Sunday, 21 August 2011

bedroom antics - lighting

Bedroom lighting has to fulfill a number of functions. You're likely to want a bedside light of some sort for convenience and for reading, but also good overall lighting so you can see what clothes you're putting on in the morning. As you're reading this blog, you are also probably interested in having something that looks good, as well as providing adequate lighting. Lets start with the obvious, the main light. I'm not going to look at lights that require wiring in here, as I think it's unlikely that a lot of renters will start messing around with their landlords electrics (I'm lucky in that I have a great landlord & a friend who's an electrician, my ceiling light is wired in but I've kept the original fixture to put back when I move out) 

The good news is that finding a great pendant shade is easy, doesn't have to be expensive, and they are simple to fit. You can co-ordinate with your scheme, picking out a colour in your bedding for example, or go for something neutral that allows you to change the colours in the rest of the room. I've picked five of the best lights out there at the moment, to fulfill different purposes:

Best for glamour:

Acrylic Drop Pendant £39.99 from Dunelm Mill

For sheer elegance and luxury you can't beat this chandelier, especially as it's one of the few on the market on this scale that doesn't require wiring in. Just remember not to exceed the 60 watt bulb requirement, stronger bulbs can discolour acrylic over time. This shade would suit an opulent scheme with plenty of plush cushions on the bed and some heavy duty drapes.

Best for manly good looks:

Moma Ceiling Shade £35 from BHS

For a neutral choice with hint of Art Deco style, this shade from BHS is a great choice. It would suit a serious minimal style bedroom and it's strong lines would work well a masculine room too. Team with crisp white sheets and a luxurious throw for total hotel room chic.

Best for pattern:

Tara Shade by Osbourne & Little £52 from Heals

I love the slightly oriental pattern and the little splash of colour in this shade. It would look great teamed with teal or red accents such as cushions or a thrown on the bed & some dramatic black curtains.

Best for sculptural impact:

Wood Pendant £18 from Next

This striking wood shade is a bit of a bargain, it looks more expensive than it is and has a great shape. It would work well in a calm off white scheme, with lots of natural fabrics and light billowing curtains.

Best for retro schemes:

Funky Ball Shade £25 from M&S

This shade would work well in both retro style rooms and minimal rooms with lots of texture. Accessorize with bold bedding printed with retro shapes, or plain bedding with a textured element. It would also work well in childrens or teenagers rooms, it's fun but also quite grown up.

If off the peg doesn't suit you, there are some great handmade shades on places like Etsy, or try charity shops & boot fairs for a vintage one or even make your own with a shade kit. You could also customize a cheap plain shade with fabric trimmings, paint or paper.

Bedside lamps are pretty much essential. You could always replace the shade on an existing base, either to match the ceiling shade for a coordinated look, or pick out a contrasting colour. The other option is to get a whole new lamp. As it's more visible than the ceiling light, it's also a chance to make a statement.

Best for quirky style:

Teacups Table Lamp £50 from Next

This is quite a girly lamp, but the plain cream colour way stops it being too over the top. I love it for it's sculptural base, doing double duty as art & functional item. Use bold dark colours like black, grey or a strong red to offset the feminine shape of it, or embrace the vintage tea-time look with Cath Kidston style floral fabrics.

Best for block colour:

Gloss Ruby Table Lamp £6.99 Dunelm Nill

This absolute bargain from Dunelm Mill comes in no less than nine mouth-watering shades. Team with a bed throw in the same block colour, or pick out a colour from bright patterned bedding and chose a lamp in the same shade.

Best for industrial good looks:

Forsa Work Lamp £16.99 from Ikea

Another light that looks more expensive than it is, this sturdy angled lamp is great for serious bedtime readers. It comes in black, red, blue. The classic nickel plated finish shown here is great for most styles of bedroom.

Best for kitsch:

Bunny Lamp £35 from Next

Add a bit of humour & interest with this super cute bunny lamp. The plain finish means it's easy to fit into any colour scheme. Also great for kids rooms, it's fun without being too childish.

Best for unisex simplicity:

Kroby Lamp from Ikea

The Classic unisex lines and neutral colour of this lamp make it the perfect all rounder. You could use it in everything from a really feminine floral scheme to a more masculine monochrome room. It's beautiful & simple with just enough detailing to stop it being too plain. It's my personal favourite, I have them in my bedroom.

If you have room (and the budget) a floor standing lamp is also a great idea. Placed near the bed it provides reading light and is also an alternative to the main overhead light. if you have a large room, an extra light will be useful and also a great focal point.

Best for colour:

Red Spindle Floor Lamp £80 from Tesco

This gorgeous bright floor lamp is a real statement piece. if red is not your colour, it also comes in black, plum, lime & fuchsia. Put it next to your bed if you can do without a bedside table on both sides, or in the corner next to a reading chair if you have room. Add accents in the same colour, such as a glossy red vase or bright red throw, for real drama.

Best for mid century style:

Georgie Floor Lamp £55 from John Lewis

The angle of this lamp means there's room for a small bedside table between it and the bed. It's got a real fifties vibe about it making it bang on trend, yet it's simple enough not to date too quickly.

Best tripod option:

Tripod Floor Lamp £165 from LomBok

This is a pricier option for a tripod lamp, there are cheaper ones around, but for sheer quality and finish, this one from LomBok is hard to beat. It's got a touch of 1920's colonial design about it and would look great with some animal print accessories. It's so neutral however, that it would work in most rooms, and in the living room if you fancy a change around.

Best metal light:

Barometer Floor Lamp £45.99 from Ikea

This sturdy lamp has industrial chic written all over it. I have one in my living room but it would look fantastic angled over a bedside table. Even though it's new, it has great vintage styling and would work well with an eclectic mix of thrifty second had accessories. It's also available as a table lamp if you like the look but don't have the space for this one.

Best for blowing the budget:

Joshua Table/Lamp £350 from John Lewis

This is at the budget breaking end of the spectrum, but if you're looking for a timeless statement piece, this is it. You do get two pieces of furniture for your money and it would also work as a side table next to the sofa in the living room. It's clean lines & neutral colourway means it can fit any scheme so if you've got the cash to spare, it's a great investment.

In the next bedroom antics post I'm going to look at wall treatments.

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