Pairing table lamps: why, where and how to use matching table lights

Positioning a pair of identical table lamps is a wonderfully effective way to create a striking visual motif in a room, to frame a space and to provide symmetry. Here’s how to do it like an interior design expert…

What’s better than a beautiful table lamp? Why, two of them, of course! A pair of matching table lights can introduce depth and contrast, colour and texture, and can help tie a design theme together. What's more, table lamps are lovely decorative objects in their own right, and a pair of carefully chosen table lamps will bring beauty and symmetry to any space.  

1) Study or desk space: create symmetry with paired table lamps 

As well as providing plenty of practical task lighting for reading, working or crafting, a pair of matching table lamps on a desk will create a lovely sense of symmetry and balance.  

In this room by Sean Symington, a pair of large, curvy Rattle cane table lamps brings a natural grandeur to the study area. The cane lamp bases complement the warm yellow tones on the walls and the natural wood of the desk, while the striking geometric design of our Liberty 'quill' lampshades in Bloomer echoes the design of the rug and adds a fun, contemporary twist. Gorgeous!

sean symington study Camden apartment by Sean Symington (image credit), including Pooky's Rattle cane table lamps.

2) Bedroom: matching bedside lamps to set the mood 

A pair of matching table lamps on either side of a double bed creates a  balanced look in a bedroom. Your choice of table lamp pairing can also have a big impact on the mood and atmosphere of your space.

Opting for a neutral design of table lamp can create a sense of calm and serenity in the bedroom, as is the case in this luxury treehouse retreat by the celebrated 'green woodsman', Guy Mallinson. Here our Wisteria table lamp in clear brass and glass offers a simple but classy bedside lighting solution, with the twinned lamp bases and shades toning in beautifully with the neutral scheme, creating soft natural accents and exuding a lovely warm, relaxing glow. 

guy mallinson wisteriaPhoto: Guy Mallinson

Alternatively, you can also use your table lamps to make a statement in the bedroom, as in the example below by Amara of The Pajaama Hub. Here, a pair of vibrant blue table lamp bases is teamed with a pair of neutral lamp shades and set against a colourful feature wall, adding depth and contrast and highlighting the vibrant colour theme. A lamp like the Stucco or Nellie in turquoise would do the job marvellously. 

amara pajama hub bedroomPhoto: @thepajaamahub

3) Sitting room: Use a pair of stylish table lamps to frame a sofa

Placing a pair of matching table lamps either side of a sofa is a great way of providing practical lighting for reading and other tasks, while also contributing to the wider design theme. 

This lovely, harmonious room by Katharine Paravicini uses blood red ceramic lamps with softer red patterned gathered shades for a bold, colourful 'frame' for the sofa. Try something like the Nellie in oxblood paired with a ruby candy stripe block printed cotton shade for a similar effect:

4) Side tables: Make your sideboard sing with a striking pair of table lamps 

A pair of matching table lamps looks lovely on a side table in a hallway or a sitting or dining room, providing useful ambient lighting while adding character and interest to the space.As well as providing a neutral backdrop, or enhancing an existing design theme, a pair of identical table lamps can make a design statement all of their own... Placing a pair of striking table lamps on a sideboard, cupboard or shelf can really help to bring a space to life. 

Take this striking arrangement by Holly Alexandra, which features an identical pair of our Artur ceramic lamps in turquoise with their distinctive artichoke-inspired shape, teamed with two equally striking Heraldic ikat lamp shades – giving a gloriously bold yet beautifully coordinated look.  

holly alexander
Image: @thestyledlifeco

5) Fireplaces: emphasise a focal point with matching table lamps 

A pair of matching table lamps is perfect for placing on or either side of a feature, such as a mantelpiece or fireplace, or in an alcove. This helps frame the fireplace as a focal point for the room – but it’s also an opportunity to introduce a bright pop of colour, as is the case for this party room created by Greg Penn (aka @manwithahammer).

With our pink block printed cotton lamp shades placed in tandem on either side of the fireplace, and set against the vibrant greens of the walls and the funky carpet, this space has a fun and welcoming vibe.

man with a hammer

 Photo: Greg Penn (@manwithahammer) 


With some strategically matched table lamps, you can help to create just the right look and feel in your space. Get pairing! 

View our full range of affordable designer table lamps.

See also 

Designer table lamps – everything you need to know before buying
Neutral lamp shades - and how to use them in your interior design
How to choose the right bedside lamp - 6 top Pooky tips 


Image top: In this beautiful arrangement by Katharine Paravicini, a set of Pooky's Saba table lamps in green is paired with neutral lamp shades, toning in perfectly with the soft neutrals and soothing greens of the botanical theme and creating a lovely harmonious feel. Photo: Angus Pigott Photography