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A balanced lighting plan has fixtures at different height levels in the room and in at least three locations. Here, sconces beside the mirror cast gentle ambient light, while the bedside lamp offers focused light for reading.
Position a bedside lamp so the bottom of the shade is about 20 inches above the mattress. At that height it should clearly illuminate the page when you're reading in bed but not cast glare in your eyes.
Instead of the usual ceiling light, supply ambient light in the bedroom with a chandelier. Wire it to a dimmer switch so you can control the light level.
A dainty crystal chandelier supplies romantic illumination in this bedroom, and a bedside lamp offers practical task lighting. For drama, hang a small chandelier lower than normal, but be sure it's high enough so no one hits their head.
Keep the bedside lamp in scale with its table so it won't appear top-heavy. This slender, shapely lamp and conical shade match the tiny table's proportions.
Bedroom lighting can be subtler than lighting plans for other rooms in the house. This is a room for relaxing and sleeping, so keep the ambient lighting gentle.
A scrollwork chandelier with electrified candles provides overall lighting in this bedroom and contrasts with the furniture's straight lines. A candlestick lamp on the dresser banishes shadows in the corner, while a floor lamp sheds brighter task lighting on the breakfast table.
For a flirty finish on ordinary lamp shades, add tassel fringe. With matching shades to hold the look together, the lamp bases needn't even be identical--spice things up using a mix-and-match approach.
Wall sconces offer a dramatic alternative to bedside table lamps. In this bedroom, conical uplights wash the upper walls with light. If you opt for fixtures like this, wire them to dual switches, one within reach of the bed. That way, you can turn on the lights when you enter the room and turn them off after you get in bed.
Use accent lighting to spotlight special collections or features in the bedroom. Picture lights cast a glow on paintings hung against the bed curtains in this guest room, drawing attention to the distinctive bed treatment.
The half-tester canopies and curtains create a sheltered feeling; adding a painting makes the canopied space feel like a little room with its own light source.
Twin beds can share a bedside lamp if space is tight. Make sure the lamp is in scale with the space. A smaller lamp here would look unimportant, but a larger one would overwhelm things.
Keep color in mind, too. The dark shade and base of this lamp give it greater visual weight, balancing it with the tall headboards.
In addition to its functional role of providing task lighting, the bedside lamp has a decorative role as the star of a bedside tablescape.
Note how the painted-wood urn lamp on this English bamboo table leads the eye from the tabletop to the painted back of the bamboo table, the decorative plates, and a framed painting. This balanced grouping creates a secondary focal point beside the bed, giving your eye a pleasing place to rest.
Gooseneck lamps provide each bed with its own reading lamp in this guest room. The adjustable iron lamp bases offer flexibility for positioning the light at the right height for each person. The linear shape of the base and its metal finish coordinate with the shape and texture of the wrought iron beds, unifying the two elements.
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