Whether you're buying something new or updating the old, pairing a new shade with a lamp can be tricky. We've got a few tips for you to keep in mind while you shop for the perfect lampshade.Whether you're buying something new or updating the old, pairing a new shade with a lamp can be tricky. We've got a few tips for you to keep in mind while you shop for that perfect shade.
We manufactured and designed these bespoke lampshades for UCD global lounge
Ironically, the first thing you do when you’re trying to pick the perfect lamp shade is to look at your lamp. What’s the general shape? If your base is round, then a round shade usually works best. A square or angular silhouette tends to look better with a square shade.
This two-tier chandelier is a bespoke piece we created for a client.
And, of course, there are always exceptions to any decorating rule – candlestick lamps, with their combination of curves and angles, can handle just about any lamp shape. And, if your lamp is square and your table is round, a round shade can complement both.
Decide on size
If you currently have a shade on your lamp, measure its: 1) height; 2) top and bottom diameters; and 3) slant (height down the side). Jot down each of these measurements. That number can be tricky to eyeball, so these measurements will be the resource for you to use while shopping.
Proportion is key – too tall and the effect will be top heavy, too short and your lamp will look out of balance. It is important that your harp (the metal frame that carries the lampshade) is not on show. If your lamp shade sits on a mantel or close to eye level, this is especially important.
Translucent or opaque?
It all depends on what you want your lamp to do. Translucent shades of sheer fabric, glass lamp shades
or alternative materials are great for reading and adding ambient light to your room. Opaque shades of silk, thick parchment or laminated card direct light in defined, up-and-down beams, perfect for highlighting objects and setting a mood.
Smooth, pleats or something more daring?
Now we’re talking fashion. Smooth shades say cool, refined and contemporary. Pleats are cosier, more traditional and tend to pair well with antiques. And custom details like embroidery, decoupage and paint can transform your lamp shade from accessory into a show-stopping focal point.
These bespoke lampshades feature a large circumference in a rich maroon colour to bring a sense of luxury to this restaurant.
Take bulb wattage into consideration
Lamps that require more light need higher wattage bulbs. In order to accommodate higher wattage bulbs, the lamp shade needs to be a certain distance from the largest part of the bulb.
Most lamp shades provide their maximum recommended wattage on their inside label. Vintage lamp shades rarely include the information needed for consumers to determine the right bulb usage, so in these cases it is wiser to use LED bulbs which have little or no heat output.