Traditionally, the thinking is that lamps should be about 58 to 64 inches from the top of the finial to the floor. So that means that the shorter the table, the taller the lamp should be.
That’s not the whole story though. There are other factors to consider. In general, I have a ‘go big or go home’ decorating philosophy, so I love really tall lamps, but sometimes I prefer something smaller.
I had these large lamps in my living room.
I still have the lamps; I really like them, but I didn’t like them here. I felt it cut off the room, so I wanted shorter lamps. I felt them didn’t crowd the room. Since you see my sofa from the back a lot, I didn’t want the lamps to obstruct the view of the living room.
These newer lamps are 52 inches from the floor.
I think they make the room feel more open. Just keep in mind if you go for a short lamp like this, you might be able to see down inside the lampshade and see the bulbs. That’s the case with these lamps, but I still prefer them because I prefer the short size here. If you are using the lamps for task lighting, then the height of the bulbs can be an issue.
If you want to raise the height of a lamp, you can always put some books underneath the lamps. Now I had a similar thought in my dining room. I wanted lamps a tad shorter. These lamps are 63 inches from the floor. I wondered if it would look more open with shorter lamps. I moved the older lamps in here.
These lamps are about 3 inches shorter, still in the recommended size. Because the chandelier is in here, I felt I could use shorter lamps to help the room feel more open.
These lamps are much shorter than the other lamps.
I have two lamps in my Soft Surroundings collection that I ADORE! First this very tall Dominique buffet lamp, CLICK HERE. The lampshade is stunning and oh so elegant.
I also selected this gorgeous candlestick buffet lamp, CLICK HERE. I love the height of these lamps.
This is another tall lamp on a tall cabinet. It’s also in the 70″ plus height. It’s very old. I think it’s pretty fabulous and the black is so dramatic! I changed out the dated lampshade for this trendy burlap one.
More short lamps in my bedroom. I had to go short because of the wall sconces above the night stands.
For a lamp next to a chair, you want the bottom of the lampshade at eye level. The lamp below is vintage.
Again, it’s the gold accents that I am drawn to. This is probably from the 60’s if I had to guess.
The bottom line is that it’s always good to know the rules. Once you know the rules, feel free to break them. Did I say that out loud?