- The bedside lamp is your major light source for the entire room as well as for reading in bed. Depending on the height of your nightstand (taller lamps for shorter tables, and vice versa), the top of your lampshade should be from 24 to 29 inches from the tabletop. "The dinky lamp is a no-no," Elaine Griffin says, but use a smaller lamp (such as No. 9) on a second table to avoid overkill.
- Designers often place a wall-mounted lamp (such as No. 10) above the bed, which not only saves precious space on the nightstand but also can be swiveled closer to your page than a table lamp. Elaine loves the classic Hinson and its numerous spin-offs.
- Besides your main bedside lamp, use smaller lamps to create soft pools of light around the room. And don't depend on ceiling fixtures. "The only time you should turn on the overhead light in your bedroom is to see whether your sock is black or blue," Elaine says.
- Decoupage gives an urn-shaped base a romantic look ($1,760, Carson & Co.).
- In a pattern-rich room, an all-glass lamp keeps things clean ($750, Nicole Farhi/202).
- A polished-nickel base balances a flashy silk shade ($240, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams).
- A teardrop shape is complemented by pale tones ($199.99, Thomasville Furniture).
- This glass-ball lamp is both elegant and affordable ($49.54, Wal-Mart).
- Mosaic tiles glitter on Carlo dal Bianco's design ($4,250, Bisazza Home Collection).
- For a hot color combination, we topped a silver candlestick-shaped base with a shade covered in a turquoise damask print (wallpaper, Designers Guild through Osborne & Little; lamp, $240, Chris Madden for JCPenney Home Collection).
- A turned-wood base goes modern with a glossy finish ($78, PB Teen).
- Aluminum folds around a braided cord in this clever design by Alexander Taylor for Established &38; Sons ($125, Smallpond).
- The grandmother of all swing-arm lamps gets a splashy chevron shade (fabric, Decorators Walk; lamp, $540, Hinson Lighting).
- Laura Kirar's oiled-bronze lamp resembles peeled orange halves ($1,540, Baker). The lamps sit atop, (from left) a side table by Paul Laszlo (Donzella Ltd.), a white-lacquered Lido table (Niedermaier), and a writing/vanity table, also by Paul Laszlo. The Chinese Art Deco carpet is from ABC Carpet & Home; Alexander Beauchamp's silver-swirl Castara wallpaper is from Stark Wallcovering.
Get the "Liberace effect" in your bathroom.