Shedding Some Light on How to Choose a Lampshade

Sometimes they look too short. Too tall. Too bulky. Too small. And sometimes they just, for no reason at all, just look plain awkward. Choosing the perfect lampshade can be tricky, but not if you know what to look. Here’s some information you might find enlightening.

Style And Shape
When it comes to style and shape, there’s a pretty simple rule of thumb:  Round lamp bases look best with round shades, square or angular bases with square shades. For the most cohesive look, choose a shade shape that reflects both the shape of the lamp base and of the table on which it will sit. Something else to keep in mind:  You can put just about any style of shade on a candlestick lamp and it will look good.

How Wide?
Here’s where your measuring tape will come in handy:  The widest part of the shade should be at least a half inch wider on each side than the widest point of the lamp base. To ensure you make the right choice, measure the lamp base before you head out to the store and bring a measuring tape with you so that you can size up shades while you’re shopping.

Finding The Right Size Doesn’t Have To Be A Tall Order
To find the right shade height for your lamp, remember this:  Select a shade that’s two-thirds the height of the base if you don’t want a lamp that looks top or bottom heavy. Also, check to make sure that when the shade is in place you can’t see any of the hardware below, such as the harp.

Pleating May (Or May Not) Complete The Look
Pleated lampshades are generally considered to be more traditional; they’re often a good fit for decors that boast antiques or furnishings with a lot of detail, heavy fabrics, and patterns. If you’re looking to introduce a pleated shade into a more contemporary room, go for a box pleat. This type of shade has cleaner lines and a more geometric form that looks fresher and more up-to-date than the classic pleated style.

Changing the look of a lamp? With just a little know-how, you’ll have it made in the shade.

Shop our Table Lamp and Floor Lamp collections now!

You may also enjoy…
A Taxonomy of Lampshades
Your Guide to Illuminating Your Home with Floor Lamps

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