If you’re in need of a simple way to cozy up a favorite corner of your home, then consider a table lamp, which can do wonders for providing your space with a warm glow. It doesn’t hurt that a lamp can also pull double duty as a decorative element. We’re on a bit of a lamp kick here as of late, after a reader wrote to us asking for “all types of lamp advice.” We covered a plethora of floor lamps first, and now turn again to interior designers for their advice on picking out table lamps. Below, 35 lamps that are both functional and decorative, trendy and classic, and go on a table (or desk). We’ve also thrown a few more affordable options into the mix, and don’t miss one writer’s guide to the best lamps to buy on Amazon.
The best shaded table lamps
Keren Richter of interior design firm the White Arrow likes this pink, shaded cutie with a ceramic base, white linen shade, and walnut neck from Caravan Pacific. It comes in an array of colors and would bring a laid-back vibe to any room.
For a contemporary take on a mid-century silhouette, Richter also recommends this tall vase by Brooklyn-based Pletz that features an “ebonized maple base with cherry neck and finial.”
New Orleans lighting designer Julie Neill loves this ceramic lamp with gilded base by Alexa Hampton for its “gracefully folded ceramic body, which is echoed on the wonderfully fluted base that make the lamp both modern and timeless” and great for a wide range of interiors.
For a cheaper alternative, try this pair of double-gourd ceramic lamps in a similar vibrant hue and metallic base. A colorful option for the maximalist.
Toronto and New York-based designer Philip Mitchell recommends this bulbous vase inspired by 17th-century Imari Japanese porcelain that has been hand-painted with Chinese motifs.
The best “chubby” table lamps
Ghislaine Viñas is particularly drawn to the “peculiar and organic quality” of Eny Lee Parker’s Oo Lamp, which is decidedly of this year’s chubby design trend. “It feels like an individual crafted it and I love that it feels unique and blobby and wonderful. If I had a couple of empty night stands in my house, I would put these on them in a heartbeat,” she says.
With an abstract, thick-legged base, this lamp from Anthropologie has a similar effect, but for a more palatable price. “It has a great shape and the texture would play nicely off of a glass or wood-topped side table,” says Viñas. “It would be great for a traditional space needing a little modernity, and similarly the soft lines would complement any modern interior.”
Here’s another chubby option by Moving Mountains and Giselle Hicks. “I love the earthy textures and colors and the geometric shapes,” says Homepolish designer Tina Rich.
Viñas also likes the playfulness of Marset’s Dipping Light by Barcelona-based designer Jordi Canudas. “It’s like a piece of candy; the green is my favorite,” she says.
Caroline Grant and Dolores Suarez of Dekar Design recommend the Rex table lamp from Urban Electric because “it’s perfect for styling bookshelves and gives the most flattering glow,” they say. “The sleek lines add a classic-but-modern touch and it’s endlessly functional since it turns on with a single touch to the base and can be customized in different metals and colors.” The Rex is also a favorite of interior designer Sasha Bikoff, who loves its “slightly-industrial-yet-warm element” and the fact that “it’s so simple yet so chic, with no buttons, knobs or switches of any kind.”
The best task table lamps
For a task lamp, interior designer Penelope August’s pick is this minimalist option from Pixo: “ It comes in fun colors, dims at the touch of a finger, and has a handy USB port integrated in the base.”
Here’s another simple task lamp that can be connected along the length of the table. According to Homepolish designer Tali Roth, “It’s a practical, sleek, a little serious, but very funky reading light. If your desk is up against the wall, it’s pretty how this light picks up the natural texture in any vertical plane around it.”
The best lantern table lamps
It’s no surprise that designers love Noguchi’s Akari lamps. “It’s sculptural, creates a magical ambient light, and my favorite part — it’s anthropomorphism,” says production designer Anastasia White. Richter of the White Arros agrees: “Noguchi designs are a classic, and paper lanterns cast such a pretty glow.” The designers at Pappas Miron also love the Akari light sculptures for their form and function. Plus, they say, “The handmade rice paper glows when lit and the spindly legs simply make us smile.”
The best decorative table lamps
Scott Sloat, partner at David Kleinberg Design Associates, recommends these crystal lamps for their clean-lined versatility. “They would lend a touch of glamour to traditional or modern interiors,” he says. Bikoff is a fan of Phoenix Gallery’s lighting as well.
London-based interior designer Katharine Pooley likes this glass lamp to “inject subtle colour into a tonal scheme,” she says. Plus, “it catches the light beautifully.”
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