Learn From Vern: All About Table Lamps

HGTV Star judge Vern Yip shares his brightest tips for lighting up your room in HGTV Magazine.

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Finding the Right Height

Table lamps commonly range from 24 to 34 inches tall, including the shade. A good trick for choosing the right height: The bottom of the shade should be eye level when you’re seated. Jamie Young Lighting Saint Croix 20 1/2\"-tall mercury-glass base with coral shade, $265, laylagrayce.com

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Buying a New Shade

Measure the base at its widest point — the diameter of the shade should be about twice that. And the shade should cover the switch but let a little of the neck peek out. Wood 32 3/4\"-tall lamp with hidden curio cabinet, $190, hsn.com

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A Versatile Shade Shape

A drum shade is pretty no-fail. It complements almost any base, from a sleek cylinder to a curvy urn. I’m a fan of white linen, but you can’t go wrong with any neutral, like a cream-colored paper shade or a pale gray cotton one. Design by Conran Lucina 20\"-tall wood lamp, $175, jcp.com

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Color Scheme

If you choose a lamp with a vibrant shade or base, add accents in the same color — like pillows or a throw — to tie the room together. Gourd 21 1/2\"-tall glass lamp in royal blue, $40, lampsplus.com

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Lighting for Dark Rooms

Pick a translucent paper or fabric shade — it’ll let lots of light through. Malia 24 1/8\"-tall seeded glass lamp, $129, ballarddesigns.com

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Mix and Match

Different lamp bases in the same room can look great. To unify them, top them all with shades that have the same shape. HGTV HOME citrus chevron 26\"-tall ceramic lamp, $297, hgtvhome.com for stores

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Spacing Matters

When I’m putting two lamps on one table, I like to leave at least two to three feet between them so they don’t look clumped together. It also helps distribute the light evenly throughout the room. Esta 24\"-tall glass lamp, $249, crateandbarrel.com

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Know Your Hardware

Shades attach to bases in different ways. Some require a harp (a spider fitting), some sit on hardware attached to the bulb’s base (an uno fitting), and others clip right onto the bulb (a clip-on fitting). If you buy a base and shade separately, make sure they both have the same fitting. Library adjustable 31\"-tall lamp in antique nickel finish with D shade, $165, restorationhardware.com

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On Trend

A metallic base will reflect light. More brightness for your buck! Teal honeycomb 24\"-tall chrome-plated lamp, $55, pier1.com

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Play With Patterns

A patterned shade on a solid base looks cool. The reverse works too. Spindle 27\"-tall resin lamp with lattice shade, $175, shadesoflight.com

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