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Lampshades come to light with a few easy-to-follow tips and tricks.  Read on for highlights.

Lampshades are the finishing touch to a room in the same way that a handbag completes an outfit. Like handbags, they come in all shapes, sizes and price tags. They can be statement pieces , last a lifetime and make a big impact or blend quietly into decor with subtle elegance to create a unique atmosphere.  Whatever you want from your lampshade bear in mind the following.


In general terms the perfect height of a lampshade for a table lamp should be approximately two-thirds of the height of the base. This will keep it nicely in proportion and prevent the lamp from looking top-heavy.  Rise and fall shade carriers can be useful to adjust the height if you haven’t got it quite right. The width of the shade should be at least 2.5cm wider on each side of the base or twice the width of the base.

If in doubt, err on the side of a larger shade.  A good experiment is to try shades from around the house as a gauge.  It is unlikely that they will be right but they will be a good guide and you can have fun playing.

Consider the table that the base is to stand on.  Console tables, for instance, can be narrow and shades should sit within its’ depth otherwise the lamp will be disproportionate.


From drum to empire, oval to hexagonal choose a shape that enhances the shape of the base.  A drum is safe and sturdy and will sit well on a round base.  Hexagonal would be a good match for a more angular base. Empire shades add an extra dimension. A professional designer will be able to advise if you are in doubt.

Fabrics and Linings

Before choosing a fabric consider the purpose of your lampshade.  Dense fabrics such as velvets or cottons lined with a PVC will direct the light up and down to create a warm golden glow.  This is good for creating atmosphere or highlighting an object such as a sculpture.  Sheer fabrics and paper shades will filter the light through, giving a more ambient light.

Get creative with dynamic patterns and brilliant colours for a statement piece.  Vintage fabrics are wonderful for this. Alternatively, use co-ordinating colours in plain or self-textured fabric to keep shades as background furnishings.

Dress up your shades with tassels and braid for individual style. There is an abundance of borders and trimmings in every colour so it’s easy to find something to blend or contrast as you desire.

Lampshade Style

This Porta Romano lamp with Samuel and Sons fringe braid is a fabulous example of quirky style.

Free Design Consultation

Lampshades are wonderful mood-makers and can be an inexpensive way to update your decor. They will always add a sense of place and comfort. For a free design consultation on any interior design aspect contact here.  We would love to help light up your life!