I love lamps… but I love lampshades even more! Lampshades are like hats. A lampshade must be the right size and shape to be a fabulous accent! A great lampshade can totally change the entire look of your lamp! I say LET YOUR EYES BE YOUR GUIDE when trying to find the perfect lampshade. You can probably tell whether a lampshade is right for the base and you can certainly tell when a lampshade isn’t working! Today let’s talk about lampshades, guidelines, and examples!
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Today’s episode #40 of Decorating Tips And Tricks is all about Lamps And Lampshades! There is really a whole lot to know about them and how to choose the perfect duo for your decor! A great lamp and shade can make a huge difference in a room!
Listen to all 40 podcast episodes HERE and get the show notes!
Lamps and lampshades are one of those decor things that if you get right are magical but if you get wrong are a decorating curse! There are really quite a few things to know about choosing a lampshade! And many of us really don’t put a whole lot of thought into finding the perfect one for our lamps and the rooms we put them in!
Here are some easy to follow guidelines when it comes to finding that one perfect lampshade!
CHOOSE THE CORRECT SIZE
A lampshade may look stunning on its own but it must compliment the lamp you put it on!
Here are some rule-of-thumb guidelines for choosing the best size shade for a lamp. These are guidelines so there are always exceptions. Just keep them in mind!
- the height of a lampshade should be about 3/4 the height of the lamp base
- the diameter of the bottom of a shade should be about the same as the widest part of the lamp. A little narrower is okay but not wider than the base it will look top heavy
- most lampshades come in standard sizes. For most lamps, go a size bigger if you are debating between two shade sizes
- the lampshade should cover the socket of a lamp. If the throat shows that is acceptable
CHOOSE THE CORRECT SHAPE
Don’t you love how the lamp above is styled! A great lesson in elevating a lamp and decorating around it! Now let’s talk lampshade shapes.
There are sooooo many different lampshade shapes! And they can get quite confusing when trying to match them up with a lamp. Relax. Remember to let your eyes be your best guide and have fun with these interesting shapes!
- The most popular lampshade right now. It get’s its name from its drum-like shape. Best for table, pendant and floor lamps.
- there are variations of the drum lampshade but they all have the distinctive drum look.
- update a look with a drum shade
- the top and bottom of the shade is oval
- often is a bell shape
- works with lamps that have a distinct front and back side
- sophisticated and traditional
- great shape for tall candlestick type lamps
SQUARE / RECTANGLE
- give off a modern vibe
- dramatic, very chic
- work with square or rectangle lamps
- can be put closer to the wall
- I’m crushing on square lampshades lately
- round frustrum shape ( cone with the point cut off)
- smaller top, larger bottom
- very classic shape
- coolie lampshades are empire shape
There are many more shapes and derivations of the shapes above. But these are the most popular.
CHOOSE THE BEST COLOR AND MATERIAL
This is such a creative and personal choice. I personally like fabric shade and of the fabric shades I gravitate towards burlap and linen. But there are also paper, glass, metal and other materials for lampshades!
The lining of a lampshade should also be considered. Does it have a colored liner such as gilding? Or is the lampshade translucent like abalone or burlap?
Do you want a patterned lampshade or a shade that gives your room a pop of color? Would a soft neutral color work best with your decor?
These are all things to consider when buying the perfect lampshade.
MY BEST ADVICE
ina table lamp
- Lampshades are a place I make an investment. Now I’m not talking hundreds of dollars because that’s not in my budget. But I might spend $50.00 – $80.00 for a really fabulous shade. I’d rather by a less expensive lamp and put a fabulous lampshade on it. Cheap lampshades look cheap! And a great lampshade can make an inexpensive lamp look much more expensive!
- LET YOUR EYE BE YOUR GUIDE! That’s my advice! I think we know when something works and when it does not!
- Don’t always settle for the shade that comes with a lamp. Trade it out for a lampshade that looks fabulous with the lamp base.
- Going trendy with a shade can update the entire lamp. I opt most often for drum lamps because of their very on trend look. It’s an easy way to update a room! And I’m also loving square shades. I’ll be looking for them for my bedroom lamps!
- Go ahead, break the rules if you love a lampshade and it does not fit into the guidelines! As long as you are totally happy with it!
There is so so much more to know about lampshades like fittings and harps and areas of lighting and more! But that’s for another day!
Here are some of my favorite lampshades at reasonable prices!
I hope this makes you think a little bit about your lampshades in your home and helps you when you are in the process of finding new ones!
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