something for everyone

23 Lamps, Vetted 23 Ways

Photo: Hannah Whitaker

During these short, dark pandemic days, the need for proper lighting has never been more pressing. To that end, we’ve surfaced a selection of floor lamps. In order to ensure there’s something for every type of person, we scoured the market — getting input from set designers and shop owners, unearthing reviews, polling our fellow shopping-consumed Strategist editors, and partaking in some serious internet snooping. Our recommendations range from one made from orange sheet metal that triples as a lamp, bookshelf, and stool, which Hood Century’s founder, Jerald Cooper, calls “genius,” to the elegant vertical LED light seen here (it was discovered by shoe designer Alice Wang), which goes for only $123 at Home Depot.

Ask a Cool Person: A More-Expensive-Than-It-Looks LED Lamp

Photo: Hannah Whitaker

While it’s “nothing fancy,” Alice Wang loves this “tall vertical LED bulb on a metal base,” she says. It casts a bright (not headache-inducing) glow and looks practically like something you could pick up at design studio Fort Makers.

Expert-Approved: An Entirely Unobtrusive Lamp

Photo: Retailer

Lora Appleton, founder of design studio Kinder Modern, says this affordable brass-finished lamp from Article is “easy-peasy, discreet, clean-lined, and classic.”

Expert-Approved: A Surprisingly Unobtrusive One

Photo: Retailer

Appleton recommends this lamp from Crate & Barrel for kids’ rooms. “It has great design lines and will stay useful even as they get older,” she says.

Snooping: I. M. Pei’s Flattop Floor Lamp

Photo: Courtesy of Christie’s International Real Estate Credit URL

Last year, the late I. M. Pei’s Sutton Place townhouse — which he designed with Tasmanian-oak floors and an oblong skylight — went on the market for $8 million. In the corner of the living room, we spotted a handsome flattop disc lamp. While this Artemide lamp isn’t the same one, it’s comparable. Discs make up the base as well as the lamp head, and the entire slender thing is made of aluminum.

Ask a Cool Person: The Brand-New Status Lamp

From $4,000
Photo: Retailer

Two tasteful folks told us about new kid on the (floor-lamp) block Ryan Preciado. According to brand consultant Emma Holland, his playful lamps — which, he tells us, are made “out of turned poplar and painted with car paint” — are the status ones right now; Hood Century’s Jerald Cooper agrees, saying, “Ryan’s lamp really reminds me of the big kid in me.”

Expert-Approved: A Tripod Floor Lamp That Looks Like an Alien

Photo: Retailer

Designer Courtney McLeod loves the Moresby by Aerin, calling it “a personal favorite.” It has a leaflike shade and a tiny tripod base and, she says, “so much personality — like a chic little alien landed in your living room and joined the party.”

Snooping: Julio Torres’s Living-Room Lamp

Koncept Lady7 Floor Lamp
Photo: Max Burkhalter

We spotted a yolk-yellow tubular lamp in the corner of former SNL writer and comedian Julio Torres’s Williamsburg apartment after it was shot for Architectural Digest. While Torres got his from Bi-Rite Studio, we think this one from Koncept is a pretty good stand-in. It’s not in that cheery yellow (though the red is a nice alternative), and it’s not tubular per se (bear with us), but it really captures the spirit of the vintage lamp’s minimalist silhouette with its angled, elongated head.

$334 at YLighting
with code: KONCEPT

Snooping: A Circular Floor Lamp Like the Many Charli XCX Has

From $210

Judging from a recent Charli XCX Instagram post, the singer’s apartment is filled with globular floor lamps of various sizes. If you’d like to emulate her approach, two interiors experts suggest placing some circular lamps either on the floor or propped up on a stack of books. Shannon Retseck, the owner of home-goods brand Cuttalossa, likes Artemide’s globe lamps, which are made of handblown glass and come in mini, small, medium, and large sizes. If well placed, Retseck says, they will “bring a serene diffused light,” and a “cluster of
a few different sizes will break up all the straight lines of your space.”

The Noguchi: The Go-to Noguchi

Photo: Retailer

“For new lamps, we think it’s hard to top a Noguchi lamp,” say Meghan Lavery and Daniel King, owners of vintage-furniture and design store Home Union in Brooklyn. “They fit with anything and give the nicest glow.”

The Noguchi: Our Writers’ Favorite Noguchi-Esque Option

Photo: Retailer

Strategist writers Liza Corsillo and Kayla Levy both own this column lamp with a rice-paper shade that reminds us of one of Noguchi’s Akaris. Like those, this one gives off a “nice glowy light,” says Corsillo.

Ask a Cool Person: The Best Pendant Stand-in

Photo: Retailer

Carrollo recommends using this lantern lamp if, for whatever reason, you can’t have an overhead light fixture. She particularly likes the “airy and ambient” vibe of this one.

Ask a Cool Person: A Mildly Kitschy Lamp

Photo: Retailer

Carrie Carrollo, a home decorator, stumbled on this lamp “probably 200 pages deep in a search through my go-to affordable online décor sources.” She had sought a three-globe light in an eye-catching style, “and this spiral brushed-steel design caught my eye right away. It’s quite modern.”

Expert-Approved: A Chunky, Fabric-Covered Lamp