Bedside match or not to match is the question

nutmegxoMarch 4, 2012

I am on the hunt for new bedside lamps (for nightstands on either side of the bed). Right now we have Pottery Barn swing arm lamps on either side of the bed and I am tired of this look. I want table lamps...looking for French Country/Shabby Chic sort of style - hopefully lamp bases that are off white. My question is do the lamps have to be identical? Or can I pull it off with 2 different lamps that maybe have a common style/color/height to them.

I found a few things here and there on eBay that look nice but everything I find is by itself; not everything is sold in twos. I also don't want to spend a fortune on bedside looking for a bargain!! :)

What do you use for lighting on your nightstands?

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Lamps don't have to match and I have seen many beautiful rooms with unmatched lamps. Having said that, I personally like my bedside lamps to match. For some reason I desire symmetry there. I have the Bacchus lamps from Pottery Barn and have also been looking for something in the creamy white color. Please post pictures of your bedroom progress!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Thx sis2two! I finished most of the painting but still have to do the wallpapering so I promise to post pics in another week or so.

I kind of like the idea of using mismatched lamps but it is tricky trying to find two separate lamps that work well together.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 9:41PM
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I also went through a short process of wanting to find mismatched (but same size/scale) bedroom lamps but didn't find anything that worked, so ended up with matching lamps. I think mismatched can work as long as they are the same size and maybe use the same lampshades, if possible.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 9:44PM
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IMO bedside lamps (or, in fact lamps anywhere) do not have to match if you decorate in a casual style. However, bedside lamps should be the same height, be similar decorative weight, and have matching shades IMO. I am currently using 2 mismatched lamps, one is crystal, the other a vintage one with glass pieces and cherubs. My DH painted the brass parts white. They are the same height and both styles work with my vintage cottage room. They were yard sale finds, the crystal one (and it is real lead crystal) cost $5 and the vintage one $2 - can't beat those prices! Shades are the expensive part of lamps.

If your chosen 2 lamps are not the same height you could place one on a riser (such as a few books or a small decorative box).

For inexpensive lamps you might try Ikea - I have a pair I bought there years ago that I used as bedside lamps. They were $5. each without shades.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 10:36PM
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I think they can be two different lamps, as long as they are different enough that it looks intentional. If they look very much alike, but are just a bit different, it perhaps give the sense that you WANTED them to match, but couldn't do that.

DH and I have two different night tables, and two different lamps. Works for us, because each of the pieces works in the room.

1 Like    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 10:39PM
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In our old master I had a table lamp, and DH had an antique floor lamp. The guest room now has that setup with a different table lamp. In our current master we have different nightstands but matching lamps.

I agree that if they don't match, it needs to look intentional.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 10:03AM
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Ours don't match. I found an art glass lamp that I loved and brought it home. It is one of a kind as far as I know, and I don't think I'd want a pair if they made them. We have a chunky contemporary crystal lamp on the other nightstand, keeping with glass and a square shape, but definitely different too. We already had the lamps when we picked the crystal drum chandelier, so it all seemed to fit. Our furniture is traditional, but our lighting is all on the contemporary/artsy side.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Funnily, enough, I would go so far as to say that "matching" is out. Remember when a bed was always flanked by identical nightstands, with identical lamps. And the sofa, too?

I don't know if it will ever come back "in" again, but I have come to dislike matching. In particular in the bedroom, when you can give a gentle nod to which is the distaff side and which is the manly man side with your choices.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 10:55AM
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Because my bedroom has unmatched furniture, I chose to use matching lamps on our nightstands. My DH couldn't believe there was finally SOMETHING matching in our room ;-)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 5:47PM
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Thanks for all the responses everyone! Very interesting to get different opinions.

The challenge of trying to find two lamps that are different but also mesh well together was giving me a headache!! Although I like the idea of using different lamps so that things don't look so matchy matchy, I opted to go with identical lamps. I just ordered these from Target (see link below). I will be substituting with different shades...most likely using silk cream colored shades.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shabby Chic Lamps that I bought from Target

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 9:35PM
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Those are the same bedroom lamps that I just bought. Perfect for reading and I reallly love them and dont mind at all that they match. The shabby chic crystal is for me the matchy matchy part is for DH since he really prefers matching furniture- and the bedroom is the only matchy matchy part of the house.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 8:48AM
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I briefly had matching bedside lamps but quickly moved them elsewhere and went back to my mismatched yet simial pair. They both have aged gold thin bases, 1 has a black oval shade and the other a black metal 'pagoda?' style shade. 1 is slightly shorter so I use 2 old books to raise it to the same height.

I read this 'rule' once which I thought made sense: If you have 2 matching tables - try 2 different lamps to loosen it up. If you have 2 different tables use 2 matching lamps.

Seemed to work for what I like.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 9:26AM
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I have matching tables, so I opted for
dufferent lamps, they are the same color
family same height and the shades are both
a light bronze color...mine is more delicate,
his is more masculine.
...actually, I prefer non matching lamps everywhere.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 10:06AM
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UGH!!! update...I received the shabby chic lamps I ordered from Target and they did not look right in the room so I returned them. There was a little bit of silver colored metal on the lamps and I don't want any silvery color in the room; so back to the drawing board!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 11:05PM
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