Lighting – Finding the Right Lamp for the Right Spot

I have been searching for a lamp for months. Department stores, discount stores, used furniture stores, catalogs, and Web sites – none of them had the perfect lamp. My lamp, if I ever found it, had to be 22 "-24" high. The socket had to fit a three-way bulb. The shade had to be white or off-white. The design had to link New England and Oriental styles. As for cost, I did not want to pay more than $ 200, including shipping.

Now you know why the search has taken so long. I have read dozens of articles about choosing lamps. According to "Lighting Essentials," an article on the Home and Garden Web site, a room should not be over-lit. "Proper lighting enhances your skin tone, allows you to see what you're doing and draws attention to the focal points in your decor," the article says.

An article by Fred Albert, "Before You Buy a Table Lamp," on the site, reminded me of something important. "Make sure the lamp is correctly proportioned to the table on which it will be sitting." Albert also says the shade should not stick out beyond the edges of the table. I added these points to my list of requirements.

The search for the right lamp had become a treasure hunt. By now, my choice had narrowed down to ginger jar lamps. I logged onto the Internet again and found a site that specializes in Oriental furnishings. Two black lamps caught my attention. One was square and the other was vase-shaped. Both lamps had white shades. The square lamp was too large so I eliminated it. Though the vase lamp might work I worried about the color.

The dining room walls are off-white and the table and chairs are brown. A black lamp might make the room look drab. To see how the lamp would look I hung a pair of black slacks on the existing lamp. With my luck my husband would find me "dressing" the lamp and and wonder about my mental health. Was the search for the right lamp making me whacko?

After tossing and turning most of the night, I decided to order the vase lamp. But when I logged onto the site it would not accept my credit card. I tried again. This time the address box disappeared. I tried again. Another glitch. I tried again. Then I realized I had ordered four lamps. Yikes!

I called the toll-free number and reported the ordering glitches. "I'm not opening a lamp store," I said. "I just want to order one lamp." It was a good thing I called because the company had not told order processing that the lamp was on sale. "That can not be right," I said. "Your Web site shows the lamp under sale merchandise."

"Just a minute," the ordering person said. "I'll check on that." Yes, the lamp was on sale and in stock. I would receive e-mail confirmation of the order. The lamp would be shipped via Federal Express. After months of searching I had found the treasure I was seeking. My lamp – the right lamp for the right spot – arrives in a week. I can hardly wait.

Copyright 2007 by Harriet Hodgson