Should All Lamps In A Room Match?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

A lamp is just as much a piece of décor as it is integral to a room’s lighting setup. It is common to use multiple lamps throughout a room to create depth and light. So, should all lamps in a room match?

All of the lamps in a room don’t need to match as long as they don’t clash. It isn’t ideal to pair square or rectangular shades with a round lampshade because they are too different in appearance. You can use table lamps, sconces, and floor lamps in a room as long as they aren’t too close together.

Homeowners sometimes use up to 4 lamps in a single room if they have enough space. You never want to put lamps too close together or you can make the room too bright. Follow along as we explore how you can pair lamps that don’t match.

How to Coordinate Lamps in a Room

All of the lamps in a room don’t have to match as long as they are somewhat coordinated. The shades and even the lamps themselves don’t need to match, but they should be slightly similar. Clashing lamp shades will simply throw off the aesthetic in a room.

Your shades don’t need to be the same color at all unless you want the room to be monochromatic. Otherwise, you can essentially choose any color of lamp shade as long as one of them is a neutral color. Neutral lampshades can pair well with any furniture color, walls, flooring, and décor.

Lamps don’t need to be the same height or shape for them to go together well. Several lamps of different shapes and sizes can add depth to a room. This will create a unique lighting situation and will add variety to the room. Let’s take a look at the main factors you should consider to coordinate lamps in a room.


What is your existing lighting setup in the room? A room with a weak or limited lighting setup can benefit from multiple lamps. Tall lamps with a high light output can make any room much brighter.

However, too many lamps or lamps that are too bright can sometimes be overpowering in a room. This isn’t ideal for all rooms, particularly not in a bedroom. Multiple small lamps with warm bulbs can add a mellow and comfortable lighting situation to a room with plenty of existing lighting.

Try to stay consistent with the warmth of the bulbs for the lamps you choose. Warm bulbs don’t go well with cool or white bulbs and will throw off the lighting situation. Avoid bulbs between 3,000K and 3,500K if you want to create warm light with your lamps.


There are several types of lamps that each serve a different purpose and sit at a different high. Table lamps, for example, create a unique lighting situation because they sit elevated. You wouldn’t use a table lamp to completely brighten up a room and it simply cannot do so effectively.

Floor lamps are much taller and you can fit them in many more places. Table lamps and floor lamps go well together depending on where you place them. You wouldn’t need to place a floor lamp adjacent to a table lamp because there would be too much light spillover.

This can be distracting, especially if the floor lamp is much taller than the table lamp. Sconces are a subtle type of lamp that sits on the wall and can be used to add depth. A few sconces spaced out on a wall behind a sofa with a lamp on the end table can create a perfect mellow lighting setup.


Mixing and matching lamp shades is an easy way to add diversity to a room if you do it right. Several types of lamp shades vary based on appearance, style, and how sheer they are. You can easily pair an oversized lamp shade on a floor lamp with a table lamp that has a smaller shade.

Rectangular lamp shades don’t always look great when paired with a bell lamp shade. They have completely different appearances and affect the light much differently. Bowl and bell shades go great together throughout the room because they both have a soft, rounded appearance.

The contrast of sharp edges from square or rectangular lamp shades doesn’t go well with round shades. Novelty lamp shades can go well with any shape when you have multiple lamps in a room. Try to stick to complementary or neutral colors when you have lampshades that don’t match.

How Tall Should a Table Lamp be Next to a Sofa?

A 34” tall table lamp is the perfect height next to a sofa. It can be as small as 24” tall as long as it is roughly at eye level when you sit down. Anything over 34” can create an uncomfortable situation where light beats down on you as you sit.

The height of the table ultimately determines how tall your table lamp should be next to a sofa. You can make it much easier to choose a table lamp if you take accurate measurements before you purchase one. Sit down on your sofa beside the table with a tape measure to see where a lamp shade would be level with your eyes.

You typically want the bottom of the lamp shade to line up around your eyes. Of course, this will vary depending on who sits there so it doesn’t hurt to go with a neutral height. Anywhere between 24” and 36” will work with most people as long as the table is standard height.

How Many Lamps in a Room?

You can reasonably have up to 4 lamps in the average room as long as it isn’t too cramped. However, 4 lamps may be overkill if you already have other significant lighting sources. For example, you wouldn’t need more than 2-3 lamps for a small room with a strong overhead light.

Large rooms or open-concept spaces can handle 4 lamps even with strong overhead lighting. Some rooms in your home can benefit from minimal lighting from lamps. Bedrooms are a great example because too many lighting sources can make the space less relaxing.

Interior designers encourage homeowners to have multiple light sources in a room. This can add more dynamics whether you turn off the overhead light or the lamp. Try not to use more than 4 lamps unless some of them are sconces or else the room will appear too busy and bright.

Matching Floor Lamps in Living Room

A pair of matching floor lamps in a living room can create a classy and stylish look. Bookend a sofa or loveseat with matching floor lamps for a satisfying visual. Bookended floor lamps can be overwhelming if you have a small sofa, however, because there will be too much light overlap.

You can also use matching floor lamps at either end of the room for a unique effect. This will allow you to turn off the overhead light without making the room too dark. Test each lamp individually to see how far the light extends so you know how close together you should put them.

Summing It Up

You don’t need to have matching lamps in a room as long as they aren’t too drastically different. Consider the color tone of the bulbs and try to keep them consistent or else the lamps will clash. Stick to either cool or warm bulbs so that you don’t put off multiple light tones in a single room.

Lampshades don’t need to match, but they should be close in shape. Round and square shades dissipate the light differently and can look strange when you pair them together. A room can have up to 4 lamps as long as you have the space for them.

However, you shouldn’t put lamps too close together or the room will be too bright. Matching floor lamps look great, especially when you put them on either end of a sofa. Make sure that your table lamp is no taller than 34” if it’s beside your sofa.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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