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anniedeighnaugh

What happened to lamps and side tables?

6 years ago

So many of the rooms I see here posted by people looking for help don't seem to have lamps and end tables. It doesn't seem to matter what room it is either...bedroom, formal living room, family room, dining, bonus room, whatever.

I find lamp light so soothing vs. overhead, and we use end tables all the time and make sure that there's some place for every seat to put down a glass or book or whatever.

Is it me? Have I missed a trend? I'm I out of date?

Comments (79)

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    My first thought was to blame open floor plans. My living room is only partially open to the dining room/art studio through two large cutouts in the wall, which used to be an exterior wall before the dining room was added on. So I have a wall to place furniture against, including tables with lamps and a floor lamp. I do have overhead lighting in my living room (which might be dated; think 1990s), but I really like it. It is low voltage LED cable lighting, and we have nine fixtures that light the art on the walls throughout the living room. It is not harsh light, and it is on a dimmer switch. When we had it installed, we had a switch put in near the front door so that we can turn the overhead light on when we enter the house. The switch we are using use to control the outlet behind the TV, and we never want that turned off, but originally there was probably a table with a lamp at the front door.

    I have three table lamps in my bedroom, but my ceiling fan also has lights, and I use those occasionally - normally just when I enter the room and it is dark. I've always had multiple table lamps in my bedrooms. In my furniture design career, I started out designing lighting: chandelier, floor lamps/torcheres, wall sconces, and table lamps. The first design that got manufactured was a wall sconce back in 1990, and it still sells today. I would like to have wall sconces (especially one of my own designs) in my house, but I really do not have any place to put them.

    I also prefer side tables to coffee tables.

    We used to have a sofa in our living room with a table that would slide under like this, but then we decided to replace the sofa with two lounge chairs, since we almost never had three people sitting on the sofa. Then we put a large side table between the lounge chairs, and we still have our own side tables (with lamps) on the other sides of our chairs. This has worked out better for us than having a sofa, which we now have in the sewing room/guest room.

    Anglophilia, my boss also says that no one wants to sit in the middle of a sofa, but the ones we make are typically 72-84" wide - mainly because that's what our customers order.

  • 6 years ago

    Anglophilia, that was awesome

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  • 6 years ago

    I hate to even bring up the light bulb situation now, too. I would kill for a year’s supply of 60 watt incandescents for all my table lamps. You have to be an electrical engineer to understand what the heck you are buying in the lighting dept now!!!

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I stock piled incandescents for over ten years, I get migraines from fluorescent lights. I miss curtains too. I also miss curtains hung on the window mill work not feet above it.

  • 6 years ago

    Oh roarah, you hit on another one of my dislikes (that are often touted here as being the "right" way)....curtain height. I am not fooled into thinking your ceilings are higher simply because you hang the drapes high up. It just looks like you made a mistake (ditto for drapes "pooling" on the floor...)

    I'll get off the soapbox, now.

  • 6 years ago

    Lamps are hard to shop for and even end tables that make your heart sing tend to be difficult to find. I think that may be part of the problem and it's also why when we find something we love we hang onto it. We just moved and primarily furnished the new house with new furniture, but kept our end tables and lamps and a few other pieces. I think one problem with open floorplans is that many are poorly designed without a thought about furnishings resulting in a really big area to float the furnishings to avoid ending up with inadequate walkways or the living area is too large to use the walls to anchor the furnishings. In fact, although we wanted an open floor plan for our lifestyle, we pretty much designed the room around the furnishings we brought and then filled in the (big) gaps with new. While I don't dislike floating furniture, I didn't want a huge living area I wanted to design the room so that I didn't have to float the couches. I ended up asking the architect to shrink the living area part of the greatroom to make that work and still have easy access.

    Anglo, I actually thought about you as I set up this vignette a few weeks ago. I hope you like it and also that you feel better soon!

  • 6 years ago

    My electric company gave me a free box of LED bulbs to replace the equivalent 60 watt bulbs. Unlike fluorescent, these bulbs are warm, and I'm amazed at how much better light they provide for reading and tasks. I've also replaced the incandescent candelabra bulbs in my dining chandelier, and the fixtures in my bath and kitchen. They have that "candle" look that is lacking in many of the LED equivalents. I found those at Costco.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Nice vignette, mojomom! Pretty lamp!

  • 6 years ago

    I grew up in a house that had end tables and lamps that switched on from the wall switch when you entered the room. No overhead lights except in the kitchen. My Dad was an electrician, so wiring the entire house with plenty of outlets, like every 5'. When we built our first house in the 90's and I asked the electricians to wire the bottom plug on each outlet to the wall switch, they thought I was crazy. Cost extra, but I certainly appreciate it. In our new home, I had this done to at least one outlet in ever room. We have can lights in the ceiling in our LR and kitchen. Rarely do I turn them on. Much prefer my lamps and island pendants.

  • 6 years ago

    Since I had to rewire this house almost completely anyway, there are outlets switched from the doorway for bedside lamps, and the bedside lamps have switches on each side of the bed so the lamp is always turned on or off by switch, never on the lamp itself. So no turning the lamp off a night and then the next night not being able to turn it on from the door. You can always turn it on from the door. This switch is also ganged with another outlet for the phone charger on each side.

    The few houses I was involved with interiors wise that were new construction, the electricians refused to switch any of the outlets from the door unless the homeowners renegotiated the electrical allowance. And they were pretty persnickety if I wanted something placed in an exact location, too, rather than in the general vicinity of.

  • 6 years ago
    i am one of "those people who didnt have a lamp or end table"

    i finally realized after getting advice from pros that yes, lamps and end tables make a room warm and cozy which is what i was after

    a little thinking into reasons why i didnt have any, im somewhat young, under 40 and just never really used lamps or end tables. i always thought they were for more "grandma" type people or homes

    now i am hooked. let me tell you, they truly warm up a space and make everything cozy

    my husband only thinks im addicted to lamps and pillows now but can you seriously not have lamps?? i dont know what i was thinking all these years not having lamps or end tables

    im glad that changed!!
  • 6 years ago

    Love your lamp mojomom! She looks a little sassy with her hands on her hips like that !! (great view outside, too)

  • 6 years ago

    I think people just don’t know how important good lighting is to the comfort and look of a room. Maybe they didn’t have lamps while growing up, or more likely they weren’t paying attention to this detail.

    One of the best things about home goods is their lamp section. Sometimes you have to keep checking back to see what comes in, but I’ve seen some really nice things there at a good price. I picked up a nice pair of Lillian August lamps for my bedroom and I’ve seen Ralph Lauren lamps there as well.

  • 6 years ago

    I'm another lampaholic. I feel like I'm at a meeting : ) . I also love lampshades, especially the English pleated/gathered ones made from old saris or gorgeous marbled paper.

    I have several pairs of my parents' old Scully & Scully (NYC) apothecary lamps, a pair of their enameled Chinsoiserie lamps, and on my own I have collected a couple of Stiffel brass lamps, a couple of Ralph Lauren blue and white lamps from Winners (Canadian version of Home Goods). And I've just bought a pair of vintage Chinese tea caddy style lamps with green silk pleated shades from eBay. It's an illness, but unlike shoes at least everyone in the family gets to benefit : ) . The older my husband and I get, the more we appreciate lamps and good task lighting.

    I would love a pair (okay, even just one) of Christopher Spitzmiller's double gourd lamps. And I also like Bunny Williams' brush stroke double gourd lamps, but the closest I could come to either is Safavieh's Swirl lamps. I've found that some Safavieh lamps are quite nice, and reasonably priced too.

  • PRO
    6 years ago

    Great look, mojomom! Love that table!

    I have two children, ages 45 and 47. When they got their first apartments after college, I helped them find furniture for them and decorate them. l I bought blue/whit chinese vases at Steinmart, had them drilled, wired them, and found great paper coolie shades at K-Mart. Both still use those lamps all these years later. I reupholstered two chairs that were in my basement for DD"s first apt (yes, I actually did the upholstery - took me all summer), bought her a small love seat, helped her find end tables/coffee tables at re-sale shops. When my son divorced 3 years ago, I helped him by getting the chair his grandfather had always sat in on the Vineyard, reupholstered and shipped to him - wife wouldn't allow anything "old" in the house.

    Do parents no longer help with advice and guidance anymore? My children wanted and need it as they were still quite young but they wanted their apt's to be their "home". DD had a great apt in NYC - it was in the high 20's on Lexington Ave and was pre-war. I made curtains (unlined, sheared on a rod) for the LR and BR, helped her choose paint - we had so much fun "making HER nest". And other than the very inexpensive love seat, she has nearly every single thing still today and is still using it - we did replace the BR curtains as she was tired of the Pierre Deux look.

    Both are now quite capable of decorating a house/apt. They prefer to keep things and build on them, not dumping everything and buying new. I was very impressed when I visited DS's apt and saw how he had hung all the art (she didn't like the antique prints so he got them all), and made this apt a home for himself and his two children when they visit.

    It would appear that the young of today, never buy a shelter magazine. No wonder they are getting thinner and thinner and many going under! I used to always advise my young clients to start a clipping file - it was the least expensive way to make a serious mistake. It gave me an idea of their taste and they began to identify it as well. Now everyone just goes on the internet and sees hundreds of thousands of photos of mediocre or worse rooms, that all look the same. They never train their eye to see the best so when they see something that has that look, but at an affordable price, they don't even realize it's good design.

    I bred dogs for a short period of time, and one thing I learned from experienced breeders was, that if a bitch cannot care for your young and raise a litter, don't ever breed her again. I don't think the mothers of the young house-buying public are doing a very good job of teaching their young about good design and good floor plans. Do they not even know themselves?

    No one is born just know how to make a gracious home that works for the family; they must be taught. No one is teaching, and the young are also quite impatient - they want their house finished NOW - all at once. I've lived in my present house since 1984 and it was only last year, that I finally felt that it was "done". l Oh sure, I could come up with more things to do, but they would be VERY costly and would be a poor idea to do to my house. Of course, I also already had furniture when we moved in and I used it, moving things around from time to time, inheriting a few new pieces, but only buying one antique Pembroke end table to replace a 1940's one that had seen better days.

    My first furniture purchase? A sleep sofa from Bloomingdales, love seat size, purchased for our Washington DC apt in the fall of 1966. It's now in my grandson's bedroom - it was recovered one time over the years.

    There is always a place for a good piece of furniture with good design and good quality. Furniture should be "forever". Alas, it's for 5-7 years these days.


  • 6 years ago

    lol, Becky!

    At the mid-point of the path through life,
    I found
    Myself lost in a wood so dark,

    I started browsing lights. I got addicted..

    My name is April..






  • 6 years ago

    Whenever Anglophilia’s name on a post, I get excited. Yours did not disappoint tonight!

    I do, however, have some questions for the lampophobes in the crowd!

    Table lamps: if you have a couple in the living room (with maybe another smaller desk lamp in a corner): should the table lamps match? If not, should the shades be the same colour or shape? Should the tops of the shades be at roughly the same height? I’d like to have two different lamps, but not confident enough to know what to look for so that they complement each other.

    TIA!

  • PRO
    6 years ago

    I like either matching end tables or matching lamps, but not both at the same time. I actually prefer matching lamps. They give the best balance and the tables can be whatever size and shape work best. I'm well aware that skirted tables are out of favor, but they're terribly useful as an end table and can help fill a corner.

    When I took a few design classes in college, the concept of the "triangle of light" was stressed. In fact, one needs at least two such triangles in most rooms and they should overlap.

    Shades usually end up being roughly the same height, the height of the lamp bring dictated by the height if the piece of furniture.

    It's far easier to buy lamps at a local lamp store. Stores allow one to take them home to try. Far easier than having to bid something back up and return it. Most lamps come without a shade do one can be selected that works with the lamp and your room. No, shades need not be the same color, but don't use beige on one lamp and white on another - light should all be the same. I have an old brass lamp in my library that gas always Erin a black shade: all other shades are off white silk.

    Many cities have shops that will make lamps for one out of vases, candlesticks, fire extinguishers - you name it. They also often make custom shades.

    Dont ever skimp on lamps in your budget. That will cheapen the entire room. A good lamp is forever and well with the money.

  • 6 years ago

    On the importance of lamp light, I remember when I moved into my dorm room which felt so institutional, I bought a little $5 plastic lamp...it was modern looking with a white plastic round shade that glowed when it was on...it warmed up the room right away.

    I remember when Mom came out of the hospital into the nursing home and her room was so awful and institutional, I hated leaving her there. The next day, I brought her a lamp and an end table and instantly she had a much warmer, cozier space.

    Re overhead lighting, we do always put an overhead light in our bedrooms, not only because it's switched from the door to see your way in, but because an overhead light allows you to see into dresser drawers, esp in the higher chests. Lamp light less so. But that doesn't mean we don't add lamps too.

    I'm sitting in my library now and notice that I only have one table lamp in the room...but I have lamp alternatives including wall mounted ones over the sofa, sconces over the fireplace and strip lighting in the bookcases in addition to some spots on the art work. Christopher Lowell always used to make the case that lighting needed to come from above, below, and mid range to properly light a room.

  • 6 years ago

    I buy vintage/antique furniture, so no matching tables. Currently, no matching lamps next to beds, so heights of tables and lamps vary. But, for visual appeal, they do end up about same height.

    I also buy old lamps, have lamps made from found items or buy lamps made by the local shop owner. I also buy shades there. Do not skimp on shades as they will cheapen even an expensive lamp. Lined silk and linen shades, usually with some texture, are my favorites.

    The only pair of lamps that are together in the house are on the sofa table. Another pair is split, one in breakfast room and the other in lower level den. I gave a third pair to my sister for guest bedroom. I'm just not a fan of pairs.


  • 6 years ago

    I agree about the shades...good shades can make all the difference.


  • 6 years ago

    I have lovely little alabaster lamps from my MIL that I wanted to keep, but the shades were pretty rotten. Paying to have them recovered was very expensive, so I bought some satin ribbon and recovered the shades myself, thank you Martha Stewart. I love the little light these things cast...they're only about 10" high.

  • 6 years ago

    I think another aspect is that people use kindles now to read so the reading light is not necessary. I love lamps too, have 4 in my living room. It's not about lamps costing too much, homegoods has great lamps that are cheap, look good, but style has never been about price. But I do love my good lighting!

  • 6 years ago

    These, DH made from 90 mm tank shells from when he was in the army. Not only do the provide nice light to the room (they are wall switched) but they act as a room divider without blocking the view to the tv from the kitchen.

  • 6 years ago

    Like others, I think open floor plans definitely deter from lamps, but so does having good light in general.

    In our house, my kitchen and living room are open. I have east facing windows that take up the width of the wall in the kitchen, and large deck doors on either side of of my fireplace in the living room - there isn't enough wall left over for anything else.

    So between all the natural light, and the overhead cans, fan light, and kitchen cans and pendants, we've got the lighting covered. Any lamps at that point would just be an overkill.

    Same with the master bedroom. Deck doors taking up one wall, and windows on the others make it very bright.

    Family room is darker. But I like it that way. It's for having a drink, watching movies, playing games etc. I like the cozy feeling and don't want any additional lighting via lamps.

    In my city apartment, I have floor lamps everywhere in addition to my ceiling lights. But my windows also face north so it's just darker.

    Aesthetically, I'm not a huge fan of lamps, especially table lamps. To me, they're more of a necessity for darker homes.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    April, I prefer the Carlyle-Wicksteed translation:

    "In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself in a dark wood where the straight way was lost."

    (Original: Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, ché la diritta via era smarrita.)

    Tennessee Williams used this quote in his play Camino Real. If you like Dante, you will probably like that play. My cousin had a part in it when she was getting her drama degree at Baylor, and I went to see her in it. It's one of my favorite plays.

    Philips makes very good LED light bulbs with warm white color, and you can get them at Home Depot - or Amazon if you prefer. I've been replacing light bulbs in our showrooms with these, partly because they put out less heat (almost none), and they are UL approved. They also produce more light with less requirement from the shade in terms of distance.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you, Lars..I love Tennessee Williams, and I have his book with me all these years as it was between those twenty or thirty books my Mom told me to choose to take with us before we left, yet I never read this play. I should find it.

  • 6 years ago

    Lamp dissenter here. I think, for my space at least, they look cluttery and can make a room look over decorated. The end table is also a pet peeve of mine. They are just another endless horizontal surface to gather more clutter. In my bedroom and the tv room, I do have wall lamps. The living room area in the great room has ceiling hung pendants. None of these rooms seem cold, dark, or unfinished to me.

    I suppose I’m not the person to ask maybe. Most of the rooms posted here as ‘good’ rooms look overdecorated to me. Also, I am in my forties and I hated, hated, hated it when my mother tried to decorate for me when I was in my 20s. It was definitely the kind of help I could have done without. Everything she coerced me into buying was the kind of thing she wanted. It is finally all gone thankfully.

  • 6 years ago

    @sloedjinn I think we have the same mother!

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I love all lights..chandeliers, pendants, lamps, floor lamps, sconces..the more the merrier. I don't discriminate. My problem is I've nowhere to put them already. Not because I have so many but because I don't have where to put them so it'll make sense. Or: my DD asked me for additional light, but the space is tight so should be floor lamp. A thin one at that. I have a table light that's just standing 'cause I like it, but no outlet there..and several packed lights I can't bring myself to let go, not just yet. great expectations, and all that. Hunted them vintage from allover..Italy, Austria, Germany, France..obviously found several here too. They're not lamps though..couple sconces, a semi flush mount(that needs some work), and a chandelier.

    What I actively dislike are can lights when there are too many of these. We went with minimum of can lights just in utilitarian places. And even with this minimum, I'd take out one (over the bathtub..we installed two. one of them is centered. the initial idea was for a small chandelier but then I got freaked out it's going to fall in the water and electrocute whoever's there (usually that'd be me)). But since the electrical was there we had an additional can light installed. Now it's just too bright. Granted it's on dimmer, but I'd rather get rid of it..I think maybe put there light but not to connect the wires lol..can it be done I wonder? "Fake" fixture?

    We have enough lights in the bath. This can light adds nothing.

  • 6 years ago

    I am like DH (only older) I never felt the need for end tables and/or lamps. I remember my mother's matching coffee and end tables with big lamps and big ashtrays(!) And while mom told me I needed them, that just seemed old. But now I see lamps as added art to a room and love lightly decorating coffee and end tables. While I still don't care for lamps on a sideboard or an entry table, I love the ambience and look of that perfect lamp in a room.

  • 6 years ago

    My daughter doesn't need an end table. She bought a sectional with a pull-down console for cups and a phone charger! Ugh.

  • 6 years ago

    My stepson and his wife also have a black leather behemoth with a console with cup holders. Oh well.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    my daughter already told me that she'd enlist me for whenever she needs to decorate in the future. She has nice innate taste btw and is quite artistic. but no patience whatsoever. I did let her choose all the things for her new room when she was about 14-15, restrained just by the budget..in couple years she arrived to the conclusion the only things she likes were the ones I advised on and she did listen. I tried to ask her advice when we were house hunting..she did pick the same house on the pics (I was thinking between three, at some point) but said "mom how you do that? I have a headache after 5 min looking at them". She gets easily distracted, my daughter. Unless it's about cell biology..:)

    my Mom does the same-asks me. When I'm there. I'm mostly not. But my Mom's not into it either. At all. She recognizes nice when she sees it, but she's not into it. The whatever china she has still stands the way I put it , per her request, 20 years ago. I passionately hate the huge thing that's holding it, and many other stuff, mainly for its placement, my Mom does too:) why it's there still, under these circumstances-a mystery. probably because then one should build there a nice pony wall with a niche, if already to do something, and that's already an endeavor of a different kind.

    My Grandma didn't ask anybody zilch. No one's opinion mattered but her own. She was like a Queen Bee. I didn't even know other people might ask their family what family thinks. Yes, she was good. Given we didn't have books or magazines on the topic, like, at all, not for sale, not to subscribe to-I've got a huge respect for her, and how she made the best decisions every time with very restricted means and opportunities. But she was a tyrant. I try to take the best I learnt from her growing with her in the house, watching her..I really try to let go of an attitude.

  • 6 years ago

    I loooove table lamps and when we redid our house I spent hours (days?) looking and touching and playing with them until I found what I was looking for. . I also like side tables on which to put them. Table lamps don't have to match and they add an eye-level sense of decor. We have one floor lamp on the side of a room where we didn't have a place for a side table.

    The problem I had with finding a floor lamp was getting one tall enough and with enough substance to not get lost in a room with vaulted ceilings.

  • 6 years ago

    No one has mentioned skylights. Our art studio has a large skylight in a vaulted ceiling that also has recessed cans - came with the house when we bought it. It's one of the reasons we use that room as an art studio - the previous owners used it as a family room. It has a large window in one wall and a sliding glass door to the patio in the other wall (door faces SW and window faces NW). When my BIL first visited, he asked me how to turn off the light in the studio, and I had to tell him that we usually leave the skylight on when we leave the house. We get a bit of unwanted light in the summer during late afternoon, but otherwise the light we get from the skylight is fine. I'm also okay with the recessed cans because they provide quite a bit of light, which is needed for doing artwork. The attached dining room has a pendant fixture, and I do want to change that but not until I repaint the entire room, which includes a hallway space.

    I very much dislike design tyrants and lived with one briefly myself - it made me quite uncomfortable. I believe in design democracy (as much as is possible) instead of design dictatorship. Everyone who lives in a space deserves to have input, if they want to contribute. If not, there is always the possibility of divorce/separation, or alienation.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I love skylights- anything that adds natural light I'm a fan of.

    We also have vaulted ceilings in our vacation home, but the previous owners never put in skylights. Well they did, but in the guest bathroom <insert eye roll here>. Anyway, we plan on installing a new roof in the next 5 years. When we do that, we're adding skylights.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I love skylights too, we actually have five..I think..

    to be fair to my Grandma-she grew up in a bordertown in very harsh times that didn't turn around to be better anytime soon. All her life was-two revolutions, World War 1 in betwen, pogroms, Civil War-and all the armies and all the bandits took over the town first thing first, yeah? and all were cruel to civilians. then it was long dictatorship and it was scary as hell..then it was world war two and they were extremely lucky to survive..then it was back to ruins and starting all over..never having your real own place, sharing the whatever she got(which was two rooms in communal flat) with family and friends that had nowhere to go to, for years..her house was always open and she was quite a noble woman. I guess her being a design tyrant was a grasp for a tiny bit of control she felt she still had in her life..

    you don't alienate a person because of that..especially not in the former USSR lol. as in USSR you also don't up and go since you've most likely nowhere to go-you had a certain address and in order to change it you either had to wait years and jump through hoops or be sent somewhere/distributed after university to work, etc. we were a normal big loving family(even though a bit loud you might say lol). but even families that were on much worse terms they very often had to live together since that's how it was there.

    I'm sorry about off topic..as I usually am..but I kinda owe to give some realistic context, to my Grandma..if I already opened my big mouth about her.

    on a lighter note, I remembered this citation from "The Master and Margarita"..:)

    "ordinary people...In general, reminiscent of the former ones...only the housing problem has corrupted them..."

  • 6 years ago

    I just can't stand over head lights - much prefer the warm, coziness of lamps. The only time I turn the overheads on is if I drop something and need the whole floor lit up. Both my homes have an open great room and that does not preclude having lamps especially if you are willing/able to install a floor outlet which I have done more than once. I have buffet lamps in the dining room, end tables with lamps, floor lamps, small up lamp on my armoire, nightstands with lamps, lamp on dresser, under cabinet lights in the kitchen, nightlights in bathrooms and dark hallways, etc.

    I'm not into clutter so I don't have a lot of the other décor items I see sitting on horizontal surfaces here - just lamps and a few meaningful items with personal history (vs. décor item bought in store to fill up space). Plus I have cats which limits the kinds of things you can have on surfaces they visit. One of them has been known to knock a lamp over from time to time.....

  • 6 years ago

    I don’t like clutter at all...but I think some nice, well-designed table lamps really make a room look polished and finished.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I've enjoyed reading all of the various perspectives on lamps and side tables. I much prefer lamps to the harshness of overhead lights, though they do come in handy for giving hair cuts and cleaning up the occasional pet mess. Other than that, the only time the overhead lights go on in our house is when we have guests who like lots of light.

    As for side tables, we haven't needed them in our living room since we replaced our couches with prairie settles that have flat arms and backs, perfect for placing drinks, books, and whatever else needs a temporary landing spot. We have a sofa-sized one and a loveseat-sized one, and though it's rare for 3 people to sit on the sofa at once, that middle spot is perfect for cats ;) We leave a coaster at the end of each arm by default because that spot is much more convenient than the coffee table, even when sitting on the loveseat (that's right behind the coffee table).

    Our living room is small, by modern standards anyway, and one antique floor lamp has served it amazingly well (in addition to sconces above the fireplace) so we rarely use the can lights in the ceiling. It's no ordinary lamp though... It has 3 candelabra bulbs under a silk shade that switch on individually, as well as a torchiere (shaded by milk glass) with 3 brightness settings, plus a night light in the base. I usually switch on only one of the candelabra bulbs to read, but everyone in the family has his or her preferred setting depending on the activity at hand. My dad rewired the lamp after rescuing it from someone's trash, and I've had it with me since my very first apartment 20 years ago. It got a new silk shade about 11 years ago. Here's a picture of my beloved lamp (to the right of the sofa settle).

    I especially love the night light and wish more lamps had this feature. I recently saw a similar lamp at a flea market (that I may have to go back and buy if it's still there), but it didn't have the night light that I love so much. That tiny switch in the front is what switches it on/off when you tap it with a toe.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    As I commented in the Lighting forum recently:

    I'm going contrarian for most on Houzz, or I should say, old fashioned. I
    detest swiss cheese ceilings.
    The modern 'requirement' that a large room at night has to be completely lit without any shadows, always ready for a photo shoot, and allowing the smallest font to be read in any corner is fine for a department store but not my home. Mine will be lit with floor and table lamps, some well placed sconces and perhaps one or two can lights to wash the fireplace.

  • PRO
    6 years ago

    I grew up with a very similar floor lamp! Don't know when my mother discarded it but it disappeared in one move or another. They have their place. This one would be too high for me to comfortably read, though.

  • 6 years ago

    mojomom - I recently put together a similar vignette in my redecorated study. :) Glad to see that the brass table tray is still in style.

    I love side tables, lamps, and floor lamps. I have re-wired many older family pieces because the lamps are better quality. Also have some newer lamps.

    The lamp in my photos belonged to my husband's aunt. The drum shade was still in good shape, but it was a bit mildewed and yellowed for my taste. I purchased this new shade off of Amazon.


  • 6 years ago

    Lovely, nhb! You did a great job selecting your shade too. I have a terrible time figuring out the right shade size. I just replaced the shades on our bedside lamps when we moved (and spent more on the shades than I did on the whole lamps almost 40 years ago) and I am concerned that the new shades are too short.

  • 6 years ago

    Thank you! The original shade was a straight up drum shade without any shape. I liked that this shape was a tad bit narrower at the top. And I know what you mean about the cost of shades!

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I love end tables and lamps. My IKEA sleeper sofa is not against a wall... I measured for it when I bought it and my electrician installed outlets in the floor (I can see this might be a problem if building on a slab; if I had been, I'd have figured some way to get the sofa on a wall!) There's nothing cluttered about good end tables or lamps! They're useful, and promote good lighting.

    I do have overhead lighting in all the rooms, but the only overheads I really use are in the kitchen and over the dining table.

    There's something nice about just reaching over to shut off the table lamp when about to drop off to sleep at night. Beats getting up to shut off an eye-annoying overhead at the wall switch.

    There are no can lights in this house. They work some places, but I don't feel they fit with my style of log home.

  • 6 years ago

    We have them in our 11 year old house. They do come in handy sometimes. Especially as I get older and my eyesight is not as good.

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I put can lights in the home we built but regret all but those in the kitchen, and there I love them. I'm also a table lamp and side table lover.

    Although there's been a talk about builders not building in plugs, rooms not designed for tables and lamps, etc., I suspect this is mostly mistaking effect for cause.

    Look how the vast majority of living room arrangements genuflect to the television. Of course. :) TV viewing and kitchen relationship to the rest of the active living area are the two biggest organizing principles defining modern active living areas. "The" designated family or living room location for the TV is normally also visible from the kitchen/dining area.

    Builders were able to manage that. Because that's what typical home buyers want.

    So, much better built-in light systems were also developed, dimmable, and not just affordable but standard offerings in modern homes. Available when needed, without clutter or need to dust or protect from children.

    TV, laptops/tablets, and kindles as Bumblebeez points out. More information available on a lap than anyone could take in in several lifetimes, without a lamp in any of them.

    Bookkeeping now done on computers while relaxing in front of the TV, very little on paper. Desks and desk lamps are even more obsolete in most homes than reading lamps.

    Back to the latter, though, lamps are needed for paper reading and needlework. Most needlework's also obsolete, and lots of people just don't read because they don't enjoy it, beyond perhaps social media on the computer these days. ( I believe I've also read that on average those who don't read after leaving school lose about 5 years of reading level.)

    So that's the biggest explanation for what's happened to dust-gathering lamps, Just really not needed. Form follows function. And so does middle class style.

    More for me. :)

    Oh, forgot! How about this one? More women went to work outside the home and are often a little too busy for a lot of reading when they're there.

  • 10 months ago

    I'm so relieved to see others who are unhappy about the end table and lamp issue. I've looked for "end tables" everywhere. The few I find, if they are wide enough, aren't deep enough. The idea for me is to have the nearby lamp light, but it's slightly behind me. Then there's still plenty of table space for a drink, my iPhone or iPad and the remote. Seems like the next generation wants things that are simple and easy. Maybe they just don't want to dust the furniture? But seriously, where can I find a decent end table (24W & 27D) ? And, oh, by the way, one that is at least near the arm of the sofa, not 12 inches below it.

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