Bedside Lamps and Selecting the Right Paint Finish for You

I’d like to find a modern bedside light that is functional but I don’t like a fabric shade. Could you recommend one? –Fitzgerald, Toronto ON

Absolutely! Many of the more sleek, modern styles have metal shades but there are some more traditional ones as well if that’s your style. I would recommend using one that is designed with a small stick or arm instead of having to adjust the fixture by touching the shade. If it’s metal, the shade can get quite hot unless you are using an LED type bulb.

If you have a box on the wall then you need a direct-wire fixture. Make sure you check if there is a switch on your wall or not. If not, you require a light with it’s own integrated switch (“self-switched”).

The arms vary quite dramatically so make sure you read the specifications. If you like a fixture that has a long arm, look at Artemide’s Demetra wall light. It has a long reach and is adjustable in many ways.  For a slightly less contemporary style, look at House of Troy. If you need a double, have a look the Pinnacle in oil rubbed bronze.

What finish of paint should I use on my walls? I’m confused. Specifically the master bedroom and ensuite. –Monique, Rocky Mountain House AB

The finish of your paint can drastically change the look of a room but it is important to take stock of a few key points. Generally the finish on walls (including the bedroom) is flat or eggshell. This is a good choice for older homes with small cracks and bumps on the walls because the less shine a paint has, the more it hides imperfections. We generally choose a Satin finish for the trim. It is slightly more durable and resistant to scratching and the baseboard is where the most ‘dings’ happen!

I prefer an Eggshell finish in the bathroom but be sure to choose a paint that is mildew resistant in case of moisture build-up. Try Benjamin Moore’s Aura Bath & Spa for a paint that is designed for humid locations and has a cleanable finish.

If you’re interested in exploring different finishes, consider a high-gloss finish in a dining room or another suitable location. The walls have to be sanded impeccably, but the results can be quite striking if done properly. It’s a more unique look and the reflection of light give the walls more depth.

You can actually watch this great video from Benjamin Moore for a better understanding of the reason behind the choices:


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ABOUT STEPHANIE began her residential design career in 1999 following a BA in Art History from McGill University in Montreal and studies at The International Academy of Design in Toronto. Her aesthetic is ‘natural contemporary’, blending organic materials with sleek, clean edge design. With 15 years experience in residential design, Stephanie is comfortable in both construction boots and stilettos. Her projects include new builds and renovations in Toronto, Creemore, Georgian Bay & Kenora. She has a keen interest in the real estate market, has flipped several homes and is always working on the next project. She has two children and resides in Toronto but secretly considers her home 2 hours North in a town abutting Georgian Bay.