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Need a New Lamp Shade?

Need a New Lamp Shade?

Choose the right shade for your lamp and make all the difference.

By FamilyTime

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A really great lamp can make a room come alive, but if that lamp has the wrong shade, its beauty will be lost, no matter what wattage the bulb gives out!

By the same token, a new shade can give life to an old lamp. If your living room, bedroom, family room, or hallway needs a lift, consider buying new shades for the lamps. You will be surprised at how much of a difference they make.

When you select a lampshade, take several things into consideration: the placement of the lamp, the shape and size of the base, the shape of the table, and the style of the room.

Placement of the lamp: If the lamp is on a bedside table or narrow hall table, you probably don't want a shade that is so wide you hit it when you read in bed or walk down the hall. If the lamp is in the center of a table, the shade can be dramatic and large. If the lamp is on a dressing table or bedroom dresser, the shade should be narrow and discreet.

Size and shape of lamp base: The shade should be two thirds to three quarters as high as the base. It should also be slightly wider than the widest part of the base. This is the rule, too, for standing lamps, which have bases on the floor. The shade should be large enough to cover the hardware (harp, switch, neck) necessary to hold the bulb.

As a rule, round bases do best with round shades, while rectangular or square bases should be topped with squared-off shades. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but when in doubt, follow this one.

Shape of the table: If you put a rectangular lamp on a round table, the lamp shade can be round, to reflect the shape of the table. The same holds for a round lamp on a square or rectangular table. The lampshade can echo the shape of the table.

Style of the room: If the room is decorated with antiques, the shade should be traditional, which usually means pleated or paneled. For more contemporary rooms, go for sleeker shades and avoid pleated ones. Glass shades, which diffuse the light, are effective in more modern settings, although some antique lamps are designed for glass shades (think Tiffany lamps!).

When you decide on the color for the shade, consider the lamp's use. If you need it for reading or general illuminating, choose a white or cream-colored shade. If the lamp is an accent piece, consider a colored shade or one with an architectural design to add drama or whimsy.

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