KENTUCKY HOMES & GARDENS - By Christina Noll - May/June 2016
More than just a light source, eclectic lamps can set the entire tone of a room.
When it comes to your home’s lighting, an easy way to give any room an extra spark of style is with an eclectic lamp or two.
Eclectic design combines multiple styles, materials, textures and time-period influences. It should be pleasing to the eye and most importantly, it should be a lamp you enjoy seeing in your home. In other words: not a basic table lamp.
Almost any object can be turned into a lamp, with the help of a professional. “An object can be turned into a lamp with balance, once a shade, a base and a finial are added,” explains Mark Shawk, with The Lamp Place in Lexington.
Shawk is known as “The Lamp Man,” and for good reason. He’s been working with lamps for over thirty years and has a certain sense of what will work. His number one piece of advice for lamp shopping: “Buy a lamp that turns you on versus a lamp you can just turn on.”
Keep in mind that where you plan to use the lamp is just as important as what it looks like. “Application matters,” says Ellie Carrico, Lighting Consultant with Brecher’s Lighting in Louisville. “You have to consider function and aesthetics. Will it be sitting on a buffet table in a formal dining room or an end table in a den? Will you be using it daily or for special occasions? Most importantly, is it a major source of light in the space?”
Shawk agrees. “Some situations call for a very basic choice, while an unusual lamp might appeal to the homeowner and they will find a place for it. It depends on where the homeowner plans to use the lamp.”
No matter how you plan to use them, lamps are always a good choice for lighting in a home. “Lamps provide an opportunity to ‘set the stage’ with lighting,” says Shawk. “Overhead lighting does a job but it is less specific; lamps are providing the accent or focused lighting.”
Both types of lighting are needed in many cases. “Lamps seem to be an after thought for a lot of people,” says Carrico. “I like to stress that different levels and types of lighting are something that canreally make the room.”
When choosing the right lamp for your home, Carrico recommends that you first consider the other pieces you have in the space—furniture, art, and upholstery. Also take note of the other light sources in the room. “Lighting can completely transform the space and enhance what you already have going on in a room,” she says.
You should also choose a lamp and lampshade that reflect your personal tastes. “An eclectic lamp brings a new look or adds to what you already have in the room,” says Shawk. To find your perfect lamp, it helps to think outside the box—meaning, outside a big box store. A custom lighting store, such as The Lamp Place or Brecher’s, offers uniquechoices you won’t find anywhere else. “Lots of times the choice of a lamp is like choosing a piece of art,” says Shawk. “Most customers come to our store looking for something to compliment their homes.”
A good eclectic lamp is also a great investment, explains Carrico, because you can take it with you if you move, change up your space by moving it to another room, or easily switch up the lampshade for a different look. Shawk adds, “Lamps offer both the lamp itself as a visual object, plus the light it radiates. Lamps can warm a room, emphasize a piece of furniture, direct ones attention, or welcome you to come into a room.”
1- Craftsman style table lamp from The Lamp Place.
3 - Indian head statue bookend lamps from The Lamp Place.
5 - Iron horse head statue lamp from The Lamp Place.