How big should a table lamp be? When debating about size, Feldman says, “Err on the side of bigger rather than smaller.” West Elm’s Perch Table Lamp would be a good fit for a small end table ($69, www.westelm.com).
• Lighting as art. Lighting can be classic and subtle, but it can also be the perfect finishing piece for a room in need of distinctive art. “Many times in the rooms that are going to be visible to guests, like a powder room or dining room, people will go a little bit over the top and choose statement pieces,” says Circa Lighting’s Singer. The Large Wire Globe Lantern by the Richmond bloggers of Young House Love is a good eye-catching complement for traditional or modern homes ($89, www.shadesoflight.com).
For a really funky piece of lighting art — appropriate for a kitchen, rec room or even a teenager’s room — try Vintage Marquee Lights, in letters or numbers ($229, www.vintagemarqueelights.com).
• Consider the bulb. Though they’re often concealed by shades, don’t overlook bulbs: Retro bulbs such as West Elm’s Edison are making a comeback just as manufacturers are pushing toward more energy-efficient options ($15, www.westelm.com).
“Keep in mind that these bulbs are more decorative,” says Tina King of Rejuvenation home and lighting store. “They should be used for ambiance, not to light a kitchen where brighter light is needed for your work area.” A tungsten bulb such as the 30W Radio-Style Small Tungsten Filament Bulb from Rejuvenation is another option for imitating the glow of candlelight ($10, www.rejuvenation.com).
If you’re going to go with a retro bulb, make sure that your fixture shows it off, as does the glass bell shade on Crate and Barrel’s Lander Sconce ($149, www.crateandbarrel.com).