Floor Lamp Placement and Decorating Ideas for Living Room

Having lights in your home make it beautiful, a joy to behold. Not only does light provide visibility, it also sets the mood inside your home.

Do you want to show an exuberant mood or a calm mood or just a classic old-school mood? These are things adequate lighting can help you achieve.

A floor lamp is one of the most important light elements of a home. Apart from providing light, it’s part of the design of a room. It’s important to understand what you need from a floor lamp before making a choice.

floor lamp

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What are the usual reasons you would need a floor lamp in your room?

For ambient lighting: you could have a floor lamp in your living room to contribute to the overall lighting of the room. If you’re using a floor lamp for this, it will determine the type you buy and where you place it.

For reading or task lighting: for many others, your floor lamp could mainly be a reading lamp or set at a location where you perform other tasks. This would determine the height of your lamp, the color of the lamp shade, the type of the bulb and other things.

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For design: in some cases, a floor lamp could be chosen to fit in to the overall theme of your room. Definitely it would serve as ambient lighting, but it’s seen most importantly as a design element of your room to set the tone.

In cases like these, the design elements of your floor lamp like its color and the material used to make its stand would have to fit into the general design theme of your room.

Floor lamp Vs. table lamp

Floor lamps and table lamps are similar in many ways. But their differences also means they are used in different settings and provide different looks.

What are the things you need to know about the basic differences between a floor lamp and a table lamp? Which situations are more suitable for a floor lamp? Which requires a table lamp?

First of all, the first and basic difference between a floor lamp and a table lamp is their design.

Price: getting a floor lamp or table lamp depends on the design of the lamp and how much you really want to spend. You’ll find many floor lamps for under $50. You’ll also find many floor lamps between $50 and $100.

If you want floor lamps with better designs and functionality, you’ll find many that are above the $100 mark and even some that are above $500.

For instance, you can get a good tripod floor lamp between $50 and $100. You can also find a good arc lamp for under $100 and even some with 3 or more lamps for a bit over $100. Many task lamps comes at a price below $100 and you’ll find something suitable for your room.

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Shelf lamps are a bit more expensive than the other types and you can find good options between $100 and $300. But even for this type of lamp, there are good options below $100.

The table lamp is generally cheaper than the floor lamp but the price you’ll pay depends on the design and materials used to make the lamp.

You’ll find many options for under $50 if you’re in the market for a table lamp. If you’re in the market for a task lamp, you’ll find many options for under $50.

A wooden table lamp is more expensive than a task lamp. There are few options below $50 and you’ll find many options above $100 and some even more expensive than $200. There are many lamps above $100 if you’re looking for a high-end option.

Height: The height of the floor lamp is usually between 58 and 64 inches. The table lamps are usually between 30 and 36 inches tall. One thing you must note though is that the total height of the table combined with the table lamp is usually similar to that of the floor lamp.

Most tables for table lamps are between 27 and 30 inches. Many times, the height of your table will determine the height of your table lamp. For instance, if you have a tall table, your table lamp will be short to maintain the combination height. If you have a short table, then your table lamp will be taller.

Even though the name table lamp sounds restrictive as only a short lamp for the table, you can place your table lamp on other surfaces in your room.

For instance, you can place a table lamp on the fireplace if it’s a bit dark there. This provides light and also improves the design of that area of your room.

In this case though, the combination of the fireplace and your table lamp will usually be taller than the height range stated earlier. It’s okay in this situation as your lamp is used for a different application.

In situations where the table has enough base surface, table lamps are commonly used beside chairs in the living room.

When a table is picked for this application, the height of the table should be on level with the arm of the chair. This makes it comfortable to place a glass of wine you’re holding or a book on the table. If a table is used for the bedside, the height of the table should be uniform with the height of the bed.

This makes it easy to place anything you’re holding on the table without. It’s also easy to put off the light before sleeping and and put it on when you wake up. If you love to read before you sleep, your table could serve as your mini reading table.

Like I said earlier, these two applications are common for the table lamp. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t use the floor lamp for those functions too. In fact, there are floor lamps that are attached to a table as a single device.

There are also tables that has holes in the middle of their top where you can fit in your floor lamp. It really comes down to your preference and what design suits your living room better.

While reading outside the house, it’s common to see a floor lamp in usage. It would be more difficult to move a table and a table lamp around rather than a single unit when you consider the floor lamp.

Some people don’t need a table surface at all in this scenario. But even if you need one, you could buy a floor lamp that has a table surface attached to it. This surface is big enough to place your book and your drink if you prefer to enjoy that while reading.

A floor lamp could also be more suitable for design purposes. For instance, flowers could be placed on the surface beneath a floor lamp. What a beautiful sight to behold when the floor lamp is on in the night.

If you want a lamp in your study area, you could have a table lamp on your reading table. But if you need as much space on your reading table as possible, using a floor-type lamp could be your best option.

Also if you have a work table where you need light close to the surface, this lamp is probably your best option as you can easily turn it to different areas where you need it.

Where to put floor lamp in living room

There are many locations for your lamps in your living room. This depends on the type of lamp you’re using and the type of design you want to create in your living room. What are some common locations?

Behind the chair: if you’re using an arc lamp, you’ll find a suitable place behind the chair.

Beside the chair: this is common for lamps like the glass tray floor lamp. You can use these lamps for reading and can place your books on the surface.

Beside the window: if you have big windows that stretch from the floor to ceiling, you can have your lamps beside the window.

Beside the fireplace: you can also have your lamp here, both for lighting and design purposes.

Best reading floor lamp reviews

There are many types of floor lamps that suits your reading needs. Whether you’re enjoying a novel in the yard, or reading a magazine in your living room, or going through some company reports in your bedroom study, there are different types of lamps you can use. I’ll be talking about some of them here.

1. Arc floor lamp

An arc lamp offers you both style and functionality. The arc floor lamp is made from different materials and you also have options in some lamps where you can adjust the length of the stands.

This lamp can work in most types of settings where you need to read. It provides focused light at the location you want to read. One thing you don’t get with the arc lamp is that there is no surface you can keep your books or magazines.

One of the popular types of arc lamps are those made with steel. These are usually for modern settings. One example is shown below.

Here is an example of an arc lamp made with wood and can be moved around easily. You can find many other options depending on the design needs of your room.

One unique arc floor lamp you can find on the market is the Brightech Sparq Arc LED Floor lamp. It lacks the conventional lamp shade and just has what looks like a stand. The light is built into the stand.

The lamp has a height of 66 inches but it can be adjusted to go lower if you need it to be. It also has a 9-inch diameter round weighted base to keep it standing.

It comes with a 15-watt power-saving LED fixture. This helps the lamp to stay cool even after many hours of usage. There are 3 levels of brightness and you can dim your lamp if it’s too bright for you.

According to Brightech, this LED light will last for more than 20 years which is probably enough for a single lamp.

An arc lamp that uses a steel stand and has a shade is the Rivet Steel Arc Floor Lamp. This lamp has a height of 69 inches. One thing you’ll notice with the arc lamps is that they’re usually taller than other types of floor lamps due to their design. In many cases, the height of the stand exceeds that of the light source.

It has a weight of 17 pounds which is mostly due to the base which keeps it standing. But it’s still light enough to move around if you want to do that. It comes with a 150-watt bulb for effective use of the lamp.

2. Tripod floor lamp

This type of lamps have 3 stands for your lamp. It’s suitable for use in the living room and in your study area. It lacks a surface you can place your books on which means you need a table or another surface for that.

The tripod of your lamp can be made with many materials including steel, plastic, or even wood.

A good example of the tripod floor lamp is the Catalina Lighting 19014-001 3-way tripod floor lamp. It has a height of 59 inches. Its tripod stands are made of brushed steel. It has variations that have black and bronze stands.

It doesn’t come with a bulb but it supports a 150-watt incandescent bulb. One advantage is that you can also use an LED equivalent if that suits your design more.

You can control the level of illumination from this lamp with its 3-way rotary switch which allow you to switch between low, medium, and high.

This lamp weighs 3.7 pounds which makes it a great option if you need to move it around. Even a child would find it light enough to carry around.

3. Floor lamp with end table

There are floor lamps that combine what you have with a traditional table and a table lamp. These floor lamps provides an adequate surface you can place your book or magazines and also a storage space beneath the surface where you can keep the books.

The Marville Mission Style Swing Arm Floor Lamp With End Table is a floor lamp that has these features. It has a total height of 55 inches.

The table dimensions are 20 inches long by 14 inches wide by 23 inches high. It has the capacity of taking a 150-watt bulb which could be incandescent, LED, halogen, or CFL.

4. Glass tray floor lamp

This lamp gives you most of what you have with the combination of a table and a table lamp. The glass tray floor lamp provides a glass surface on the stand where you can place your book. It’s especially useful for pleasure reading in the bedroom, living room, or even outside the house.

The stand are made of different materials like steel, wood, etc. Apart from being a good reading lamp, it also improves the beauty of any room it’s placed.

5. Downbridge floor lamp

This lamp looks similar to the arc lamp. The main difference is that this lamp has a curved attachment to the straight stand. The light and the shade are attached to this curved attachment.

The light is also directed downwards like the arc lamp. The Threshold black Downbridge Floor lamp is one model of this type of lamp. It has a steel finish.

It has a height of 62 inches. It has a provision for a 29-watt CFL bulb or a 100-watt incandescent bulb. It weighs 13.55 pounds which makes it a bit heavy but can still be carried if there’s a need to.

6. Shelf floor lamp

As the name implies, this type of lamp could have 2 or 3 shelves. This gives you options to place your flowers and your books.

An example of a shelf floor lamp is the Brightech – Maxwell LED Shelf Floor lamp. It has a white shade and a wooden frame. The wooden frame comes in different colors like black, havana brown, natural wood, and walnut brown.

It has a height of 63 inches and has 3 tiers of shelves. It utilizes a 9.5-watt LED power saving bulb that can last up to 20 years. It has a weight of 11.6 pounds which is a bit heavy. Although due to its design, this is not a floor lamp that will be moved around frequently.

7. Translucent floor lamp

If you want light to penetrate through your shade, then you should pick a floor lamp that has a translucent shade. There is more illumination with a translucent shade than an opaque type.

This is the most common type of lamp shade available today.

8. Opaque floor lamp

This lamp has a shade that lets no light out. Sometimes, you can use this type of lamp in your study if you want no glare into your eyes. Sometimes, it may just come down to a design decision rather than effectiveness for reading.

Both options are effective for reading and you can still read conveniently no matter the choice of the lamp you make.

Decorating with floor lamps

One of the major reasons people use floor lamps in their living room or bedroom is for decoration purposes. When decorating with floor lamps in your room, there are many considerations you need to make.

Theme of the room

One consideration is the theme of your room. Does it have wooden walls and furniture? You should probably use a wooden floor lamp too. This is one example of such design.

You can see that the apartment has wooden walls and it has that general theme. That’s why a floor lamp with a wooden stand goes with the overall theme of this room. A floor lamp with a metal stand will not fit in like this.

This is another example of a room where the floor lamp blends with the theme of the room to provide beautiful decoration.

The white color of the floor lamp goes with the color of most of the items in the room which is also white.

This is a room where most of the furniture are brown in color and the overall theme of the room goes with that.

The floor lamp in this room also has the brown color which makes it beautiful as it goes with the theme.

This doesn’t mean that the color of your floor lamp always has to be the same with the color of your furniture or the common color in the room. In some cases, your floor lamp could have a different color. But this color has to complement the theme of your room.

Check this floor lamp out.

Even though the shade has a different color, it still makes the room beautiful from a decoration point of view.


One other consideration to make when using your floor lamp for decorating your room is the position you have to place it in the room. Placing it at the wrong position can make your decoration bland rather than unique.

If there’s an area in your room that’s dark, a floor lamp could be placed in such an area to illuminate the area. Apart from providing light in such an area, it also makes your room beautiful from a decorative point of view.

There are two popular locations for the floor lamp: around the couch and other locations. Whether your floor lamp is the arc type or the ornamental type, you have to consider if it fits around the couch area.

Even though it’s the conventional way, it could be the most beautiful option you have for your room. You can also veer away from the normal and place your lamp at a place where you think it’ll enhance the beauty of the room.

This is an example that shows an arc floor lamp behind a couch. This makes the room beautiful from a design point of view.

This is another example of a floor lamp that’s located in another spot in the room other than around the couch. You can see that this location really suits the lamp and brings out the beauty of the room.

Translucent or opaque

The most common shade you’ll see today is probably the translucent shade. A floor lamp with this shade provides more light than a lamp with an opaque shade.

But while choosing a floor lamp to decorate your room, you don’t have to always use a translucent shade. Sometimes, an opaque shade will bring out the beauty of your room.

One of the decisions you have to make is whether a translucent shade or an opaque one will suit the overall setting of your room.

This is an example of a floor lamp design that has an opaque shade but still looks beautiful, especially when you look at the effect of the light on the wall.

In this case, both the location of the floor lamp and the opaque shade brings out the the beauty of that area of the room.

Floor lamp next to TV

When watching TV in your living, room you want to reduce the amount of light entering into your TV to make sure you have a good watching experience. A floor lamp in the living room that shines into your TV may need to be put off while watching the TV.

But you can have your lamps on if you situate them next to your TV. You have to situate them at the sides of your TV but far enough so that the light doesn’t get into the TV.

In this case, you may find floor lamps with opaque shades more suitable to your needs.

Floor lamp next to couch

One of the most common positions for a floor lamp in the living room is beside the couch. It can serve both reading and design purposes. Sometimes you can have a single lamp beside a couch or have two lamps on each side of the couch.

A floor lamp placed beside the couch should have a color similar to the color of the couch or that complements the theme of your room.

Can you put a floor lamp behind a chair?

One other popular location for lamps is behind a chair. This is especially common for arc lamps and downbridge lamps as their illumination is directed towards a portion of the chair.

In the image above, you can see an arc lamp positioned behind the chair that illuminates into a portion of the chair.

Floor lamp in front of window

A floor-based lamp could find a place by the window side when you have a window that stretches from the floor to the ceiling. In this case, the lamp doesn’t obstruct the light coming from the window during the day.

If you have a small window, you don’t want to put a lamp there as it might obstruct light during the day. This would lead to another problem of poor illumination during the day which you can avoid.

This is an example of a floor-type lamp in front of the window. This is a window that is big and can’t be obstructed by the lamp.

Floor lamps for sewing

If you’re a fashion designer or want to pursue your sewing hobby in the evenings when you’re less busy, a craft floor lamp would be a need for you. With a craft floor lamp, you can illuminate your work area to help you do the best job possible.

One such lamp is the OttLite 24 watt Floor Lamp. The neck of this lamp can adjust between 46 inches to 66 inches which is great for your work.

It has a 24-watt bulb that lasts up to 10,000 hours.

Should lamps match in living room?

This is an important question to ask if you plan to have more than a single floor lamp in your living room. The beautiful thing is that there is no single answer to that question. A single answer will probably restrict your creative prowess which is not what we like to do.

The most common is to have lamps that match in a living room. This is not a fast rule. If floor lamps having different colors suits the design of your living room, then so be it.

In this living room shown below, all the lamps in the room have matching colors and it makes the room looks beautiful.

However, this room shows a case of two different colors of floor lamps that come out well.

The two major things you notice about the two lamps is that one looks extremely big while the other looks small in comparison.

Another thing to note is that the color of the shade of the big lamp is purple while that of the small one is white. The purple color goes with that of the chairs and the white goes with the edges of the chairs and the white fireplace.

How many lamps in living room?

There is no hard and fast rule that specifies the number of lamps that may be in a room. The number of lamps in a room will depend on:

Design of the room: A minimalist design most times will only require a single floor lamp in the room. However, an expressive design, even for the same room size, may end up having two or three lamps.

In a living room, it’s normal to have more lamps than the bedroom. This is usually because the living room needs more illumination than the bedroom. But when illumination has been provided by other light sources, you may only need a single lamp to catch up on those magazines.

In fact, in another case, you may have a floor or table lamp in the same room so far it suits your design.

Size of the room: all things being equal, a small room will require less illumination compared to a relatively large room. This is why you could see a bedroom using 3 floor lamps while you have a living room using a single one. A living room that has a single couch, or two, may find one lamp enough for its needs.

Over to You

Choosing a floor lamp for decorating your living room requires a lot of thought. Placing it in the right position requires even more thought. Getting these wrong could make your living room look like a soulless mismatch of different elements.

One thing you must note though. Not all these ideas will work in your living room. But you can pick an idea that goes with the design of your living room and customize it to your taste.

You can build on any of these ideas and create a living room that is unique. Utilizing your floor lamps properly will go a long way in achieving this.