Unique table lamps are a great way to accessorize your home and broadcast your personality to the world. Buying a unique table lamp doesn’t necessarily mean spending hundreds on the latest technology. Sometimes uniqueness can be found in the most basic of things, such as a different color, a different shape, a different style or a different size!  

Unique table lamps can come in any style, finish and shape! There are many one-of-a-kind, aesthetically pleasing table lamps that can be found at a bargain.  The price will depend on many factors like size, materials, and style.  Speaking of which….

Table Lamp Styles

When it comes to style, some of the different styles of lamps are: modern, retro, contemporary, traditional, transitional, mission, Tiffany, colonial, casual, rustic, art deco, tropical, and nautical.

Modern style lamps are what most of us think of when asked to picture a lamp.  The design is simple and functional, with a heavy focus on the latter. Modern style is described as being timeless and iconic, with the form usually staying away from abstract shapes and designs.

Retro style is all about the past! This style is defined as imitative of trends, music, modes, fashions, or attitudes of the past dating back two decades. Retro style lamps can be lava lamps, lamps that resemble old games, fashion, and even theme-specific prints or icons that you can’t find elsewhere.

Contemporary style is ironically defined by it’s ever-changing definition.  This style is entirely dependent on the current time period.  Trendier consumers will love this inherent fluidity, as well as the emphasis on line and form that often accompanies contemporary lamps. Despite being trendy and up-to-date, contemporary lamps still have a minimalistic design that can warm a room.

Traditional style lamps are for those who often miss “the way things used to be”.  While some may see this style as outdated, others will revel in its classic, warm design. Distinctive characteristics of traditional lamps are symmetry, a soft edge, a conservative color, and a wood finish.

Transitional style is for those who want the best of both worlds.  The warm, homey atmosphere created by Traditional lamps meets the more modern design of Contemporary lamps. Common characteristics of transitional lamps include simple silhouettes, neutral colors, and minimal accents.

Mission style refers to Mission Revival Style Architecture pioneered by Spanish architects in Southwestern United States and Mexico. Mission style lamps use a combination of wood, glass, and metal. Key characteristics of this style are simplicity, elegance, sturdy structure (Mission lamps are some of the most durable) and natural materials.

Tiffany style refers to a very specific style lamp created by Louis Comfort Tiffany. This style of lamp reflects early 1900s france and is characterized by its beautiful (and fragile) glass lamps shades.

Colonial style lamps are a branch of the traditional style tree. Like the traditional style, it is characterized by its symmetrical elements.  However, Colonial lamps tend to have a heavier emphasis on simplicity and elegance.

Casual style lamps are for those who are really looking to have some fun with their unique table lamp.  Casual style lamps use exclusively natural and bright colors. Custom prints are also used heavily in this style.

Rustic style lamps are for those who love the great outdoors and nature.  Earthy tones dominate this style, and most are made out of natural wood.  This style uses organic shapes, nature, warmth and organic materials. The materials used in this style are usually weathered, earth-colored, connected to the outdoors, and repurposed.

Art deco style lamps simply cannot be ignored.  “Art Deco” refers to the characteristic style of the 1920s. Glamour is a big signature of this style, however, these lamps are also very elegant and progressive. Most lamps are layered and utilize shiny materials such as chrome or brass and geometric.

Tropical style lamps are, well, tropical! Palm trees, vibrant blues and greens and a comforting, laid-back feel accompany any lamps made in this style.  Tropical lamps are very airy and light and enlist things from the ocean such as seashells, sand, etc to provide the finishing touch.

Finally, Nautical style refers to things characteristic of ships and sea life. Nautical style lamps use designs such as buoys, anchors or a ship’s wheel to dress it up and provide theme. The color schemes are traditionally navy blue and white with some red and yellow worked in.

When buying a unique table lamp, you need to consider what will best reflect your personality, style and taste. Sometimes the seemingly simplest lamps will make the biggest statement! Finding the perfect unique table lamp is simply a matter of matching your personal needs with the aesthetics of your home.

Pre-Buy Checklist

There are many things to consider when buying your first unique lamp.  Use this checklist to ensure you consider all factors before making your decision.

Questions to ponder:

  • What style is the lamp?
  • What is the finish?
  • How much does it weigh?
  • Are there other color options?
  • What is the source of power? (batteries, cord, etc.)
  • What is the wattage and voltage?
  • What is the switch style? (toggle, power cord, etc.)
  • How many come in one package?

Using the information in this article, as well as the checklist above, will drastically improve the chances of you being happy with your new lamp.  Happy Hunting!