How to Place Lamps in a Living Room


Lamps play an important role in decorating and illuminating a living room. Choose locations for a variety of lamps to accommodate the room's activities, your lighting preferences and the desired mood. Whether you need task lighting for reading and working on hobbies or mood lighting to generate a party atmosphere for entertaining guests, place the appropriate lamps in the proper locations to maximize their function and decorative appeal.

Things You'll Need

  • Table lamps
  • Wall lamps
  • Floor lamps
  • Can lamps
  • Place table lamps on top of accent tables and shelves around the edges of your living room to radiate light inward and add a soft glow to the walls.

  • Flank your fireplace with a pair of wall lamps, or sconces, to increase the decorative appeal with a subtle radiance.

  • Situate a floor lamp next to or behind an armchair to provide illumination for an up-close activity, such as reading; position the bottom of the lampshade at eye level to reduce possible eye strain.

  • Draw attention to a large potted floor plant by placing a small can lamp on the floor beside the pot. Adjust the light to radiate upward to cast dramatic shadows on the ceiling, as well as on the wall behind the plant.

  • Set a floor lamp behind or adjacent to a television set to reduce annoying glare and soften the contrast between a dark living room and bright television screen.

  • Center your sofa between a matching of decorative table lamps perched on matching end tables to add aesthetic symmetry, while providing mood lighting for a party-like atmosphere, as well as functional illumination for writing or reading.

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  • Photo Credit lamp image by Mat Hayward from
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