When looking at antique lamps make sure you check the condition before even plugging them in. The trouble areas are generally at either end of the cord. Frayed or even slightly nicked cords should not be used. If you are not confident as to whether they are safe or not, do not plug them in! If you do not feel qualified to repair the lamp, find a professional to do this for you. Most likely they will do it for the cost of a cord or very cheap.
When looking at antique lamps remember to not clean them up so much. This is especially true with the brass and sterling lamps. Cleaning them too much devaluates them considerably. On the popular series Antiques Road Show I am always amazed at the person with the 100 year old piece of brass that would have sold for $5,000 but one can of Brass-o later is worth about a buck fifty.
For those who are into something a little more modern there are lots of styles to choose from. Whatever your style preference though, you need to consider whether or not the lamp you are getting will fit your room. For example if you are looking for a table lamp for an end table, the height of the lamp should be such that it provides ample light to the area. This is dependent on the height of the table in relation to the couch, loveseat or chair next to the table. A three inch tall lamp would not only look silly if there is a 6 inch height difference, chances are it will not light anything. Typically, you should have 18-24 inches clearance from the bottom of the lamp shade to the arm of your furniture. This doesn't flood the entire room with light, but it will insure that you light more than the magazines on the table that you won't be able to read in the dark.
As well as having a lamp that suits a set purpose your contemporary table lamp should also fit your room's décor. For example, a gorgeous driftwood lamp may be perfect for that beach house a room with an ocean style décor but will simply detract from the overall effect of an ultra modern living room. While a beautiful bauble chrome lamp may look perfect and even add a touch of chic drama to a modern living room, it will look out of place in a country style kitchen or Victorian dining room. So, make sure when you choose a contemporary table lamp that it going to enhance your décor and not detract from it.
Having the right decorative table lamps is very important as you will need to use them as well as have them look great. You will need to look around at your other furniture and then decide what will look good with the existing decor. You can get lamps in many different sizes, shapes and styles so you can choose one that fits well with the room. You can have very traditional style lamps that will look great alongside your original furniture. Very modern contemporary lamps will stand out and be noticed.
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