Add Charm to Your Kitchen With These Sweet Countertop Lamps

March 13, 2023

Ten pretty lamps for kitchen countertops and bookshelves.

Small lamps on kitchen counters create such a lovely, warm mood in what can be one of the most sterile rooms in the house! This is a trend that I'm happy to get behind, probably because I've been doing it for years. 😊

I love the added charm of a lamp in unexpected places. They look great in mud rooms, on the counter in the kitchen and even in bathrooms! 

The low light is perfect for small tasks in the evenings, and they just look SO sweet nestled under the kitchen cabinets. And the texture of a pretty lamp base and shade also breaks up the monotony of the necessities on the countertops. 

I've added small lamps all over our house and they still make me smile years later. I added on our laundry room counter for some soft light: 
small lamp on kitchen counter
Find my lamp here! (The small version.)

This laundry/mud room lamp is especially nice when we run out in the evenings. I love having the soft light on when we walk in the door!

I have a couple in our kitchen as well. This small lamp (no longer available from Target) next to my DIY spice rack under the cabinets gives us just the right amount of light:  
small lamp under cabinets

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And this short, dimmable lamp fits perfectly under the heavy duty floating shelves I added in our kitchen as well:
small lamp on countertop

Dimmable lamps are WONDERFUL. I just love the coziness the low light adds. 

We have under cabinet lighting, but sometimes I prefer the soft glow small countertop lamps offer even more!

I also added a tiny lamp on our pantry shelving as well: 
pantry with kitchen cabinets

To do that, I drilled a hole through the shelf and then ran the cord down to the outlet. The mixer hides all the cords!

There are a few things to consider when picking out your kitchen lamps...

Keep lamp height in mind.

Kitchen counter lamps need to be a little smaller and shorter than the typical table lamp. For example, a normal nightstand lamp will probably be too tall for this kind of spot. 

The distance between the top of the counter and the bottom of kitchen cabinets is usually 18 inches. 
More recent kitchen designs sometimes have a bit more distance, around 20 inches. So keep that in mind when you're shopping for countertop lamps!

Be smart about lamp placement.

Consider your kitchen lamp placement -- obviously placing one right next to a hot stovetop would not be the best idea. Also, since most lamps have fabric shades, you don't want them to be near a cook space or where you prep food regularly.

Thankfully counters usually have plenty of items that will hide the lamp cords, but if not, you can usually remove the felt piece at the bottom of the lamp and pull the excess cord into the base. 

Check the bulb size and wattage.

Some of these smaller lamps only take candelabra light bulbs, which won't give off quite as much light. Make sure you check before you buy! 

If you want a brighter light, you'll want the lamp to have a standard E26 socket. 

I gathered a round up of few affordable lamp options that will look great in any home!:

Ten countertop lamp options

Ten top picks for pretty kitchen countertop lamps:

There are so many other great spots for a little light that you may not have considered! I used to have one on the DIY shelf behind our washer and dryer and LOVED having that light at night: 
DIY shelf over washer dryer

And I love adding them in bookcases! I removed a shelf in our tall living room bookshelf so I could place a taller lamp inside: 
Skinny bookcase with lamp

And I always try to tuck one into our bookcase shelves, like in our basement: 
Westchester gray bookcases

Have you added a sweet lamp moment in your kitchen? If not, give it a try -- I think you'll love it! :)

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  1. I love small lamps in the kitchen too! If you have them all over your house, do you have them on timers? Or do you leave them on 24/7?

    1. We usually just have them on in the evenings or on rainy days. :) A timer is a great idea though!

  2. Dollar stores often have these small lamps; some are really nice!

  3. Can you share the source for your laundry room, pantry and living room bookcase lamps?

    1. The pantry lamp is #7 above! Target sells a BUNCH of those in different colors and designs. The laundry and living room are also from Target, but I don't think they're available anymore. I'll check!

  4. I saw a skinny rattan one at Goodwill that looks like the one in your sample list and it was only $2.50 and I am kicking myself for not buying it!! So, now I'm on the hunt for one...

  5. I’ve had small lamps in what many would consider to be odd places for years and years. I have two vintage milk glass hobnail lamps seated on vintage kitchen scales on my kitchen counter in the corners to the left and right of my stove…which has a long mirror behind it thus doubling the light! The lamps are glass, both base and shade, so no worries about a fabric shade getting greasy and if the lamps do get a bit dirty, a quick wash with a damp washcloth cleans them right up. The mirror behind the stove cleans up easily as well and adds dimension to the room. Love finding small vintage lamps with glass shades!

  6. I added a small lamp to my kitchen last fall after admiring them on blogs, etc. and it has brought me so much joy! I purchased it at Target.

  7. I just love your style and practical tips. Thank you!

  8. I just purchased a lamp for my kitchen counter. The cabinet above has been refaced with laminate. Do you think the heat from 40 watt would damage the laminate?
    Is there something that I can put on top of shade to block the upward light? Thank you!

    1. If you use an LED light bulb they don't get hot. :)


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