Floor lamps can be a godsend in any room because of their versatility, and this is particularly true with mid-century modern floor lamps because they need to have the distinctive style associated with this design era.
Floor lamps are an essential lighting element that can illuminate dark spots, provide task lighting or set a mood, all without the cost of an electrician for hard-wired installation. Their portability means that you can move the lamp to another sport or even another room when you redecorate.
Besides solving a lighting need, a mid-century floor lamp should complement the types of lighting already in the room and give it a warmer, cozier feeling. It’s best to assess the kind of light you already have before shopping for a floor lamp.
Overhead lights that are too bright can be countered by a floor lamp that puts out a warmer light, or poor overall lighting in a room can be enhanced by a style meant for task lighting. Next, come the size and the style:
- Consider proportions when you choose a floor lamp so that you don’t overwhelm your room with a lamp that is too big for the space. Similarly, a small floor lamp might not put out enough light for a larger room.
- Finally, even within the specific style of midcentury floor lamps, there are lots of options.
Is a Vintage Mid Century Floor Lamp Worth It?
If you’re decorating your home in the mid-century modern style, having a matching floor lamp is definitely worth it. There are plenty of designs to choose from with prices that are suitable for every budget.
Older than 100 years, vintage furniture is defined as furniture created during the twentieth century. The terms “vintage furniture” have a broad range of meanings and can refer to furniture from any time period. It is frequently used to describe mid-century or retro-styled furnishings.
Owning a vintage lamp that matches the mid-century modern style means you’ll get to add a unique flair and invest in a product that’s bund to spark conversation as guests walk into your home. However, while vintage mid-century floor lamps will add a certain old-fashioned vibe to your home, you need to consider the limitations that come when opting for a vintage lamp:
- If we’re discussing “vintage”, then it’s probably a second-hand lamp you bought from somewhere. That means that you won’t have any warranty coverage so, in case anything breaks or is damaged, you won’t benefit from warranty.
- If your vintage-style mid-century floor lamp breaks, finding replacement parts will be next to impossible, so consider that as well before shopping for such a piece.
- Since the wiring on vintage lamps is pretty old, chances are you’ll mostly find pieces that require repairs or units that have unreliable wiring. If you’re not good at fiddling with wires, a vintage mid-century modern lamp may cause a lot of headaches.
Benefits of Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps
Naturally, mid-century modern floor lamps bring forth a series of benefits that you need to know about because they may help you determine whether or not the product is right for you:
- You have a lot of design and style to choose from. Mid-century modern floor lamps are distinguished by their smooth curves and geometric shapes, which combine to create a revolutionary combination of form and function.
- You have a great-looking task light. Floor lamps from the mid-century modern era are ideal for giving concentrated downward illumination as well as task lighting.
- They help you see better. Floor lamps can aid in improving concentration and reducing eye strain when placed at eye level.
- They work in just about every space. Mid-century floor lamps work in the office, bedroom, living room, craft room, etc.
- You are covered by warranty. In case something is damaged due to faulty manufacturing, you get warranty coverage. Plus, most sellers allow for lamp returns with a full refund within the first 30 days of use.
- They have reliable wiring. This is in comparison with second-hand/vintage mid-century floor lamps, where the wiring is old and questionable.
What Is the Difference Between Mid-Century Modern and Contemporary?
Many individuals believe that modern and contemporary are interchangeable terms. However, there is a world of difference between the two. Modern design is associated with a time that has passed, whereas current design is concerned with the present and the future. The mid-century modern era, which encompassed the 1950s and 1960s, is the most popular period in contemporary design history
Mid-century modern design is mostly focused on wood tones and earthy elements, while contemporary styles are about combination of metal and glass.
What to Look for in a Mid-Century Floor Lamp
If you still find it confusing to tell a regular floor lamp apart from a mid-century style one, here are some of the features and details to look out for.
The mid-century modern style is characterized by a lack of clutter and extraneous embellishment. Statement elements, such as enormous sculptures or plants, are more popular, but tiny trinkets or collections are more often hidden away in the background. Mid-century modern living rooms, for example, are characterized by a concentration on the essentials, with only a few objects to complete the design.
What this means is that your floor lamp shouldn’t have intricate details or heavy ornamentation if you wish to decorate your room in the true mid-century modern style.
The mid-century modern style is characterized by clean lines and a combination of organic and geometric elements. Simplicity is key, and some of the simplest mid-century modern living room furnishings, such as coffee tables and chairs, are also some of the most stunning.
Mid-century contemporary furniture is often easy to identify, but when shopping for new pieces, search for items with clean patterns and minimal embellishments. Clean lines, curves, and smooth surfaces combine to give a refined appearance.
This particular feature goes hand-in-hand with simplicity when it comes to floor lamps. You want to choose models that have well-defined edges, avoiding overly dramatic looks.
Bright accent colors are used in conjunction with primary neutral tones (like black, white, and earthy tones) to create a mid-century modern look. With an emphasis on nature-inspired colors, the mid-century color palette includes earthy greens, vibrant fall yellows and orange, teal, muddy brown, and a deep clay red. In keeping with the concept of combining outdoor and indoor spaces, the mid-century color palette draws many elements from nature.
In mid-century furniture design, man-made materials (such as plastic, fiberglass, or vinyl) and natural materials (such as metal, wood, or glass) are frequently utilized in conjunction with one another. Modern objects are also shown alongside old statement pieces that are reminiscent of mid-century modern style.
When opting for a mid-century modern floor lamp, look for earthy tones and a combination of metal and wood. While glass is often mentioned, pieces that are predominantly made with glass fall on the contemporary side rather than mid-century modern. A few glass embellishments are still accepted.
Average floor lamps are typically 5 to 6 feet in height, with a diameter of approximately 5 to 6 inches. When standing, the shade is frequently at or near the level of the eyes. Tall floor lights are typically large, reaching heights of 6, 7, or even 8 feet in some cases.
Best mid-century floor lamps to style your home decor
When you’re ready to go shopping, here are some of the best mid-century floor lamps available at a wide variety of price points:
The Alphabeta floor lamp by Luca Nichetto has a design inspired by the classic desk lamp but simpler and more graceful. Its lines are sharp yet delicate and you can get it in lots of different color combinations. The lamp is bidirectional and emits light from both the top and the bottom.
The Perimeter 67.5″ Floor Lamp gives any room a little bit of funk and a lot of style. This mid-century floor lamp has multiple loops of metal tubes that form an elegant, tapered base, caging the lightbulb at the top. The oversized shade adds a big dose of drama and amps up the overall look of the lamp. Buyers rave about the style of the floor lamp and the number of compliments it gets from visitors and friends. Its style is versatile, making it suitable for a bedroom, living room or a home office.
The large lampshade is made from fabric and the base is crafted from stainless steel with a powder coating. At the bottom, a floor switch controls the lamp and the cord is cloth-covered for extra style. This lamp uses one bulb — which is included — and reviewers note that if you want more light from this particular model, be sure to choose the lightest lampshade color available. Assembly is required but is reported to be very easy. The Perimeter Floor Lamp comes with a one-year warranty.
Very attractive as a single lamp and absolutely striking when used as a pair, the Darrel 61″ Novelty Floor Lamp is a great balance of retro and modern in one piece. This mid-century floor lamp is compact and takes up very little space, yet has a very commanding appearance. It’s perfect for a hallway corner, a bedroom or any living space. Buyers love to flank a dresser or credenza with a pair of these tall floor lamps.
The style of the Darrel is unique because the three square tubular arms of the frame hold the tall fabric shade, which is a being linen-style textile. The metal is finished in either white or a vintage brown finish. Two 60-watt bulbs provide a warm light that flows through the shade and out the top and is controlled by a convenient footswitch. This UL-listed floor lamp comes with a one-year full warranty. Assembly is required but it is not difficult.
The Haywards 59.5″ Tripod Floor Lamp has a classic mid-century profile that will add the right style to your decor. Its walnut-finish wood base has a natural feel yet the overall vibe could definitely be considered urban. Perfect for a variety of interiors, from modern to transitional to mid-century, the tripod style adds extra function with the convenient shelf that is incorporated into the design. The shade is a moderately-sized drum shape and is very versatile in an oatmeal-colored linen.
Controlling the level of light on this ETL-listed mid-century floor lamp is simple with the three-way switch. The bulbs are included with the lamp. Assembly is required for the Haywards Tripod Floor Lamp and no warranty information is listed for this model. Reviewers overwhelmingly love this lamp with nearly all of them giving it four or five stars. They have noted that the electric cord runs directly down from the socket.
Perfect for general or task lighting over any type of seating, the Reitveld Adjustable Floor Lamp has a mid-century style with a bit of a refined industrial edge. The tall angel of the slim, hinged base contrasts with the large, sleek metal dome that serves as a shade. Crafted from sturdy stainless steel with a stylish matte black finish, the Reitveld is ideal for lighting up your living room sofa or a favorite armchair. The height is adjustable so it’s easy to control how close the light is to where you are sitting or working.
The LED-compatible floor lamp is controlled by a convenient on/off footswitch; however, it is not dimmable. The maximum capacity wattage for the lamp is 10 watts, which means it will accommodate a 9.5W LED Bulb, which generally emits 800 Lumens. This mid-century floor lamp is ETL and UL listed, requires assembly and is covered by a limited one-year warranty. Happy reviewers love the style and adjustability of the Reitveld floor lamp.
Equal parts functional lighting and iconic mid-century style decor, the Bryce 63″ Tree Floor Lamp is a marvelous option for any room. While it has a small footprint, it offers up big versatility thanks to the two separate lights on the single pole. Finished in a stylish matte black, the lamp has brass or silver metal elements to blend with your existing decor. Each of the aluminum shades has a chic hourglass shape that adds some extra flair to the design and can be rotated at about 350 degrees vertically and about 80 degrees horizontally, letting you control where the light is directed.
This mid-century floor lamp requires two bulbs, one for each shade. While the maximum wattage is 60 watts per bulb, the fixture can be used with LED light bulbs for energy efficiency. The lights are controlled by a switch on the central post and each of the two can be controlled independently. In addition, the lights are dimmable, but a dimmer is not included in the listing. The UL-listed Bryce Tree Lamp is covered by a full one-year warranty. Almost all reviewers love this lamp for its style and super functionality.
Break the rules of tradition with the Deer Park 59″ Novelty Floor Lamp, which is a great example of a unique mid-century design. Round globes contrasted with the lines of the metal base create a design that is just as much art as it is light fixture. Whether used to light up a corner or as a focal fixture, this floor lamp attracts plenty of attention. The playful design sits atop a small but sturdy marble base and is a great addition to any modern or mid-century interior.
Stainless steel with a gold finish makes up the arts of the fixture while the globe shades are a classic white glass. Controlled by a footswitch, the three lights are dimmable but do not work independently from one another. Bulbs for this ETL and UL listed floor lamp must have a maximum wattage of 25 per bulb and a candelabra base, although some reviewers note that they have been able to use energy-saving bulbs instead. Happy reviewers say the Deer Park floor lamp is very affordable for such a unique and striking design.
The Higgin 66″ Tree Floor Lamp is a fixture for solving lots of lighting issues. The size is perfect for smaller spaces or dark corners because its trio of individual lights can be adjusted to direct light in several directions: Turn one downward for task lighting, another toward the back to reflect off of the wall and the third in yet another direction. Inspired by classic mid-century lighting designs, this floor lamp has a cylindrical base that anchors the slim pole that supports the round shades.
Offred in three versatile finishes — gold, black or silver — the lamp features a 96-inch clear cord and an on/off switch. While the shades are adjustable, the lights cannot be used with a dimmer and do not operate independently. The maximum wattage per bulb is 25 watts. This Higgin tree floor lamp is backed by a two-year warranty. Buyers call this lamp swanky and stylish, as well as super functional.
A little simplicity can go a long way in making a striking statement, and that’s what you get with the Uresti 61″ Floor Lamp. This mid-century floor lamp has a very slim and sophisticated profile and is topped off with a classic drum shade in a neutral tone. Interiors ranging from classic mid-century modern to traditional or eclectic are the perfect place for this lamp. A silver metal base and accents are an elegant pairing with the warm, brown stained maple finish.
A three-way switch on the socket controls the single bulb in this lamp, which requires a 150-watt maximum incandescent bulb. The Uresti is not compatible with LED bulbs. The ETL-listed floor lamp does not come with a dimmer. Assembly is required and the product is not covered by any warranties. Happy buyers love the elegance and versatility of this mid-century floor lamp.
The Cardone 60″ LED Tripod Floor Lamp brings plenty of classic mid-century style at a very affordable price point. It has a timeless tripod design that works well with just about any interior decor style, depending on the finish that you choose. A touch of industrial flair gives the lamp a bit of unexpected edginess and a fresh look. The lamp has a metal base that is painted to look like wood for the option that has a natural shade, while the other shade colors come with a black painted tripod base.
A unique and statement-making lamp, it features a footswitch to control the light. The long cord is concealed inside the leg of the lamp, which is great for those who dislike floor lamp models where the cord is more visible. The drum shade is made from PVC and perfectly proportioned for the tripod base. The Cardone is Energy Star compliant, UL- and ETL-listed and can be used with a three-way bulb or an LED bulb. Assembly is required, but it’s estimated at only 20 minutes. This floor lamp is not covered by a warranty.
For an understated mid-century floor lamp, you can’t go wrong with the Lyndon 65″ Tree Floor Lamp. The design may be spare but it is far from mundane with a super functional angled base post and broad metal shade. Ideal for a variety of decor styles, this lamp works in almost any room of your home. The brass body of the lamp is anchored in a heavy-duty, white solid marble base. The slightly angled metal shade is finished in a chic muted teal blue color and the bulb inside is covered by a glass diffuser.
The UL-listed floor lamp uses an LED bulb with a standard base and a maximum 12 watts. Assembly is required but reviewers say that it is quite simple. Buyers who were pleased with this lamp say that it is high-quality, stable and very stately in appearance. It is not covered by any warranty.
A fresh take on a classic mid-century style, the Lilo 60″ Swing Arm Floor Lamp packs a lot of versatility in a slim silhouette. The height and direction of the lamp are adjustable, making this absolutely perfect next to an armchair or sofa. The study metal base comes with either a brushed steel or blackened copper bronze finish. The tapered drum shade comes in a choice of white or cream fabric to complement your interior decor.
The swing arm style uses one three-way bulb, with a maximum of 150 watts, controlled by a switch on the base of the socket. The Lilo Swing Arm Lamp is compatible with LED bulbs. Assembly is required and the lamp is covered by a warranty, however, the time period is not unspecified. Reviewers say this mid-century floor lamp is easy to assemble, however some note issues with pieces fitting together. Overall, buyers love the look and stability of the lamp.
The sputnik style lamp is a mid-century classic and now you can have it as a floor lamp for any room in your home. The David 64″ Floor Lamp puts that iconic style atop a sturdy metal pole that’s anchored by a black base. Not only does this add a big decor element to the room, it can really light up the space with its six white opal glass globes. It’s an ideal addition to a mid-century or general modern style of interior.
The brass fixture features an on and off switch on the post for the three-watt LED lights. A total of 270 lumens are emitted by the fixture, which is not dimmable. All the lights work in concert and cannot be individually controlled. The UL- and ETL-listed lamp does require assembly and is not covered by a warranty. Reviewers love the finish, size and quality of this floor lamp.
Where can I buy mid-century floor lamps?
Some of the best online stores where you can get good mid-century floor lamps include WayFair, Amazon, All Modern, and Overstock.
How do I know it’s a mid-century style floor lamp?
Mid-century style floor lamps are usually made primarily from metal, using some wood and a few glass elements. They don’t have intricate details and too much ornamentation and are rather focused on simplicity and clean lines. Colors aren’t bright, as they are replaced by earthy tones.
What other styles does mid-century pair with?
Mid-century works really well when paired with styles just as traditional, vintage, farmhouse, or Bohemian.
No matter what floor lamp you prefer, it is a much more versatile and budget-friendly option than installing hardwired lighting. Being able to move it around or easily change out the lamp makes it more fun for the long run. And, if you need to move, you can take your investment with you!