stand lamps for living room decor

How to Choose the Perfect Lamp Kit for Any Room

Meggan Wynja

Multi-Port Puck chandeliers by Color Cord hanging from a high ceiling dining room

Types of Lamp Shades

Whether you’re shopping for a floor lamp for the living room, looking for creative ways to make over old lamps, or want to design a desk lamp for your office, there are different needs to consider during your creative lighting projects. At Color Cord Company, we’re here with ideas, inspiration, and guidance that can help you find a ready-to-install piece or take you step by step through a creative process from scratch.

There are five features to consider when you’re choosing a type of lamp shade or lighting for any room: height, base, positioning, shade, and bulb. If you’re ready to explore different lights for any room, follow along with our blog to ensure you choose the perfect lampshade for your space.

1. Entrance & Living Room

As you check out the types of lamp shades and lighting for your living room and entryways, you might want to consider their function as well as their aesthetic. Your lamps are there to provide task lighting for reading or game night, but they also need to ensure a fun, intimate ambiance as you welcome guests into your home.


If you’re looking at a desk lamp for the living room, aim for a height between 26” and 34” to ensure that it’s level with your eyes. You want the lights to shine down onto your books and activities, not shine directly into your face. If you prefer a hanging lamp or plug in pendant lamp for your living room, choose an option that falls around your eye level.


Your living room sees a lot of activity, so any lamps on or close to the floor should be able to withstand all sorts of activities – whether it’s family and friends hanging out or your own kids running around. While purchasing a lamp with a slim base isn’t out of the question, double-check that it’s weighted so that nobody knocks it over by accident. 

To free up space, we also love a non-traditional approach where the lamp fixture is combined with a shade and a cord but used as a lamp on a sideboard or table.

Sideboard lamp with a type of cage lamp shade and yellow color cord


With all the different lights in the living room, space them out to ensure your room is well-lit. If you have wider types of lamp shades, you may want to space them even further apart so nothing feels crowded.

Types of Lamp Shade

When it comes to table lamps, you don’t want the type of lamp shade to overwhelm the table, so keep the shade slightly narrower than the size of the table. Different shades also have different effects on the light bulbs; fabric shades offer a warm glow, while opaque shades ensure minimal glare. Explore lamp shade types and light fittings in a variety of materials at Color Cord Company, including glass, natural fibers, metal, and more.


Lamps designed for reading need a bulb with at least 840 lumens (~60 watts) so you can see well. You may also want to opt for a dimmer to control the brightness of the different lights in your room to match the occasion. You can also use a narrow type of lamp shade to direct and diffuse the light.

2. Kitchen & Dining Room

While your kitchen is best served with overhead lighting that helps brighten the space for food prep, your dining room can use the accessorization to infuse the main table and the sideboard with your personal aesthetic and create layered light sources.


Here, you don’t want the light shining into anyone’s face as they try to make conversation, so keep your lamp around 36” tall. You can also opt for transparent types of lamp shades that diffuse the light gently around the room.


If you plan on hosting frequently, your lamps need to fit in amongst a variety of festive centerpieces, glassware, food, and tableware. To accommodate everything on your table, keep the base for a lamp shade type and fittings on the slimmer side.


Most people place lamps at the ends of sideboards and at the center of the dining room table to generate a symmetrical design and diffuse the light evenly throughout the room.


Since you’re looking for a slim shape that doesn’t obscure views or take up too much space, find a type of lamp shade that’s a little more narrow and compact.


In addition to bulbs with less than 60 watts, you may also want to explore silver-tipped varieties to reduce glare.

3. Bedroom

Bedside hanging pendant light with globe lamp shade by Color Cord Company

The perfect lamp for the bedroom is all about finding the right piece to enhance your personal sanctuary. The perfect height and angle of your custom pendant light fixture are one thing, but you want to be able to take true pleasure in how the space looks, too!


You always want the light from the different types of lamp shades to fall onto your book or newspaper and not into your eyes, so testing your comfortable positions is key. How do you sit in bed? Where is your head most of the time? Match the lamp height to your personal needs to ensure a comfortable glow, and remember you can get creative with a hanging lamp at your bedside instead, keeping similar guidelines in mind for height and placement for your needs.


When it comes to lamps in the bedroom, you don’t need to be constrained by bases at all! If you need your bedside table to hold other essentials, you may want to work a wall-mounted plug in hanging light into the lighting design instead.


A wall sconce with cords is naturally close to a wall, but you may want to consider how close it is to your bed. Do you want it centered over the bedside table? Sitting directly over your side of the bed? What looks right to you?


Many people love large dramatic shades for the public spaces in their homes, but in your most intimate room, you want something minimalist and convenient. You may even opt for a shadeless fixture! Will your lamp shade type and fittings be in the way when you reach over to grab your glasses or snooze your alarm in the morning?


We can’t say enough about getting versatile light bulbs. Whether you choose a bulb cluster or a dimmer, give yourself the flexibility to have a bright light for reading and a dim light for relaxation.

4. Office

The desk lamp in the office is generally the last piece of a layered design that’s used as task lighting. It can also add a hint of interest to your desk without distracting you from your work.


Like the desk lamp in your living room and bedroom, you want the desk lamp in your office to cast light onto your work and not into your eyes. A lower lamp offers more focused lighting without getting in your way.

Base & Positioning

Considering all the items you need to have on your desk, from your computer to your files, you may not have a ton of room for an overly large lamp. Explore unique base options, standing lamps next to your desk, and mounted sconces if your desk is situated next to a wall.


The best type of lamp shade for an office is really up to you. Go 60s retro with a glass globe or Scandinavian chic with an angular metal shade.


Incandescent or LED, your bulbs must provide enough lighting, but that doesn’t mean they can’t come in unique shapes and sizes. Explore Edison bulbs with visible filaments, long bulbs that peek out from under a squat type of lamp shade, or metal-tipped bulbs that offer a two-toned look.

Start Designing Your New Lights

Now that you have different light ideas for every room, it’s time to start designing! Visit our light fixture customization gallery to create your ideal custom lighting, or shop single components, like light bulb socket covers, light fittings, and canopies, to buy just what you need for a little upgrade!

Back to blog