I've always been, admittedly, a little turned off by floor lamps. I think the overwhelming number of tacky torchiere lamps in college dorm rooms bruised me for life. But I do love the height that a floor lamp gives a room. In a space with bare walls, or lacking curtains, a floor lamp can immediately draw your eye away from a low-lying sofa or armchair and give visual balance to a room. So I'm delighted by the proliferation of handsome tripod floor lamps in the shelter world these days. There's something about them that's quite regal yet unassuming, and they meld seamlessly with any style of décor. To see my picks of the Good, Better, and Best tripod floor lamps around,
The Target Tripod Floor Lamp with Drum Shade ($159.99) is simple, affordable, and sturdy, but its gold-yellow shade is a turn-off.
Best: The CB2 Tripod Floor Lamp's ($199.99) over-sized linen shade, available in natural or taupe, is high on drama, but its slender legs leave a small footprint.
The Philippe Starck Rosy Angelis ($636) has a feminine, skirty shade and legs that go for miles.