12 Table Lamps That Light Up Your Living Room

lamp with metal  base and white shade

When you look around your living room and want to enhance the space, what is the first thing that comes to mind? You can easily add the right touch of elegance with a table lamp. A table lamp can transform the ambiance in your space with the type of shade and the setting of the bulb. It can also enhance the colors and complete the style of your room. The right table lamp can make all the difference.

How Do I Choose a Table Lamp for My Living Room?

With so many beautiful and distinctive lamps available, deciding on the right lamp can be a challenge. Not because they are hard to find, but because you find that there are so many you like. It’s essential to be prepared and consider several factors to get the one that goes with and suits your living room. A little bit of planning will help you find the table lamp you love.

Consider Size and Scale

Consider the size of your room and the size of the table you want to put it on. If the lamp is too big, it will look out of place and overpower a small room. It will also look out of proportion if placed on a small table. This quick formula can help: the lamp height should not be more than 1.25 times the table height.

Determine the Perfect Height

Getting the height right will keep the overall look of your living room balanced. Generally, the height of your table lamp should be between 58-64 inches from the floor to the top of the lamp, including the finial. This is why the height of the table is important. The shorter the table, the taller the lamp.

However, ceiling height may also play a role in lamp height. If your living room has high ceilings, look for lamps at the taller end of the spectrum. For standard ceilings 8-feet in height, a good range for your lamp is 26-33 inches. For higher ceilings, you can go with a lamp that is 31-36 inches high.

Table Top Width and Depth

As a general rule, the lampshade should not hang over the edges of the table. If the top of your table measures 22 inches, lampshade width is usually not an issue. If your table is narrower, say 18 inches or less, then your lampshade should be equal to or less than the narrowest part of the table.

Material, Color, and Shape of Your Lampshade

If the material of your lampshade is translucent and the color is lighter, the lamp will provide more ambient light. Non-translucent or darker shades will give off more focused light, and are great for creating drama.

In general, bell or conical shapes are used for traditional lamps, and drum shape is more contemporary or modern. You can give a traditional lamp an updated look by using a drum lampshade.

Where Should a Lamp Be Placed in a Living Room?

Because table lamps are portable and come in a wide variety of styles, they are one of the most versatile pieces in your living room. When deciding where to place your lamp, consider how it will enhance the function of your room as well as the style. First, consider what you do in the space. Place a lamp on a table next to a chair where you read or write. If you have a TV in your living room, place a table lamp nearby to avoid eyestrain.

If you want to highlight a special piece of art, a collectible, or a painting, set a lamp on top of a console table underneath a picture or next to your object of art, vacation souvenir, or framed photograph so that the lamp can draw attention to it when lit. In addition, you can soften the mood in your living room by placing table lamps around the edges to make the space feel more inviting. Placing a lamp on top of shelves, accent tables, and console tables will create a warm, cheery atmosphere.

Different Styles of Table Lamps

There are as many styles of table lamps as there are styles of furniture. It is not always desirable or necessary to match the style of the lamp to the table or space. But it is important to consider the character of your space. Keep that in mind as you hunt for the best table lamp for your living room.

Modern Contemporary

Modern and contemporary style table lamps for living rooms come in many unique shapes and sizes. You’ll find interesting and quirky bases in materials such as crystal, metal, and ceramics. You’ll also find geometric shapes and unique bases.

Pluto 19 Inch Table Lamp by Hubbardton Forge

A great example of minimalist contemporary style, the Pluto table lamp by Hubbardton Forge gives your living room a modern contemporary vibe. Its understated style is perfect for a living room that overlooks the bright lights of the city.

brass modern lamp with white shade

Aerin Clarkson 17 Inch Desk Lamp by Visual Comfort and Co.

Can you imagine the sleek and polished Aerin Clarkson desk lamp by Visual Comfort in your uptown living room? The conical white linen shade directs light exactly where you want it. The barely-there brass stand adds just enough shine to make a statement.

lamp with crystal leaves and fun finial

Forget-Me-Not 32 Inch Table Lamp by Currey and Company

The Forget-Me-Not lamp by Currey and Company brings a warm glow and a bit of romance to an otherwise minimalist space. The drum shade and unique base give a contemporary feel to an otherwise more traditional lamp.


Traditional style is known for its rich, warm, and inviting feel. There’s plenty of room for interpretation when you add traditional style table lamps to your living room. They come in all shapes and styles, and the familiarity of the style appeals to all ages.

traditional lamp with marble  base

Michael S Smith Crescent 27 Inch Table Lamp by Visual Comfort and Co.

The natural quartz stone finish of the Michael S Smith Crescent table lamp by Visual Comfort puts a fresh look on traditional style. Placed on a round table, you have a juxtaposition of shapes that keeps things interesting. The paper shade glows up the room when lit, throwing gentle light with soft appeal.

Leafy Artichoke 20 Inch Table Lamp by Regina Andrew

Everyone knows that pineapples mean welcome and friendship, but not many know that artichokes symbolize hope and love. With the Leafy Artichoke table lamp by Regina Andres, hope and love are definitely in your future. It adds a touch of whimsy and charm against a background of dark wood.

traditional urn lamp

E.F. Chapman Classical Urn 24 Inch Table Lamp by Visual Comfort and Co.

There’s nothing more traditional than the classic urn shape, and E.F. Chapman’s Classical Urn Table Lamp by Visual Comfort gives it new life with the grey marble finish and black shade. This lamp is also available in antique burnished brass with a white shade. Either one will give your living room a warm, welcoming glow.


A marriage of traditional and contemporary, transitional style bridges the past and the present. When you choose transitional style lamps for your living room, you’re putting a contemporary twist on a classic style, blending warmth to sophisticated minimalism.

lamp with wood base and white shade

ED Ellen DeGeneres Redmond 19 Inch Table Lamp by Generation Lighting

The epitome of transitional style, the ED Ellen DeGeneres Redmond table lamp by Generation Lighting juxtaposes contemporary and traditional style with the warm, weathered oak base and pewter hardware. The strong angles are softened by the warm wood finish.

lamp with crystal base and white shade

Phat 26 Inch Table Lamp by Regina Andrew

The perfect example of a traditional shape re-imagined in a contemporary material, the Phat table lamp by Regina Andrew provides understated illumination to your living room. Its clean lines blend with any style, while the solid, hand-polished crystal base makes it stand out as an artful addition to your space.

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern style table lamps for living rooms feature clean lines and geometric shapes that represent a true blend of form and function. Whether your style is complete mid-century or an eclectic mix, one of these lamps will add texture and interest to your home.

lamp with metal base and white shade

Delta 22 Inch Table Lamp by Robert Abbey

Nothing brings the drama like the polished gold, glazed ceramic base and white parchment shade on the Delta table lamp by Robert Abbey. But wait, there’s more. The shade features a gold mylar lining that gives it just a little bit extra panache and style. Stunning in a black and white color palette.

fun desk lamps at angles

Anglepoise Desk-Task Lamps

Showing off the quirky side of mid-century modern, these Anglepoise Desk-Task Lamps highlight special pieces in your home with a sense of fun. Smaller and angular, you can easily move them to direct the light right where you want it. They make a statement together and are supremely functional on their own.


Adding rustic style table lamps to your living room gives it a unique, hand-made feel. They combine materials such as ceramic, wood, metal, and glass to create a neutrally unique look that stands out in your home.

blue and white rustic lamp

Mali 28 Inch Table Lamp by Regina Andrew

One of our newest pieces, the Mali table lamp by Regina Andrew, is a fresh take on classic blue and white. Crafted by master artisans, it has an elegant look that adds drama and flair. The rustic details and natural elements give your living room style warmth and depth.

rustic minimalist lamp

Stasis 28 Inch Table Lamp by Hubbardton Forge

For example, the Stasis table lamp by Hubbardton Forge brings understated style into your living room. Understated but not unnoticed, as people often pause to figure exactly how the careful balance of gently curved hand-forged iron merges with elegant glass to create a pleasing whole.

If you are looking for the best table lamps for your living room, stop into a Capitol Lighting showroom near you to see our entire collection of table lamps. Or schedule a virtual appointment with a certified lighting specialist.


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