The Real Reason Designers Never Use Overhead Lighting

floor lamps for living room
10 Next-Level Floor Lamps for Your Living RoomWest Elm

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If you’ve ever tried to snap a photo indoors and noticed you look a bit goblin-like, you can thank your overhead lights. More often than not, your best bet for the most flattering light is floor lamps for living rooms. Why living rooms, you may ask? Technically, a floor lamp can go in any space, but the living room is often the biggest and features the most natural light. So if you’re ready to part ways with your recessed lighting, you’ll need a good floor lamp, and these are our favorites.

From an Anthropologie find covered entirely in mossy-colored velvet to a midcentury-inspired glass globe shade, these are the best floor lamps out there. "Floor lamps can be a workhorse for your room and can serve so many different needs depending on whether you need a functional reading nook or ambient lighting," AnthroLiving's Chief Merchandising Manager Louie Higaki tells House Beautiful.

We also considered everything from price to style so that everyone—no matter how small their space–can find something that works. Speaking of small spaces, a few of our top picks come with built-in end tables so that you don’t have to find floor space for both a lamp and a table. You can’t beat multi-functional furniture. "Additionally, if you're looking for a lot of light, I favor floor lamps that have multiple bulbs," Higaki shares. "I also love arched floor lamps that can be sculptural and functional."

Another favorite of ours? A white-painted iron piece that’s made by hand in a family-owned studio outside Florence, Italy. No matter what you're looking for, you'll find it here. Did we mention that quite a few of the lamps below are on sale? So if you want to score something luxurious for your living room without having to shell out more than you’d like, you’re in luck. One of our favorite pieces is only $50! Without further delay, go on and shop.

Lulu Floor Lamp

You may not be able to tell from the photo, but every inch of this floor lamp—from the tapered pillar to the traditional shade—is adorned in a mossy-hued velvet. The only exception is the brass hardware, which you can hardly see. It also comes in an equally sultry blush pink, but we're loving the moodiness of the green.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Lulu Floor Lamp</p><p>$898.00</p><p></p><span class="copyright">Anthropologie</span>

Cane Floor Lamp

This Industry West find is a unique twist on the classic tripod floor lamp. The element of surprise? The square-shaped cane lampshade generally boasts a more bohemian flair than the architectural base. We love the unexpected combination, though. Not only does it add a moment of visual interest, but it starts a conversation: Should we mix design eras and styles within one piece or should we lean into tradition? If you want something a bit softer than dark navy blue, opt for the natural or green finish.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Cane Floor Lamp</p><p>$890.00</p><p></p><span class="copyright">Industry West</span>

Dimmable Floor Lamp

We love a dimmable floor lamp and this Amazon find has to be our favorite. Not only is it affordable (it's on sale for just $50), but it's stylish with an industrial-chic flair. What's more, the head (the part with the shade) is completely rotatable and can turn up to 90 degrees). Get it in any of the four finishes, including the matte black pictured, rose gold, brushed nickel, or yellow gold.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Dimmable Floor Lamp</p><p>$49.99</p><p></p><span class="copyright">Amazon</span>

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Dimmable Floor Lamp



Cortland Floor Lamp

From the beaded knobs to the sculpted three-pronged base, Frontgate's Cortland floor lamp is elegant in all the right ways. It also comes in two finishes, antique silver or brass, and three shade colors. It's so minimal that it will pair well with just about anything, so feel free to incorporate it into a space that can use a touch of light.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Cortland Floor Lamp</p><p>$709.97</p><p></p><span class="copyright">Frontgate</span>

Minimalist Tray Table Floor Lamp

There's nothing we appreciate more than a piece of furniture that works double-duty, and this lamp is no exception. Not only does it provide a slightly diffused glow through its chrome-colored glass shade, but it also serves as a drinks table. It also comes in a gold finish, but we're partial to the black, which looks like something James Bond would keep in his sitting room.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Minimalist Tray Table Floor Lamp </p><p>$159.99</p><p></p><span class="copyright">Homary</span>

Springview Floor Lamp

Another floor lamp that also functions as a small table? This bohemian-inspired find is from Serena & Lily. Though most Serena & Lily furniture boasts that coveted coastal look, this piece gets its shape from a traditional bobbin (also called spool) furniture, which made its way onto the design scene in 17th-century Europe. Here's how you can tell: It's on the heavy side (as opposed to being dainty) and features those little nobs along the base, a telltale characteristic of bobbin furniture.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Springview Floor Lamp</p><p>$998.00</p><p></p><span class="copyright">Serena & Lily</span>

Giuliana Floor Lamp

How elegant is this floor lamp? All of the pieces in Arhaus's Giuliana collection are hand-made and finished by a boutique, family-owned studio outside of Florence, Italy, which explains its noble European look. It may look as delicate as the flower atop the base, but it's actually made of super sturdy iron with a hand-painted white finish.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Giuliana Floor Lamp</p><p>$1299.00</p><p></p><span class="copyright">Arhaus</span>

Staggered Glass 5-Light Floor Lamp

West Elm is most well known for its midcentury modern-inspired furniture, but every now and then, the brand throws a piece like this at us. It's contemporary in every way and we're admittedly obsessed. From the scattered globes to the glossy base, it's an easy statement piece to outfit any room. In fact, snag it in a set of two and use them to flank a sofa or bed.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Staggered Glass 5-Light Floor Lamp</p><p>$279.20</p><p></p><span class="copyright">West Elm</span>

Delaney Marble Floor Lamp

How many lamp-tables are too many lamp-tables? Personally, we don't think there should be a limit—especially if you live in a small space with no overhead lighting. It also comes in a moody bronze if you want to add a bit of drama to your space.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Delaney Marble Floor Lamp</p><p>$449.00</p><p></p><span class="copyright">Pottery Barn</span>

Finley Floor Lamp

At first glance, this Studio Sucio-designed piece looks like a traditional table lamp, but upon closer inspection, you'll realize it's actually a regular-sized floor lamp. The coolest part is that, unlike any other floor lamps on our list, this one is adjustable. You can raise or lower the height to find your ideal light. Plus, because the shade is black linen (as opposed to the traditional white polyester silk), it casts a dark, diffused light.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Finley Floor Lamp</p><p>$329.00</p><p></p><span class="copyright">Crate & Barrel</span>

What to Look for in a Foor Lamp

Switch Adjustability: If you're not looking for the classic pull-chain style floor lamp and would rather avoid bending down to rotate a floor switch, it is important to take note of the operating function. Some lamps offer a dimmer to adjust brightness on the pole and others There are even floor lamps that include remotes so you can avoid getting up to dim the light. Another user-friendly option is a foot switch that flicks on and off. Keep your light bulb in an easy-to-reach area if your floor lamp is hands-on.

Height: For shorter ceilings, a floor lamp under 50 inches can possibly give the illusion of depth in your space, but it will get lost in a home with tall ceilings. Choose a lamp that stands out in style and height so it doesn't look like it's in the way of your existing decor. Before adding a lamp to your cart, measure what is the eye-level length of your bed, couch, or desk to create the correct proportions in your home.

Lighting: Depending on the shade your floor lamp has, your light source can either shine bright or emit a soft glow. Lampshades can include a frosted finish that helps tame bright light bulbs, a fabric drum to help direct the light, and a metal frame to hold up the light bulb. Or you can choose an exposed light bulb in the traditional, Edison style.

Most floor lamps don't include a light bulb unless it is a LED operating lamp. Lamps are usually compatible with LED bulbs, but brands will list the suggested bulb for each style. Smart homes can also opt for a floor lamp that is compatible with their devices. Give Google or Alexa the task of setting the mood from wherever you are in your home!

Style and Function: There are countless options to choose from for every aesthetic and purpose. Are you looking for a task light? Or are you looking for a statement piece? You can also consider if your home offers window and overhead light to choose what still looks best. Choose from three lamps: globe lamps, pharmacy lamps, arc lamps, and more. The style of your floor lamp can be broken down by a swinging lamp arm or a bendable arm that contours to where you need it. You can find a floor lamp in an array of colors beyond black and gold like the options selected above.

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Types of Floor Lamps

When it comes to the type of floor lamp, there are a few options to consider. That said, they all do the same thing—provide additional lighting—so the type of floor lamp is more indicative of the style than it is function.

Swing Arm: As its name implies, a swing arm lamp is one whose shade is situated atop a rotating arm that juts out—often at a 90-degree angle—to the base.

Club Lamp: A club lamp is another name for a traditional floor lamp. You have a vertical base and a head, which is covered by a lampshade. There are rarely any funky design details.

Tree Lamp: Tree lamps are lamps with several sources of light that protrude off the base, much like branches on a tree. We have a few tree lamps on our list above. These are much more eye-catching than the traditional club lamps.

Task Lamp: Task lamps are kind of like mini spotlights. Rather than cast light in a general area like most floor lamps do, task lamps concentrate the light on a specific place, which is why the shades are rarely sheer.

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Why trust us?

We searched high and low for the best floor lamps for living room and we did not come up empty-handed. In fact, our list is full of pieces that range in both price and style, so everyone is bound to find something that works for their space.

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