How to Choose The Perfect Lamp Lanterns & More Pier 1 Imports

How to Choose The Perfect Lamp Lanterns & More Pier 1 Imports

Lamps are like jewelry: Theyre not the main act, but they can make or break it. Unlike jewelry, however, lamps also keep us from tripping over sock monkeys in the dark, doing homework by computer glow or wearing mismatched shoes. In other words, they provide light. The key is to find the ideal combination of form (looks) and function (light). Heres how:

Determine the type of lamp you want

The possibilities are endless but for now, lets just narrow it down to table lamp. hanging lantern or floor lamp. Easy peasy.

Size, style and brightness

Based on where your lamp will live, you need to calculate three things:

Size Lots of people make the mistake of buying a lamp without measuring the area its going in. This can result in a painful condition known as Lamp Buyers Remorse. Always measure first and dont depend on your eyeballing skills. Eyeballs lie. If planning for a table lamp. measure the table height and circumferenceyour lamp should be no more than 1 times the height of the furnishing it sits on, and the lampshade shouldnt overlap the table. Also consider weight (the lamps, not yours)lighter is fine in less-traveled spots, heavier and more stable is better for areas with small children and high traffic (why children would be playing in traffic, we dont know).

Hanging lanterns. which are actually the most romantic kind of lamps, should be sized appropriately for the space theyll occupy. Choose a single large lantern, or cluster several smaller lanterns together at slightly different heights. No suspended lantern should hang lower than 1 foot above your extended arms reach when standing (or when sitting, if the lantern is over a table or other seating area).

Style Contemporary, Traditional, Modern and Global are just a few of the myriad choicesand Pier 1 has them all. Consider the decor of your space, but dont obsess about being all matchy-matchy. As a rule of thumb, clear bases add less visual weight, while wood or iron bases provide texture and richness. Crystal lends a touch of glamour, and painted porcelain creates a luxurious or Old World feel. Moroccan lanterns add an exotic, international feel and coordinate well with even the most domestic decor. Exhibit Lamps feature an opening at the top of a clear glass base, which allows you to place decorative objects like shells, glass beads or porcelain spheres inside for a customized look. As long as a lamp works well with the object it sits on, you should be fine. For example, a space-age desk lamp would be silly on great-grandmas hand-carved Victorian parlor table. Not to mention illogical in the space-time continuum.

Brightness Think about the primary function of your lamp: Mood lighting, reading, decoration or safety. For purely decorative lighting, you can choose an opaque fabric shade. It will illuminate the space from ceiling to floor rather than outward. For reading and other light-needy tasks (like brightening a room), select a translucent lampshade that diffuses light. High-quality paper or fabric shades are ideal for this purpose.


All our lamps come complete with their own meticulously hand-picked shades, so you could just skip this section and head for your nearest Pier 1. Each lamp is designed with the optimum base-to-shade ratio, in on-trend colors that complement all your favorite Pier 1 decor. Some of our fancier lampshades are even lined with materials like faux crocodile, silver and black damask, and silky orange fabric. Here are a few details weve taken care of before you even get to the store.

Proportion Our table/desk lampshades are designed to be about 2/3 the height of the base. For floor lamps, a 4:1 ratio usually works best. The widest part of the shade is always at least wider than the widest part of the base on each side and modestly covers the lamps harp and bulb socket. Its just common decency.

Shaping up A lampshades job is to complement the lamp (think talk-show sidekick). For rounder lamps, we select more rounded shades (drum, oval, empire, coolie, bell, etc.); for squarer bases, shades are generally more angular (square, rectangular, hexagon, pagoda). Exceptions to the rule crop up occasionally (like our fabulous Landmark Lamp ). The more ornate the lamp, the simpler the shade and vice versa. Note: Pleated shades tend to look more traditional, while flat shades work well with almost any decor. (Those alluring pleats can turn and bite you on the tuchus come dusting day, so we mostly stick to smooth.)

Color A multicolored or hand-painted Pier 1 lamp is always paired with a muted, single-color shade. For single-color lamps, its Katie-bar-the-door, with shades ranging from complementary colors to wild animal prints.

See for yourself

Naturally, we think Pier 1 has the best lamp selection anywhere and encourage you to browsefrom traditional porcelain table lamps to sleek, modern floor designs to fun and colorful hanging lanterns. Go ahead and explore. We think youll see the light.

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