How to Pick the Perfect Lampshade
You probably don’t give much thought to your lampshades, until you’re tasked with picking one. At that point, it can seem overwhelming – any design or home improvement store will have dozens of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures to choose from. So how do you choose the right lamp shade for you?
First, the Fitter
Before you fall in love with any lamp shade, find out how your shade can attach to your lamp; that attachment is called the fitter.
Here are a few types of fitters:
Pick Your Shape
Take a look at your lamp base shape. Typically, if your base is angular or square in shape, a square shade will work well. A round base will tend to look good with a round or hexagonal shaped shade. Candlestick lamps may work well with a variety of shade shapes. An empire shade is versatile and can look great with many types of bases.
Find the Right Size
To find a balanced height for your shade, measure the height of your lamp base. Your shade should be about 2/3 the height of your lamp base. Then to determine your shade width, measure your lamp base diameter (measure at a diagonal for a square base). Pick a lampshade that is about two times the width of your base.
Don’t Forget the Details
Shape, size, and fitter type are the main items to look for when ruling out lampshades, but the smaller details are the fun part. These details come down mainly to your taste and preference, though whether your shade is translucent or opaque has more to do with function. If the lamp will be used for reading, a translucent shade may make more sense. Opaque shades offer a way to focus light in a setting and can add a dramatic touch, too. Pleats tend to offer a more traditional look while a smooth shade generally appears more contemporary. Whatever you pick, make sure your lamp hardware, neck, and harp are covered up by the shade.
Good luck finding the perfect lampshade!