Home decor is a delicate balance between form and function. While everyone wants a picturesque home, the demands of real life tend to take priority. One of the most important decisions you can make when decorating your home is how to manage lighting. Each pool of light created by a bulb influences the appearance of your home, highlighting some areas while casting others into shadow. While your overhead lights should be able to fully illuminate the rooms for cleaning purposes, many people prefer the soft environment created by lamplight.
It's not unusual to find pools of gentle yellow light more pleasing than a bright overhead. The only challenge is actually placing your lamps where you want them. Many people are disappointed by the fact that home outlets are not always conveniently placed for where they want a lamp.
Fortunately, you're not as limited by outlet location as you think. For anyone who enjoys decorating with table lamps, we have put together a helpful guide on how to make sure you can place a table lamp anywhere you want without unsightly extension cords or trip-wire cables getting in the way.
The Right Supplies
When you're looking at a difficult lamp placement, the first thing you need to do is strategize. For every room, there are only a certain number of power outlets, but those outlets don't limit the number of appliances you can run from them. Merely how many plugs are directly available. In order to gain the placement freedom you want, you'll need some supplies beyond the lamp itself.
You Will Need
- Power Strips
- Extension Cords
- Mounting Cable Clips
- screw-in and/or sticky
You May Need
- Cable Sleeves
- Floor Rugs
- Cable Raceway (for walls)
- Drywall Anchors
Place your lamps where you want them and then measure the distance from them to your outlet. This will give you a good idea of how long of an extension cord you need for each placement. Add 5 feet for good measure so you can navigate the cable around obstacles and hide it in plain sight.
Extension Cord, Then Power Strip
When connecting lamps, most people plug in their power strip first, then a number of extension cables around the room to reach their lamps. However, the key to efficient home decor (and safe wiring) is to use as little extra cable as possible. This means it is often smarter to go through an extension cable first, and then connect your power strip nearer where you want more than one lamp.
Going through the extension cord first can help you save money in feet of extension cables and reduce the amount of cable you need to cover up. Try to create efficient extensions wherever you need them and thing of strategic places to tuck away a power strip that can provide power to nearby lamps.
Another interesting note is that as a homeowner, you are not limited to just tables and desks as surfaces. If there is an area you want to light with a lamp but don't have the floor space to create a surface, you can mount a shelf instead.
Mounting a shelf for a small lamp requires no more than two brackets and an attractive piece of wood. You can even use metal, glass, or upcycled materials as long as it sits steadily on your brackets. Mounting shelves is a simple screwdriver or power drill task and once you learn how, you can place a lamp on any wall and at any level you want.
Hiding the Cords
Of course, the real challenge of placing table lamps all over the house is the amount of cable required. And while you may have the extension cords on hand, few people want trailing or draping cables as part of their decor. Fortunately, there are a number of tricks used by both high-tech professionals and savvy home to organize and hide cables.
For cables that run along the floor, the best solution is throw rugs. Even if you already have a room-wide carpet, a throw rug can be a lovely addition to your decor and neatly solves the need to hide cables. Look for rugs that are thick with a cushy weave so that the cables are barely noticeable underneath. From there, you have a lot of leeway for cable placement as long as they run underneath furniture and go under the rugs in open spaces. The most important thing about rugs, however, is that they prevent people from tripping over cables.
Of course, there are a lot of ways to secure and hide cables. Many modern professionals use 'cable sleeves' which are dirt-resistant fabric sleeves that zip or velcro open. One or bundles of cables can be tucked inside and the sleeve creates a smooth across a floor or table to hide cords in. Sleeves reduce the tripping factor, but can still be tripped over.
Cable clips are another way to go and are most often used on the tables (and table legs) themselves. Cable clips either stick with removable mounting pads, clip onto, or screw into a surface and hold a cable tightly in place. They can be used to run a straight cable or small bundle across a surface in lines, and can help you tuck cables neatly. Some cable clips are decorative, making your wall-mounted cables into an artistic display if you choose to go that route.
Some people use cable runways, which are long plastic rectangles with a clip-like access for cables along the length. These are rigid and are most often used on walls to create clean lines instead of dangling cables. However, clips holding your cable taught serves close to the same purpose.
Lamps Anywhere You Want
With a few wiring tricks up your sleeve, home decor is yours to command. Lamps can go anywhere in the house when you know how to create hidden power hubs. No matter how inconveniently your home outlets were placed, you can provide cozy lamplight to every room in your home or create a quiet getaway without unsightly cables or tripping hazards normally associated with power cords.
For more information on how to choose the best lamps and lighting design for your home, contact us today!