How To Choose The Right Lampshade - old 2

Are You Getting the Most out of Your Lampshades?

Lampshades are the unsung heroes of the interior design process, and choosing the right lampshade can make a huge difference! What other design element offers as much versatility? From size, color, material/texture and opacity, the right lampshade can warm, soften or energize a room, complement your color scheme and dynamically highlight your other architectural, design and decorating choices.

Before We Start!

Sometimes breaking the “rules” results in unexpected surprises! Trust your eye and individualize your lampshade experience to reflect your distinct aesthetic style.. The information below is here to simply help you make something beautiful.

Pick Your Shape


The more basic the lamp, the more varied the lampshades can be

Visual synergy is important: if the body of your lamp is tall and cylindrical, a tall drum lampshade may be best; if the lamp has a square base and a round body, a lampshade with a square base and round top may be a good fit. A shapely lamp can take a shapely shade - your goal is to match the mood of the base.

Size Matters

A good rule of thumb is to choose a lamp shade that's two-thirds the height of the base or roughly 40% of the overal lamp. That proportion assures that the lamp won't look top- or bottom-heavy. In addition the widest part of your lamp shade should be roughly twice the size of the widest part of your base. Remember, above all you want to be sure that the lamp shade doesn't expose any of the hardware underneath!

How To Measure Your Shade

Getting the measurement of your current lampshade is an important step! To start measure the widest part (diameter) at the top and bottom of your shade, then finish up by measuring the distance along the side of the lampshade.

Translucent Vs. Opaque

- Another important factor when choosing a lamp shade is the shade luminosity. Luminosity is just a fancy word for brightness or the amount of light that emanates from the lamp.
- A more opaque lamp shade will only direct the light straight down and up, this often creates beautiful mood lighting.
- A transparent lamp shade will allow more light to emanate around the room, this light is great to read by!
- Remeber, every type of lamp shade comes in different textures and materials, each with their own levels of luminosity. Consider this while you look at different lamp shades.
- Consider the bulb - be sure you have 2-3 inches of seperation from the bulb to the shade, especially for higher wattage bulbs. Be sure the top opening is wide enough to
vent heat properly. Compact fluorescent bulbs are great for most lamps because they burn cooler.

Color And Texture

Lamp shades come in a wide range of colors and textures, get creative with them! Your lamp shade can accent a primary color scheme or highlight a sublter tone, including the colors in the lamp base. Don’t forget that lamp shades also come in differnt styles, ranging from smooth, to pleats, or even string. Smooth shades can say cool, elegant, and contemporary. Pleats are traditional and pair really well with antiques. Custom details like embroidery or other effects can create a dynamic accent to your already beautiful room.

Know Your Fitter

The fitter is harware that allows you to connect a shade to your lamp. There are many different kinds, so make sure the shade you love has the fitter that matches your lamp.

Blulb clips are typically found on smaller lamps or chandeliers. Regular bublb clips traditionally clip onto round lightbulbs while candle clips fit onto bulbs that mimic the shape of a candle.

Reflector Bowl fitters are similar to Spider fitters, however they have grooves in the spider arms that secure the lamp shades position on top of a reflector bowl and are often secured by a finial

Washer and Spider fitters are typically the most common among fitters. These sit on top of the harp and are secured by a finial

Hurricane or Chimney fitters are unique in that they rest on a lamp base that has a “chimney” or glass that extends upwards from the socket around the bulb

Nardi or Slip Uno fitters are generally held in place by the bulb and sit on top of the socket.

Threaded Uno fitters are typically for down-bridge lamps and feature a screw thread that attatches to a socket before the bulb is attatched.

Euro fitters are very similar to Threaded Uno fitters, the sit on socket and are usually held in place by the light bulb.