy cat lamp should be in a dark corner in the laundry room or a dark corner in a kids bedroom – anywhere that needs some cheer and humor. (Photo Source)
This lamp looks like a cupcake with sprinkles and the light is the single candle….it’s a cheerful light that would look good on a small shelf or small piece of furniture.  It does seem a little pricey for what it is though. (Photo Source)

I just finished Chuck Wendig‘s amazing book Wanderers (two enthusiastic thumbs up) and, if you make it far enough, there’s a Willie Nelson reference and ever since then I’ve been on a Willie Nelson kick!






2 thoughts on “Create a Mood: Put a Lamp on It”

  1. I concur completely! I’ve got several lamps scattered around the house, just to add little pools of light to darker areas. Special loves are a small palm tree lamp on top of my moody upcycled bar cabinet, and a quirky ceramic cottage with a light in its window that sits in a corner of my office. Ambiance lighting can really make a space. I love the photos with this post.
    All the Best,

    1. Hi Gwen – a kindred spirit! Yes, I love little one-off lamps. Your bar area sounds fun – a lot of the time the only reason a home doesn’t feel comfortable to me is purely the lighting. And that’s an easy thing to fix! Thanks – have a great week!

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