There is a similarity between the height of a floor lamp, and an end table with a lamp on it. Floor lamps, measured from bottom of base, to top of finial, if they have one, are usually 58 to 64 inches high.
When paring an end table, with a table lamp, the combined height of the two should also be 58 to 64 inches high. (The same height of the floor lamp).
At different points in time, different heights for end tables and lamp combinations were considered fashionable. In 1972 my Mother paired, what was then fashionable, a 19 inch high Mediterranean styled end table with a 44 inch high table lamp. In 1983, in my first house, I paired a Chinoiserie decorated Parson styled end table, that was 24 1/2 inches high with a 33 1/2 inch tall table lamp. Today end tables are running anywhere from 27 to 30 inches high, and are being paired with a 30 to 36 inch table lamp. No matter what the trendy style of the moment is, the combined height of the table lamp and end table stays the same 58 to 64 inches. (see illustration 1 showing comparison of floor lamp and end table combinations over the years).
The main reason for uniformity of lamp heights (end table with lamp, or floor lamp) is that you want the eye to move across the room in one even sweep. You don’t want it to jerk up and down from a high light source to a low one.
If you have a high chest in a room, and want to place a light fixture on it, pick a diminutive accent lamp for the spot. Still try to stay, if possible, in that 58 to 64 inch range. It is OK to not be perfect, but try to go close as possible. If you are putting accent lamps on a fireplace mantle keep them kind of short, but don’t worry about lining them up with the table and floor lamps used in the room. The fireplace is a focal point of a room, and having lighting positioned higher in the room there, is not a problem.
Since I am on end tables, …when picking an end table to go along side a sofa or chair, pick one that is the same height, as the height of the arm of the sofa or chair. The reasoning here is that if a person is seated and holding a drink, they can easily move their arm sideways and place the drink on the end table. (see illustration 2).
If a person is putting end tables along side of a bed, try to match them up with the height of the mattress and box spring put into the bed frame. (see illustration 3). Match the end table along side a bed, with a lamp, that when they are combined, their height is also 58 to 64 inches.
To know more about matching table lamps and end tables read my two posts.. Looking at the Different Shapes of Lamp Bases and Matching the Right Shaped End Table with a Table Lamp (click on post titles to read the articles).
Finally, it is OK to have an end table with a lamp on it, on one side of a sofa, and a floor lamp, by itself on the other. You can flank a sofa with two unmatched end tables for shape and height. You can pair the tables with mismatched lamps of different heights and shapes, as long as the lamps and end tables measurements combined, are the same on both sides of the sofa. (58 to 64 inches). It is also OK to have 2 floor lamps flank a sofa, if there is no space for end tables.
Now go through high-end decorating magazines. Notice how different lamps and end tables are combined in those rooms.
Companion Posts …
Interior Decorating with ACCENT LAMPS,12-5-2012,
Interior Decorating with TABLE LAMPS 12-12-2012,
Interior Decorating with BUFFET LAMPS 12-19-2012,
The answer to ..Can you put a Floor Lamp next to a Sofa? 10-4-2012,
(Curtains and Drapes)
The Right way to hang Curtains and Drapes 5-3-2011,
Hanging Valances, Curtains and Drapes on Different Kinds of Windows 7-15-2012
(Color and Fabric)
Pick (Use) four colors when decorating a room. 3-7-2011,
Picking the Right paint Colors to go with the Wood in your Home..Color Theory 3-9-2013,
Interior Decorating is all about Equal Balance 2-27-2011,
When Decorating a Beige Room, think Tones, Textures and Sculptural Interest 3-16-2011,
How to Pick the Perfect GRAY PAINT..A Popular Color Choice of the Moment 2-15-2014,
Looking at Patterns used on Upholstery Fabric, Drapes, Wallpaper and Carpeting 3-10-2012,
Mixing and Matching Fabric and Wallpaper Patterns 4-13-2012
Looking at the Different sizes of Patterns used on Wallpaper and Fabric 3-20-2012.
Arranging Living Room Furniture so Sofas talk to Chairs, like the Pros do 9-7-2012,
Arranging Furniture TWELVE different ways in the Same Room 9-15-2012,
Arranging Furniture around a Fireplace in the Corner of a Room 9-29-2012,
When buying Living Room Furniture FORGET the Loveseat, buy Two Wing, Club, or Occasional Chairs instead 10-13-2012,
Arranging Furniture in a 12 foot wide by 24 foot long Living Room 2-5-2014,
It’s Easy to arrange Furniture in a Square Living Room 11-29-2013.
(Hanging Pictures and Mirrors, Arranging Decorative Accessories)
Picking and Hanging the Right size Picture or Mirror over your Fireplace 6-23-2011,
It’s Easy to Make a Grouping of Pictures 6-29-2011,
Making an Interesting Arrangement of Pictures 7-8-2011,
It’s Easy to Hang Pictures up on the Wall 7-17-2011,
Hanging Pictures around the Room 8-3-2011
Hanging Pictures over a Sofa 9-12-2011,
It’s Easy to Decorate a Room with Tall / High Ceilings 2-3-2013,
Arranging your Decorative Accessories (Knickknacks and Collectables) 6-7-2011,
A Bridge unites a Tablescape and Wall Decor 6-10-2011
(Unrelated, but Really Popular Seasonal Posts)
Putting Lights on a Christmas Tree 11-3-2011,
How to Decorate a Christmas Tree with Tulle 10-20-2012,
Cutting / Making Paper Snowflakes 10-27-2011,
Christmas Tree Decorating…Step by step, Like a Pro 11-13-2011