Style and function: choosing floor lamps and lighting fixtures

Lighting is an important part of the decorating process that marries function and style.

Style and function: choosing floor lamps and lighting fixtures

There are multiple things to consider when selecting a floor lamp and/or an overhead lighting fixture, including your personal style and where lighting is most needed in your home.


The first step to selecting lighting pieces is to decide where they are most needed in the room.

  • It is ideal to live in a space for a time prior to shopping for lighting.
  • Doing so enables you to discover where more light may be needed for work or reading, ways in which the current light fixture is not meeting your needs, and what existing lighting you use during the day.

Floor lamps

Floor lamps should be placed where they are functional, but also where they fit into the design scheme. Place a floor lamp near furniture or a wall display to incorporate it into the design of the room.

Light fixtures

Light fixtures can be featured overhead near food prep areas, above bathroom sinks, and in main living areas.

  • Adding wall sconces to further illuminate hallways or large rooms is another way to install light fixtures in practical locations.

Style features

In order to choose the right floor lamp and lighting fixture, the style of the space must also be considered.

  • There are pieces that use traditional metals without much ornamentation, and these can work with a variety of styles.
  • Other fixtures and floor lamps are more appropriate for specific decor.


Elaborate chandeliers with a dazzling array of hanging crystals will work best in a more elegant space, while colourful pendant lights add a pop of colour in a modern room.

Floor lamps

Floor lamps have two main style features to consider: the base and the shade.

  • Typically, if the base is the focal point with an elaborate design or bold colour, the shade should be more subdued so that it does not overpower the design.
  • Similarly, if the shade is coloured or patterned, the base should be more simple. Sleek metal bases with angular shades are ideal contemporary pieces, while thick-based lamps with flared shades fit into a more traditional space.


Aside from location and style, you should also consider the functional features of the lamp or light fixture.

  • Adjustable lighting is ideal for many as it adapts to varying needs, so consider a lamp that takes a three-way bulb or a light fixture that has a dimmer option.


Many opt to lower lights in the evening as the body calms and prepares for bed, so the ability to turn off overhead lights and use lamps or switch to dimmer settings on lights is something to consider.


Light fixtures in a large space — especially in a relaxing entertainment area — that have a remote option allow for easy adjustments.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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