All about: Glass table lamps

Whether you’re making a flamboyant statement or want something subtle, cool and classy, glass is a perfect material for table lamps. Here’s our complete guide to choosing a glass table lamp, plus ideas and inspiration for using glass in your interior design…

Why glass?

Glass has always been prized as a material for ornaments and objects– because of its beauty, of course, but also because of the skill and craftsmanship involved in making high quality glass objects. In fact, the Venetian island of Murano – effectively the birthplace of decorative European glass-blowing – was so protective of its glassmakers that in the 14th Century anyone caught exporting their professional secrets could be punished by death.

‘Glass Blowers of Murano’ (1886) Charles Frederick Ulrich We’ve come a long way since then, but beautiful glass is still valued in part because it’s so difficult to make. As a statement, a large, gorgeously-coloured and shaped glass lamp, placed on a side table or cabinet, just oozes quality, taste and class. But glass is also very versatile: it can be subtle or showy, contemporary or classic. Here are some ideas to inspire you for using different kinds of glass table lamp for different effects and in different interior design schemes…

Classic glass table lamp

A really well-made, clear cut glass lamp carries a hint of Regency decanters, or antique perfume bottles. Something like the Zsa Zsa in clear glass – or the fabulous Roddy – will work brilliantly on a dressing-table. For subtle and elegant, then try a tall, thin glass table lamp. We designed the Keneggy (below) as two fluted glass tubes joined by brass.


Bottle-style glass table lamps

Remember going to Italian restaurant as a child and loving the way they used an old fat-bottomed Chianti bottle as a candle-holder, the glass covered in dribbles of hardened wax? Who knows why, but there’s something pleasing and oddly nostalgic about seeing a bottle double up as a lamp. You can get the same sort of feeling but stay cool and contemporary with a blown glass bottle table lamp, like the Kardish. In a vibrant colour with the light pouring onto it, something like this can make a real statement and bring accent colour to a room, especially if you’re also bold with your choice of lampshade. 
Kardish Table LampKardish

Glass bedside lamps

Another great thing about using glass – particularly clear glass – is that it can help if you’re trying to make a smallish space look bigger. Transparent materials and objects create a feeling of light and space rather than clutter, removing barriers for the eye and opening up a room. (For more tips and ideas on that, see our post: How to use lighting to make a room look bigger.) That also means that glass is great on bedside cabinets and tables. A Pooky examples is the Katherine in clear blown glass- effectively a paperweight that has been ‘lampified’, it’s petite and very pretty and perfect as a bedside lamp.

Glass and metal combinations

Another great way to use glass is in a combination with a metal. The Wisteria pictured below left has a bluey green glass vase sitting in a solid brass base – a really simple design that works so well in all kinds of decorative themes. Nickel also looks lovely with clear glass, and you can seek out different combinations of coloured glass and metal to find the one that clicks with your interior décor.
Wisteria in nickel and clear glass

Unusual or statement glass table lamps

If you want something sensational – a real conversation piece – on your side-table then a really flamboyant piece of hand-blown glass should do the trick. There’s the obvious skill that goes into making fine glass lamps, but you can also find real artistry: pieces like the Isla are imbued with the personality of the maker, and of course every hand-blown glass item is unique with its own little bubbles and imperfections.

Or for something completely wonderful and fun, try coloured glass combinations. The Sweetie is a stack of colourful glass balls on a clear glass base. Nobody else will have anything quite like it…


One final tip – if you love the combination of light and glass that table lamps bring, why not match up with glass pendant lights or glass wall lights for a coherent scheme? If you take a bit of care over the design, you’ll find glass lights make perfect accent features in a room – looking almost as lovely in the day time as they do when lit up at night.

Browse all of our beautiful, unusual glass table lamps here.