A hard truth about small-space decorating strategies is that they often involve sacrificing your wildest design dreams (RIP, sectional with an extra-deep chaise). But there are some pieces I’d keep small even if I had all the square footage in the world, such as mini table lamps.
I’ve spotted them on displays in the interiors of my favorite shops, such as the Dries Van Noten store in Paris, and casting a glow on tables at bars like Manhattan’s Bemelmans. Guaranteed to fit on even the tiniest of surfaces, they can also be the star of the show nestled among wine bottles and artwork on a grand sideboard, which makes this image from Richard Avedon’s New York apartment (found in the pages of Wendy Goodman’s May I Come In?) one of my all-time favorites.
Even though I already have far too many lamps, there’s always room for a tiny one. I recently acquired Thomas O’Brien’s Tiny Terri lamp in bronze, and as far as I’m concerned it’s straight out of Avedon’s home. It sits atop my armoire, fitting right in with my indoor garden.
While vintage versions are aplenty, I was also able to find the best new, ready-to-ship options out there—all well under a foot tall. With rechargeable ones that allow you to place high them on a shelf sans hanging cord, and mushroom-shaped nuggets under 15 bucks, it really is hard to resist at least one of these cuties.