Good day, design friends! I know I’m not alone in my enthusiasm for all things lighting. (Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C) So, I’m here to proclaim without trepidation that I’m excited to discuss lampshades! I know the standard (perfectly lovely) off-white linen lampshade doesn’t generally spark conversation, and that’s exactly my point. Why miss an opportunity for injecting another layer of personality into your decor? Think new colors, shapes and textures. To get your wheels turning, I have identified some key reasons to make a switch, collected beautiful inspirational images and compiled scads of resources. Click through and take a gander if you might be ready for a change.
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that you replace every lampshade in your house, but sometimes opportunities present themselves. What if you inherit a lamp with sentimental value that doesn’t jive with your aesthetic? Or you have a long-cherished piece that could use some freshening? A new shade can work wonders! Imagine grandma’s gilded floral porcelain base with a contemporary gold drum shade or a monochromatic velvet! Update your classic chinoiserie ginger jar with a colorful pleated silk! New lampshades rejuvenate a look and allow your heirlooms to shine.
One basic detail to consider is shape; don’t be nervous about trying a new silhouette. This graphic provides a key to some of the most common styles. Almost any lamp looks great with an empire or drum shade, but maybe consider one with exaggerated proportions for fun. These inspiration images prove the tapered empire trend continues! Why not experiment with a boxy or angular form? Just changing the contour of a shade could provide a subtle but pleasing difference.
You might be wondering about the logistics of changing a lampshade, particularly when it comes to dimensions. This handy guide about scale is a good place to start. Remember to trust your design eye, too. While researching this topic, I found most purveyors offered detailed information on their websites to assist with lampshade sizing. Accurate measurements are key whether you’re replacing an existing shade or starting with just a lamp base. In addition to size, you’ll need to pay attention to how your shade is affixed (harp, UNO, clip-on). Harps can be swapped or adapters added to ensure that your new shade sits perfectly.
01: blue pleated silk // 02: classic rattan // 03: scalloped white linen // 04: beige English pleat // 05: knife pleated linen // 06: wicker empire // 07: indigo pleated // 08: faux burl drum // 09: conical rattan // 10: pheasant feather // 11: blue and khaki ticking hex // 12: rattan mushroom // 13: metallic drum // 14: black gingham pleated // 15: scalloped raffia with trim // 16: beige gingham pleated // 17: black pleated empire // 18: walnut veneer // 19: rattan drum //
Friends, would you look at all of these gorgeous lampshades? I curated these beautiful examples for a cohesive roundup, but the options are endless! Part of my goal was to find as many different sources as possible, so this selection represents a dozen distinct retailers- from familiar big box stores to independent Etsy sellers. Several shops offer custom and COM options. From this embarrassment of riches, I’m especially drawn to the wicker examples. They add such unexpected texture, and I’m mad for the conical and mushroom shapes! My love for color makes the patterned pleated shades a no-brainer, and I long for a pair of sconces or a chandelier because those little shades are so stinking cute. Ha, I sort of want them all. Do any catch your eye?
My orphan lamp collection prompted this lampshade journey. Like many of you, I thrift for homegoods. Unique lamps of all kinds call to me…brass, pottery, marble. I can’t resist. Often, the shade is damaged or missing, but that doesn’t deter me. In fact, I prefer the chance to create an imaginative lamp/shade pairing. I even have fair luck scoring lampshades separately. A high-quality lampshade can cost hundreds of dollars, but lovely examples at my local haunts sell for under ten. For that price, I might start changing my lampshades seasonally! From now on, consider a damaged or missing shade your invitation to customize.
My favorite reason for upgrading a lampshade is the chance to flex my diy muscles. Think about it. The project boasts a phenomenal risk:reward ratio, and the scope brings a choose-your-own-adventure flavor. For a quick transformation, jazz up an existing shade with contrasting trim. Or, dive right in and create a bespoke pleated shade if you’ve got a fabric remnant and a zest for glue gun burns. Seriously though, with a simple template, a piece of pretty paper and some adhesive, you can produce a one-of-a-kind shade in no time. Take advantage of bargain lampshades from the thrift store to experiment. I’m dreaming of marbled paper for a pair of library sconces. I also am anxious to try a hand-painted pattern like the example in the Domino image. I bet you could even recreate #10 and #19 with a little bit of patience, don’t you?
Well, that’s my contribution for the day! Have I succeeded in spreading my lampshade fervor? Are you a fan of unconventional shades? If you consider shape, texture and color, I think unique options exist for every aesthetic. Do you agree? Are you inspired to revamp a lamp? Will you tackle an artsy diy? I’m anxious to hear your thoughts and opinions. Have the loveliest of autumn Tuesdays! Until next time, friends.