Lamps offer an easy way to put a personal stamp on your interiors. But getting the right shade can be tough, because there's more than just one ideal pairing. And, while a basic white shade is the safe choice, a more charming example can change the personality of a lamp -- and quickly update a room. Check out these options and suggestions for matching your lamp base with one of the many shades on the market today.
With this whimsical and vibrantly colored lamp, the influence of a shade's shape can be seen. This shade enhances the playful nature of the base.
LAMPSHADE LESSON: Shape and color of the shade are mostly matters of personal taste. It is a generally accepted design rule that a round base looks best with a round shade, a square base with a square or a rectangular shade. But it's okay to play around with other shapes. Consider hexagonal, bell-shaped, and drum shades too.
This shade adds height and creates drama with rich color that emanates a golden glow when lit.
LAMPSHADE LESSON: The height of the shade itself should make up one-third to one-half the total height of the lamp. Use the lamp's total height measurement to get the appropriate proportions for the width. The width, measured at the bottom of the lampshade, should fall between one-half to three-quarters the height of the lamp.
The pairing of an exotic lamp base with an even more flamboyant shade can prove intriguing.
LAMPSHADE LESSON: Determine the function of the lamp. If the lamp will be used for a certain task, such as reading, consider opaque shades that help direct the light to a particular area. Tole, bamboo, and lacquered shades serve this purpose, and so will shades that are lined with an opaque material.
Play it cool in all white. The interest in this paring comes from the shades' scalloped edges and pierced design.
LAMPSHADE LESSON: If the lamp is used as a significant source of light for the room, a large shade in a translucent material works best. Try linen, silk, even pierced paper shades in light, soft colors to illuminate a room.
This elegant base with its classic urn shape is a perfect candidate for intresting shades. This shades' wider stance and neutral color, emphasizes the classic design of the base.
LAMPSHADE LESSON: Where space is limited, for instance on a narrow sideboard, a half-round shade fits perfectly since the lamp will not be viewed from all sides. Of course, the décor and the amount of required light will affect your choice of color for the shade.
The flat tones, and the consistent shape of this shade shows off an earthy reflective base. The floral découpage on the shade at right gives the lamp a lighter touch.
LAMPSHADE LESSON: Be prepared to try out several shades before settling. And bring the lamp with you while shopping in order to make the search more effective.