Light fixtures are the forgotten children in the interior design world. Wherever possible, homeowners will significantly cut back on the light fixture budget in favor of spending more on a throw rug or something. There is nothing wrong with thinking like this—it’s simply due to years of heavy advertising spending by home furnishing companies. The light fixture folks, it seems, prefer to spend their advertising budgets on other things. But it is still quite true that a floor lamp or ceiling fixture can actually be the finishing touch that ties the room together.
Light fixtures like the floor lamp have it tough because they must be both decorative and functional. Any coffee table will more or less support light objects laid upon it while its aesthetics will always be in the eyes of the beholder. But a floor lamp must also be pleasing for the owner to look at while also being functional and providing enough light for tasks. Plus, a floor lamp cannot produce glare or it becomes an impediment to work and may produce eye strain or perhaps even headaches.
Finding the perfect shade is the key to a floor lamp that is both beautiful and functional. Shades with ornate cloth patterns may look great in the daylight and the lamp off. But when the sun goes down and it comes time to turn the floor lamp on, the room is bathed in a somber glow and there are bright and dark spots on the shade. The floor lamp needs an opaque shade of light color so that it mutes the light coming off the bulb while still providing enough illumination to perform tasks.
Coordinating a unique shade between the floor lamp and other lighting fixtures such as table lamps is a simple idea that can add a lot of sophistication to the home. It is even possible to coordinate a floor lamp shade with smaller versions of the same shade on a chandelier or similar hanging fixture. Matching wall sconce shades add that subtle yet defining touch that completes any look.
In addition to matching the shades, it is also a great idea to coordinate the light fixture bases as well. If you have an antique brass base on your floor lamp, then try to find other lighting fixtures with the same type of base. Even if you have a Tiffany-style lamp shade with a nickel base, the fixture will seem out of place and poorly matched if the other light pieces have copper bases. Perfection is in the details so be sure to coordinate the base and shade of your floor lamp as closely as possible with the other fixtures for the best results.