Lighting Checklist: How to Choose a Lamp for Any Room

Lighting is a crucial part of every room in your home. But it can be challenging to know exactly what lights you actually need in each space. Table lamps or floor lamps? A pendant or track lighting? Directional or ambient? Since every room differs in its function, what it requires in terms of lighting varies as well. On top of that, every home and person is unique—so what works in a living room in one person’s home might be totally different than what works in another.

However, there are some general rules you can follow to help you move in the right direction. And we’re here to lay them out for you! Read on for our ultimate lighting checklist, with a room-by-room guide to what lighting you need in each space. (And check out our Lighting buying guide for a full run-down on the many different types of light fixtures you can use throughout your home and how to budget for what you need!)

How to choose a lamp

Essential Entryway Lighting

Entryways are the first thing a person sees when they walk into your home. So, you definitely want to make an effort to make it feel warm and inviting! Good lighting is key to making this happen. For an entryway that’s at least somewhat—if not completely—separated from your living space, you’ll want to incorporate some overhead and ambient lighting. But if your “entryway” is simply three square feet in the corner of your living room, simply incorporate it into the rest of the living space, in terms of how you use lighting.

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Pendants or Chandeliers

Overhead ambient lighting, in the form of a pendant or chandelier, can hang from the ceiling in the center of your entryway space. This will effectively light up the entire area, so you can see while putting on or taking off shoes and coats.

Table Lamps

If you have a console table in your entryway, we love including a table lamp in the room design—in fact, it’s an essential element in our entryway checklist. This adds a touch of accent lighting, and offers a softer light that you can leave on when you leave your house. It also gives you a bit of light when you come home, before you turn on the overhead light! In addition to offering accent lighting, a table lamp can also be a stylish, sculptural element within your entryway.


A wall sconce is a great option for smaller entryways, where you don’t have space for a console table and table lamp. It offers all the benefits of a table lamp, but since it’s attached to the wall, it takes up less space.

How to choose a lamp

Essential Living Room Lighting

Living rooms are the heart of a home and the space where so much action takes place. From watching TV and reading to game nights, conversations, playtime, and homework, these spaces are major workhorses in the home. So, when it comes to living room design ideas, good lighting from a multitude of light sources is key, so that you have the right amount of light throughout the day. This is a space where you want it all—ambient, accent, decorative, you name it. This will give you maximum flexibility in creating the right mood for your space all day long.

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Pendants or Chandeliers

Not every home has a pendant or chandelier in their living room—but if your space is wired for this, it’s a great way to add overhead ambient lighting for use throughout daylight hours. Overhead lights are especially great in the morning to help complement natural lighting and brighten up your space a bit more.

Track Lighting

Some living rooms have track lighting rather than a pendant or chandelier. With track lighting, you can have each light face the direction you’d like—highlighting artwork, bookcases, or offering directional lighting to specific areas of your room. Track lighting is also fairly easy to install if it’s not already built-in to your space.

Floor Lamps

If you want warmer, moodier lighting in your living room as the day wears on, floor lamps are a great lighting option. Floor lamps project light throughout space, and depending on the shade and shape of the lamp they can offer focused task lighting or act as ambient lighting in your space.

Table Lamps

In a living room, table lamps can sit on a side table and offer lighting to a reading corner or as additional lighting when you’re lounging on the sofa. Or these living room lamps can be placed on a credenza or console and used as accent lighting to simply better layer the lighting in your space.


In a smaller living room, sconces can be used instead of floor or table lamps to offer layered or directional lighting. However, sconces are also great in larger living spaces as simply another layer of lighting. We love using them to highlight paintings or flanking a fireplace for a more formal look.

How to choose a lamp

Essential Dining Room Lighting

Dining rooms are centered around gatherings with family and friends. They’re spaces where meals are shared and memories are made. In a dining room, you most definitely want the ability to light up your whole space, so that every meal-time is well-lit. But the ability to create moodier lighting in the evening allows you to change up the vibe and make the space feel a little more special.

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Pendants or Chandeliers

Wondering what key pieces make a dining room really sing? Check out our dining room buying guide. But we’ll give you a teaser: ambient overhead lighting can really make or break this space. A pendant or chandelier in your dining room not only acts as your main light source—but it’s also a great way to make a stylish statement in the space. And, while overhead lights light up mealtime, they also offer the ambient lighting needed for homework sessions and crafts. However, we love when overhead dining room lights have a dimmer switch so we can turn down the intensity of the light in the evening.

Table Lamps

If you have a buffet or credenza in your dining room, we recommend placing a table lamp on top. This accent light offers more nuanced lighting in the space in the evening. You can also use it to highlight decorative objects on the same surface.


Candles can happily be used in any room of your house. But in a dining room, we view taper candles as a necessary light source. Lighting candles for dinner creates a moodier—sometimes even romantic—vibe for the evening meal. You can opt to only have them out for special occasions, or you can light candles for dinner every night for year-round hygge!

How to choose a lamp

Essential Bedroom Lighting

Bedrooms transition from bright morning getting-ready spaces to cozy dens of relaxation at night. So, when considering bedroom lights and lamps for bedrooms, layered lighting is so important. You’ll want to make sure you have several bedroom lights throughout your space to transition the lighting throughout the day.

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Bedside Lamps

At the top of the list of essential bedroom lighting? Bedside lamps. At the end of the night, when you’re tucked in bed, you don’t want to have to get out of bed to turn off the lights (and risk stubbing your toes on the journey back to bed!). Having bedside lamps within arms-reach will save you hassle and stubbed toes!

Task Lamps

If you like reading in bed, you might want to consider a task lamp rather than a traditional bedside table lamp to serve as your reading light. This gives you the ability to change the angle and direction of the light so your book page is perfectly illuminated! If you have a small home office space within your bedroom, a task lamp on your desk is also essential.

Floor Lamps

Other bedroom lamps to consider? Floor lamps. Using these in your bedroom is a perfect choice if you have a seating area within your room. Placing a table lamp next to an accent chair not only creates the look of an intentional arrangement, but it offers additional lighting for when you’re reading or scrolling on your iPad—morning or evening!


In a bedroom, we love sconces for a bit of extra light above a dresser, as well as another alternative to traditional bedside lamps! At your bedside, opting for a sconce saves surface space on your nightstand and can make a stylish statement. Above your dresser, it can illuminate any products atop your dresser as you get ready in the morning and add a nice glow to your bedroom in the evening.

How to choose a lamp

Essential Home Office Lighting

Home offices are all about productivity and creating a space where you can get in the zone. And the lighting you have in this space has a big impact on your focus and energy levels. Ideally, you’ll have some natural lighting—but the light fixtures in your home office should be geared toward illuminating your space in a way that helps you effectively get work done.

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Desk Lamps

In a home office, we recommend opting for a task light for your desk lamp rather than a more traditional table lamp. In fact, task lighting is one of our home office “must-haves” in our home office buying guide. Why? This type of lamp allows you to have more control over the angle and direction of the light, so you can put a spotlight on whatever you’re working on. If you have a lot of video calls, work the angle of your task desk lamp and make the most of the natural light in your space for optimal video call lighting!

Flush-Mount Lights

While you may not need a big statement chandelier in your home office, it is nice to have an overhead light in your workspace to keep things bright and cheery. In a home office, we’d do a simple flush mount light to give ambient light to your whole space, with your task light as a supporting lightsource.

Floor Lamps

Having a floor lamp in your home office simply offers an additional light source to your space. If you have a seating area within your home office, incorporate the floor lamp into that area for use as a reading light. Otherwise, floor lamps can sit next to a bookshelf or file cabinet to offer additional light where you might need it.

Looking for expert help finding the perfect pieces for your home beyond lighting? Explore all of our interior design buying guides for advice on sofas, beds, dining tables, and so much more!

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Stylist Picks: 10 Stylish Floor Lamps That Are Also Works of Art

Proper lighting is one necessity in every room in the house. Even your brightly lit spaces need lights to flip on once the sun goes down. When it comes to lighting choices, we love stylish floor lamps! They are great if you need to save surface space in your living room, bedroom or other areas of the house. Whether you opt for a tripod floor lamp, a floor lamp that arcs over the room, a small reading floor lamp or a big statement piece, your lighting is an element that can instantly upgrade the look and feel of any room design. Layered lighting like desk lamps and floor lamps are essential in a small space—but they also work well in any size home.

Floor lamps are a big hit right now because we are spending so much time at home these days and need our spaces well-lit morning, noon, and night! If you need help coming up with floor lamp ideas for your home, check out some of our stylist’s favorite picks!

stylish floor lampsThe Namura Edison Globe Floor Lamp, Uttermost

We adore this Namura Edison Globe Floor Lamp! It is totally unique and the bright gold color lends itself to a lot of different styles. It’s a definite statement piece and will make a splash in any room. But it’s also a super functional floor lamp, adding tons of bright light to a space. This is one of the best floor lamps for glam, eclectic, and contemporary styles.

“I love the Namura lamp from Uttermost because even though it feels so distinctive and even a bit out-of-the-box in shape and form, it’s still the perfect addition to so many aesthetics—traditional, eclectic, bohemian, and even contemporary.” – Lauren M.

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stylish floor lampsThe Riano Floor Lamp, Uttermost

Classic floor lamps work well in a variety of rooms. This one features a mix of traditional elements like bronze and brass with cream lampshades, but putting it all together into a fun new structure. It only takes up a minimal amount of space in the corner and also provides double the light! This is one of the best floor lamps for a living room or office space. The neutral colors are pleasing to the eye and go with a lot of styles and decor palettes. We love the look of this lamp as extra reading and working light for a desk—especially since so many of us are working from home these days!

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stylish floor lampsBeton Floor Lamp White, Nuevo

This light arched floor lamp comes in both black and white so you can use it as a dramatic accent in a variety of designs. It’s sleek and simple, but very cool with its slight lean and narrow structure. It doesn’t take up much room so it works well as a floor lamp in smaller spaces as well as minimalist, contemporary and modern style spaces.

“This lamp is such a statement piece and can give you light in rooms where there isn’t a ceiling light” – Modsy Stylist Autumn H.

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stylish floor lampsThe Big Dipper Arc Lamp, CB2

This tall lamp is another beautiful statement piece that makes a splash in any living area. It comes in brass and silver so you can choose the right color floor lamps for your decor scheme. It’s super versatile in style and works well with modern, mid-century modern, minimal, and eclectic styles. It’s also great for spaces with no ceiling light as the lamp arcs over the center of the room.

“I love the Big Dipper Arc Lamp from CB2 in small spaces that don’t have overhead lighting—it arcs perfectly towards the center of any room.” – Modsy Stylist Mackenzie R.

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stylish floor lampsAtlas Wood Floor Lamp, CB2

This wood floor lamp by Mermelada Estudio calls to mind French-Moroccan style in illuminating fashion. Inspired by the curvy shapes of Moroccan lamps with a touch of refined French taste, it’s one of the best floor lamps with a sophisticated silhouette. The gorgeous design is topped off with a white cotton shade to add extra brightness and style to any room. Wooden floor lamps like this work well in boho, eclectic, rustic and transitional spaces—it’s a unique look with warm and neutral colors.

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stylish floor lampsDome Floor Lamp, Global Views

This handsome brass floor lamp has a glamorous, sculptural appeal with a mushroom cap top. It casts a warm glow with a brass lined interior so you can have brightness and warmth in any space. This is one of the best floor lamps for glam and modern spaces—it feels classic and iconic while also remaining simple and elegant. Plus, the base is so tiny that it barely takes up any floor space—perfect for a reading nook or work area.

“Any lamp from Global Views has my heart! Excellent quality and craftsmanship!” – Modsy Stylist Tais K.

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stylish floor lampsCayden Nickel Brushed Floor Lamp, Tanjore

We adore this Cayden Nickel Brushed Floor Lamp with a functional edge. The modern form goes with any decor space. The floor lamp can be easily moved up or down with the handy lever, so it’s great for nooks or smaller spaces that need a reading lamp. Use it with traditional or rustic decor—it makes a great addition to both styles! Plus, the small size makes it unobtrusive so it doesn’t take attention away from artwork and other decor in the room.

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stylish floor lampsMid-Century Modern Floor Lamp, Jamie Young

For those of you who love a mid-century look, this two-toned, sleek floor lamp might be just the right thing. It feels a bit industrial with the exposed bulb, but also has a modern edge with sleek brass and black elements. It’s a great floor lamp for small spaces because of the narrow structure. The light is focused downward, so it’s ideal for reading in bed or on the sofa or as a desk lamp.

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stylish floor lampsAllora Floor Lamp, Ciro Modern

This is one of the hippest floor lamps we’ve seen, with its modern triangular top and round base. Materials like matte black metal, shiny brass and marble even feel a bit art deco! It’s truly a statement piece and almost looks like it’s own sculpture. It’s a great addition to Mid-Century Modern, minimalist, and strictly modern styles—and it could even work well in industrial-chic spaces!

“The Allora floor lamp black form Ciro Modern—I love the modern shape/finishes of it, it’s adjustable and the price point is really great!” – Shannon M.

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stylish floor lampsLongshan Floor Lamp White, Jamie Young

Last but not least is one of the most gorgeous, classic looking floor lamps on the market. It has a sculptural look, and the bright, white color makes it look striking against a dark interior. This floor lamp is also very versatile because of the neutrality and shape. It’s one of the best floor lamps for any space, including the living room, dining room, bedroom, and more. It can also be a great look for a nursery or kids’ room design! 

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Industrial Interior Design: 11 Ways to Bring This Cool, Edgy Style to Life

 industrial interior designIndustrial interior design is a super trendy warehouse look that’s naturally suited to big, unfinished living rooms and celebrates everything rugged, vintage, and raw about design. Often seen in loft spaces and converted warehouses, the architecture itself is central to industrial style. Industrial interior design inspiration features like unfinished concrete, exposed brick, steel/metal architectural supports, exposed ductwork, and factory windows.

Elements of Industrial Interior Design

Outside of architectural elements, the industrial design style is characterized by vintage decorative objects (think: old fans, steel stools, drafting desks) and new objects inspired by the vintage industry. Industrial style and interior design elements generally showcase raw/untreated wood and metal or materials that show signs of aging. Wood and metal furniture with a distressed feel to it is also popular. You can find industrial design pieces made from metal, brick, reclaimed wood, concrete or pipe. Gray, wood, block, brick and brown are the staple colors in industrial interior design.

 industrial interior designIndustrial style is great for:

  • Urban dwellers (think anyone who lives in loft spaces, restored buildings, etc)
  • Anyone who appreciates the history of their living space and raw, gritty furnishings
  • Anyone who’s into the unrefined look and wood and metal, rugged style

Industrial design is all the rage these days—but it’s rare to find design ideas that are 100% industrial interior elements. The industrial style is so stark and cold it can feel kind of uninviting on its own. That’s why the metal and wood of industrial interior design is usually paired with elements of other styles to create a cool melange of style.

If you need some design inspiration, check out these 11 industrial interior design ideas that offer a more livable take on the style.

industrial interior designPure Industrial Style

We thought we’d start this list of industrial interior design ideas off with an example of an undistilled industrial style that still feels like home—not an easy feat with industrial design! The neutral color palette leans toward warmer earth tones in the leather and the hide rug instead of cold metal grays and blacks. Layering with decor like the pillows, hide rug, and jute pouf adds cozy texture to offset the rugged, industrial nature of the concrete coffee table and bookcase.

The raw beams and ceiling are some of our favorite industrial interior design ideas, as is the funky accordion lamp on the side table. The sectional sofa sits low to the ground and is substantial and dark in order to ground the space. Everything in this industrial interior design is all function, no-frill—even the clock is functional art. The space is stark and bold but this industrial design uses the right mix of elements to create a cozy layout.

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Industrial + Eclectic Style

This industrial interior design plays off the gorgeous exposed brick wall to amplify the industrial interior aesthetic. To bring in an eclectic feel, we used a variety of patterns and furniture styles and kept everything in a neutral palette that leans into warmer colors. The cognac leather sofa and earth-toned pattern rug add a livable twist to offset the warehouse design.

Mixing materials like leather, jute, wood, and metal gives living rooms like this a layered look that’s key to making the industrial design feel cozy and plush. One of our favorite industrial design ideas, it has a casual layout with asymmetrical furniture and the soft, rounded form of the sofa! And don’t forget to include some plants in the industrial style mix—organic touches like this immediately take the edge off of industrial interior design.

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industrial interior designAtomic Industrial Style

One of our favorite ways to warm up industrial style is with the retro flair of mid-century modern furniture! A high-contrast color palette, strong lines and raw metal and wood are cornerstones of this totally ‘grammable look known as “Atomic Industrial.” This space is super functional and even has a modern desk to polish off the multipurpose industrial look.

The layout maximizes space in small living rooms, which is great if you need to work from home, are a student, or just need to make the most of small city apartment designs. Many industrial interior design ideas begin with neutral in color but this one has an added pop with the unexpected teal rug. No one said you can’t add color to industrial interior design! We love the bold modern art that’s simple in form but still serious and plants come to the rescue to add a little extra life. And a great rule of thumb in warming up industrial interior design is to go big on cushions and poufs for extra comfort.

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 industrial interior designMinimal Industrial Style

For a softer, more modern take on industrial style, pair it with minimal elements for a sleek and sophisticated space. The simple, pared-down styling is more versatile than pure industrial and great for someone who likes industrial accents but wants to steer clear of unfinished industrial looks. One trick with industrial style is to float furniture away from the wall to give a space a more airy feeling.

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 industrial interior designIndustrial + Mid-Century Modern Style

Another combo of mid-century modern and industrial style, this room takes on a super bold and moody interior design that makes an immediate statement. The saturated colors and oversized elements add impact and contrast with the light rug and stark white ceiling for a sharp and stylish look.

A cozy and modern sectional sofa adds practicality to this lounge-style living room—it’s also one of our fave kid-friendly industrial interior design ideas with lots of open floor space and room to kick back. The subtle use of earth tones like rust, gold, and sand add a mid-century feel and sculptural light fixtures like this have that awesome atomic edge. This modern industrial interior design is perfect for anyone undaunted by vibrant color and bold spaces.

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industrial interior designIndustrial Chic Style

For a fabulously modern take on industrial interior design, get your glam on! This is one of our favorite design ideas for folks who love a little flair. The industrial interior design itself is unmistakable but the layout has a formal feel with bunching ottomans and dainty decor.

Start with a neutral color base leaning toward greyscale and add a few pops of blush to create a cohesive interior design. Cowhide rugs, a trademark industrial look, are layered on top of one another to add texture and warmth and the pink scallop chair turns up the frill! Industrial elements like refined metal with brass and antique materials and the simple wall decor give the space a cool edge and make sure this industrial style is equal parts factory and fairy tale.

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 industrial interior designContemporary Industrial Style

We can’t get enough of the effortlessly cool interior design vibe that is the result of industrial and contemporary decor paired together! This industrial design is set against the earth tone red wall—a signature mid-century modern color with a vintage appeal. The layout prioritizes function and comfort, creating an intimate lounge setting that works well as a TV/reading room or casual hangout area.

The overstuffed furniture with wood base adds comfort and style to balance out the stone surface of the weighty coffee table. Every element in the room sticks to a dark greyscale color palette, creating a perfect contrast with the vibrant wall. We got a little quirky with the decor to make the industrial design more personalized. Overall, this interior design has welcoming energy by balancing raw materials with soft and comfy textures.

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 industrial interior designRustic Industrial Style

Rustic is another style that marries well with industrial interior design. The look centers less on cold and severe and more on earth tones and refined woods—aka more farmhouse, less factory. The space features a practical layout with a supersize sectional in cozy cognac leather + a faux hide throw pillows to add an industrial touch. Wood tones like shades of honey contrast with the simple on the furniture legs.

The rug creates an extra dimension and pulls the color palette together in a cohesive interior design. The colors, details, and variety of wall art and decor are stylish yet simple and seamlessly blend rustic and industrial aesthetics. And organic forms like the lamps, ceramics and wood sculpture add bring in the simplicity and beauty of the outside world.

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 industrial interior designInviting Industrial Style

We love this greyscale interior design with pops of warmth from the raw wood and gentle touches throughout. The layered texture and patterns on the bed look clean and cozy and the cozy sitting nook near the fireplace adds functionality and dimension. Plus, we’re super into the Edison bulb/exposed pipe floor lamp.

Raw wood adds an organic touch and signature mid-century modern style and the art above the fireplace brings warm mid-century modern tones into the mix as well. But, let’s be honest, the real show-stealer is the statement mid-century modern pendant light—a perfect choice for industrial interior design.

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 industrial interior designCollected Industrial Style

This funky industrial interior design starts with a neutral color palette and varying wood tones for extra warmth. The design has a light and airy feel even with the industrial style furniture selections. It’s a perfect look for those who love industrial spaces but want an extra dose of personality.

The large, vintage patterning on the rug adds a gentle touch to this industrial design and looks great with the monochromatic wall art and plants. A funky leather armchair in the back adds warmth and comfort and eclectic interior design touches like the chandelier add character to the funky industrial style.

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 industrial interior designTraditional Industrial Style

We really dig this moody and sophisticated bedroom design and the creative ways it warms up industrial style. The sleek metal bed frame balances the bulkiness of nightstands and the bed itself is layered in a subtle patterning for a more plush industrial style.

Sculptural lamps add interest and the symmetrical mirrors open up the space. And the room is drenched in natural light—an instant way to warm up industrial style. The rug mimics coloring/pattern on the pillows to add cohesion and the sculptural metal art adds interest over the bed.

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The Industrial Lighting Trend Your Rooms Need for 2020

industrial lamp

Like to be on the cutting edge of design trends? Then you’ll want to keep reading. Because we see a major lighting trend on the horizon! You may have spotted them on Pinterest and Instagram: sleek, minimal, and sculptural industrial light fixtures. They’re everywhere, and we’re loving them. Usually made of matte black metal – or occasionally a brushed steel or brass – these pieces show off sculptural, minimal designs with no frills or ornamentation.

We’re predicting this trend will carry us through 2019 and well into 2020. So, you may want to jump on board! Because, while good lighting may seem like a small detail, it can make or break a room! Not sure how to chase down this style? We’re shedding some light (we had to) on this trend and giving you some bright ideas on how to make it your own!

industrial lightingMix and Match Styles

One of the reasons we love the industrial lighting trend is that you rarely see these pieces in purely industrial design. More often than not, these fixtures are the crowning jewels in minimal, modern, and even rustic spaces. They easily fit into multiple design styles, and can even help blend different styles together, like Rustic Minimalism.

We love how these pieces offer a note of edgy, minimal contrast that can be a lovely counterbalance to large, plush furniture or rooms with a more feminine design aesthetic. This lighting style is all about grounding a room and helps keeps it from becoming too much of one thing.

industrial lightingPlay With Proportion

The industrial lighting trend is all about the push and pulls between minimalism and boldness. While the fixtures themselves are minimal and sleek, you can amp up the scale to make a bold statement.

Take this oversized floor lamp, for example. It has a simple and streamlined design – but its large scale adds serious drama. Arching designs like this are also a great way to add a sense of overhead lighting if your room doesn’t have a built-in ceiling fixture.

industrial lightingGo Sculptural and Geometric

While industrial lamps and light fixtures are minimal in design, many are also incredibly sculptural. With that, they add a lot more than just light to the room – almost serving as works of art within your space. The floor lamp in this room features an interesting angular design that’s perfect for adding bold style and flooding a larger room with plenty of light!

industrial lightingScore with Sconces

You’ve probably noticed that many fixtures in the industrial lighting trend are wall-mounted sconces. These pieces are both beautiful and practical; they add sculptural style to a room but are also able to swivel, extend, and pivot, so you can shed light exactly where you need it. They’re perfect in a bedroom if you want to free up the surface area on your nightstand – all the more room for books, flowers, drinks, or midnight snacks! They’re also great above your sofa, in a dining room, or nestled in a reading nook.

 Bring The Industrial Lighting Trend Home

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