A Kid's Room
A child's bedroom calls for playful touches. (Why shouldn't a desk for homework look fun?) But, above all, make it safe: Table lamps should be steady and composed of tough stuff.
Height: Little kids require little lamps, whether the lamps sit on a desk or next to the bed. Keep your child's age and size in mind and choose accordingly.
Base: A sturdy, weighted base is a must to prevent tip-overs. Pick a material that can handle hard knocks, such as metal, plastic, or wood. A single-piece plastic lamp and shade, like the one pictured at right, will resist roughhousing.
Positioning: Put an inviting lamp on the desk to perk up the homework zone. Also, make sure the cord can be easily tucked out of the way.
Shade: Scale it down. An oversize shade will get knocked around. Avoid metal shades, which become hot, and fabric shades, which are hard to clean (and expensive to replace). Try a plain paper shade and let your budding Frida Kahlo embellish it with markers.
Bulb: Low wattage is the best bet (save the brighter bulbs for overhead). "And never put a halogen bulb in a child's lamp," warns Fred Adler, a project designer for Home Depot. "After five minutes, it's too hot to touch."
Style: Unlike in other areas of the house, "you don't need to be sophisticated or try to match the lamp with everything," says Young. You also don't need to spend a fortune: In no time, your child will want to exchange the lamp with a fighter-plane motif for a lava lamp.