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How to Choose and Style with Farmhouse Lamps

By Amitha Verma

A frequently asked question that I get in my Houston shop is: “How do I make small changes in my home to get the Farmhouse by Amitha look and feel?”

Though we all wish we could get a HGTV style instant whole house makeover, you might be looking around wondering where to start and how to make simple changes to get a big result.

Today, I’m sharing a very overlooked category of home decor, one that can help you start creating elements of French Country or Farmhouse style without a huge makeover.

Spending a little bit of time on this area of home decor is the difference between ordinary and your unique style. Plain versus character!

Today we are talking about farmhouse lamps!

I know this may seem like a very basic grab-and-go item, but selecting lamps can be just as fun as selecting exquisite jewelry.

From the actual lamps, table lamps, floor lamps, and even lampshades, this is a great area of home decor to go all out and bring in beautiful style into your home.

What is farmhouse decor and the farmhouse style?

If you haven't been to my shop and seen the Farmhouse by Amitha style, the elements you will see are:

  • cozy spaces filled with linen, and velvet fabrics
  • curl-up furniture including antiques and vintage pieces mixed with modern-day furniture
  • old distressed finishes, worn surfaces with a time-worn feeling
  • antique and vintage home decor elements such as panels, old signs, and more
  • chalk painted pieces with beautiful patinas
  • mixed metals
  • and a very collected lived-in feeling

What should you look for when selecting the perfect farmhouse lamps to fit into your style? What is the difference between rustic and farmhouse decor?

I've made a checklist for you of the different styles of lamps I usually include in any of my design projects so you can see how to decorate with lamps.

You might be deciding between farmhouse, rustic, classical, glamorous, shabby style but may be surprised to see how you can use all of these styles in your own home!

Distressed Farmhouse Lamps:

Distressed, chippy, painted farmhouse lamps! I recently did this exact project in our bedroom and fell in love with these wood carved lamps with this gorgeous patina.

Believe it or not, I didn’t take my own advice for the longest time! My home is much like the story of the cobbler’s kids. I kept pushing off this project until the one day when I had time.

When the city of Houston shut down in April - Guess what? I had time!

After a long time, I finally followed my own advice and knew finding this one piece of home decor would give my bedroom the mini-makeover I was looking for!

You can achieve the same look in your home with distressed lamps like these:

Available at Village Antiques

Available at Village Antiques

You actually may already have something just like this in your own home that's a darker color that you wish had the same look and feel. Well, your wish is my command! You can get this exact same style with something that you already have by giving it a makeover with our chalk finish paint, Amitha Verma Chalk Finish Paint.

Used Amitha Verma Chalk Finish Paint in Manor Beige

Fanciful Farmhouse Lamps:

The next thing to look for is something fanciful.

This is a great spot to go all out and express your personality. Take a look at this gorgeous vintage lamp I found one day when I was flee’ing or antiquing. (Yes, sometimes I make up words!)

This lamp beautifully expresses my love and passion for music and books, two of my favorite leisurely pastimes. And if I only find one, just like I did with this lamp, I use it in the spot where I do not need a pair of lamps, such as paired with accent chairs, on a desk, or a single nightstand.

Don't be afraid of a single one if it fits all the criteria, go ahead and grab it!

Available at Village Antiques

A lamp is a perfect place to put in a pop of crystal, brass, or something ornate just like I did in my guest room nightstand lamp.

Available at Village Antiques

You can even get the same elegant glamorous feeling with a set of glass lamps.

Available at Village Antiques

Available at Village Antiques

Would I do this style glammy in every room of my house? NO. I mix and match, high and low. This is what makes each of these styles of lamps feel so special. It's the contrast of glam vs. rustic.

Textural Farmhouse Lamps:

I love adding a bit of metal to create more of a serious or industrial look. You may be resistant to this idea and flock more towards softer colors and wood tones when selecting lamp bases.

Including a little bit of these rougher textures helps to add layers of conflict and contrast in your design. This creates design tension, which is what gives you that feeling of a home that's been collected over the years.

Available at Village Antiques

The Oddball Farmhouse Lamp:

My favorite is the Oddball lamp. You can find a reclaimed object from really anywhere and turn it into a lamp. This can be an old object like a piece of wood, an old fragment, an iron remnant, really anything goes!

The great thing is all of these farmhouse lamps can go in the exact same house! The trick to pulling them off is to put them in the room where they best coordinate with your existing decor.

A few of my favorite areas include placing these farmhouse style lamps on living room accent tables, on your bedroom nightstands, on a desk, on your dining room buffet, and placing a single floor lamp anywhere you've got a side chair to instantly create a cozy nook.

Now that you're ready to embrace your personality with your lamps, I wanted to share a couple of quick rules to follow to make sure you got the right size when selecting your lamps.

Measurements to Follow:

You want your lamps to be around 24” to 27” inches tall on your nightstand. You can go a little taller if you like the taller lamp, I just wouldn't go taller than your headboard.

I would also look for something 24” to 28” inches high to put on your side tables or living room accent tables. If you're unsure, you can always measure your end table, measure the lamp, and be sure not to go above a range of about 58 to 64 inches. This is so the entire scene doesn't look too tall.

<insert drawing of this - B, can you see if you can find this elevation somewhere in our drawings or on shutterstock and then add in the dimensions I am talking about>

This is a rule of thumb to follow to give your room some visual balance. You don’t want the height of your sofa wall to be way different from the height of your lamp because this creates a disproportionate height difference. It ends up making the room uncomfortable, unrelatable, and also makes that light not very functional to the person sitting on the sofa.

If you’re like me you’ve probably got a million projects and looking for the perfect pair of mismatched lamps may not be a top priority. When it comes to the following areas, I look for pairs of lamps or matching lamp sets.

  • Buffets
  • Nightstands
  • End Tables
  • Accent Tables

When I'm looking for a farmhouse lamp to place on my desk, I love to go a lot smaller and look for something about 14 inches high or lower to really give me some good lighting in my working area.

Selecting a Lampshade:

Whenever I'm selecting a lampshade, I usually take cues from the lamp itself. Here you can see I'm working with a very beautiful lamp that has carving details, a gorgeous color, patina, distressing, gold, and some stone. That is the beauty of this lamp. In this particular case, I love sticking to something simple like this linen shade when I'm working with a lamp that has a lot to offer.

On the flip side, when I find a really beautiful shade, then I tend to look for a simple lamp so the lampshade is the star of the show.

If you're unsure, stick with a basic linen lampshade. You will not go wrong and love it for years to come.

My Best Farmhouse Lamp Style Advice:

Don't settle for the first pair of lamps that you come across because this is a great spot to express your personality and it's a piece of decor that's going to be around in your home for a long time.

If you’ve got any more questions about how to select the right lamp, leave a comment in the comment section!

You can find many of the farmhouse lamps seen in this week’s episode over at our retail store in Houston, Village Antiques.

Not in Houston? Shop our Instagram page! You can find us here:

Or call us at 713-468-3931!

‘Till the next time we meet, keep making your home amazing with your design gifts!

With love,

Amitha

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