Overhead lights are important, no doubt about it, but they should never be the sole light source in a room. The way a room is lit can completely change the space; having a number of different light sources gives you control over the ambience and mood of a room, as well as changing how you use it. There are three main kinds of lamp: table lamps, floor lamps, and task lamps. A mix of floor and table lamps will create pools of light at various heights around a room, while task lamps can be used to illuminate not just work spaces, but to highlight cherished furniture or ornaments. Lamps are incredibly useful in 'zoning' a room – for example sectioning off a lounge area, reading nook and dining space in a living room. While lamps come into their own after dark, well-chosen pieces can be key decorating items at any time of day. Brightly coloured lampshades, for example, can be used to accent a room's decor.
Lamps seem to bring out a particular creativity in designers, so below we've selected some particularly creative and interesting ones. If you're looking for something more classic, browse our lighting section – there's something there for every taste.
The TRIO lamp is a combination of three elements in one: a lamp, a coat hanger and a small shelf. While it's intended to be placed in a hallway – hence the shelf and coat hooks – we think it's funky enough to fit in any room, where the fabulous powder pastel shades will add a refined cheer.
The Soft lamp is is made of a special kind of acrylic, called soft flou, which contains fluorescent blue pigments that light up when the lamp is off, outlining the edges and creating a daytime sculpture for a sideboard or sidetable. When the lamp is on, the acrylic frame fades into the background, and the focus is on the bulb, which appears to float in space. Combining the trend for naked bulbs that's part of the Industrial aesthetic with a funky, modernist acrylic body, this lamp is a winner.
Made from the staves of used oak barrels, this rustic yet elegant upcycled lamp would create a perfect reading nook in a living room.
Lego lamp! Well, not quite, but you can play with it to your heart's content. Start with a classic lamp shape, then disassemble and reassemble around the illuminated plexiglass core to create different gaps for light to shine through. The idea is to inspire creativity in the user (we feel kids would love it) – you can play not just with the solid form of the lamp, but also with the kind of illumination it casts. Hours of fun.
More upcycling, this time of steel pipes to create a cool, vintage industrial feel. Contrasted with sleek and modern furniture, this lamp is a smart little number.
Inspired by DIY, this lamp's jumble of wood pieces somehow combine to give it a considered style. It reminds us of a tree, and casts a similarly dappled light. Perfect for a dining or living room, or even a child's bedroom.
Tripod lamps come in a number of different styles – from Surveyor Tripod lamps, to photographer's spotlight style lamps, to half tripods. Taking inspiration from an antique style (the Surveyor lamps of yore) tripod lamps nonetheless give a very contemporary, studio feel to a room – think New York loft. The funky yellow shade on this one just adds to the appeal.
The Climbing Lamp is 'a flexible and bendable friend for every situation'. The first 1.5 metres of the four metre cable can be shaped to climb up a table, bookshelf, wall, or to just levitate, magically! The lamp shade can be pivoted and thus function as a spotlight. The 'body' of the lamp is made of recycled climbing rope that has already been put to good use in various locations around the world.