All About Lampshades

Want to know a quick way to update a lamp? Change the lamp shade!

Gallery of Table Lamps and Shades

A new lamp shade can make a lamp look elegant or casual, bigger or smaller and change a lamp from traditional to contemporary and vice versa.

Different Lamp Shade Shapes

When you are choosing a new shade, keep in mind that the shade should follow the contours of the lamp.

For example, if your lamp has a round base, consider a round shade. If the base is square, pick a more angular shade like a hexagon or square/rectangular one. Drum shades are pretty universal and will go with just about any lamp shape.

How Much Light Do You Want?

Another thing to consider is how much light you want to come through the shade.

A lighter shade will appear brighter, while a darker shade will have a mood lighting feel as it lets less light to filter through.

Linen, silk, and parchment shades will give off an ambient glow, while shades made of paper or metal will let little to no light through. Light will project upward or downward. Uplighting will depend on the diameter of the top of the lamp shade. For example,drum shades will allow the most light to shine upward, while a tapered square or pagoda will offer less-to-no uplighting.

Details Matter

Lamp Shade Decorative Details
Example of lamp shades with decorative details

Beyond shape and material, you need to consider the details of the shade. Some shades are pleated, some have trim (Lamps Plus is now selling trim by the yard, which makes for a great DIY project), while other lamp shades have printed patterns.

Do you want the shade to be an accent piece or would you prefer it fade into the background? If it’s the former, art shades are perfect as room accents.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, how often will you clean your lamp shades? Tight shades are much easier to clean compared to pleated shades, which can be dust magnets.

Next time you decide you want to replace a lamp shade, don’t just replace it with the exact same one – get creative instead! There are so many options out there when it comes to lampshades!

If you want to learn more about how to choose a lampshade, read our other blog post, Lamp Shade Buying 101 and to learn how to measure a lamp shade when you decide to replace it, read How to Measure a Lampshade and Select the Right Fitting.