Choosing Lamp Shades for Table Lamps

By Erik Neilson , last updated February 24, 2011

When it comes to choosing a table lamp with the right lamp shade, there are a variety of different paths that one can take. Depending upon the ambiance, color and design of the room, one lamp shade might serve to be far more effective than another. Fortunately, shopping for a lamp shade can be an enjoyable time and doesn’t need to be stressful. In the end, the “right” decision will almost always come down to personal preference.

Shape

The shape of your lamp shade will depend heavily on the base of the table lamp. For example, if your bass is particularly thick and bulky, a small, thin lampshade will simply not look right. Similarly, a unique, modern table lamp requires an equally interesting shade in order to look like a cohesive piece.

Color

When choosing a lamp shade, ensure that its color matches both the color of the lamp itself as well as the color of the room. It is also important to take into consideration the fact that the color of the shade will directly affect the tint of the light; generally, a white or off-white lamp shade is best for most situations.

Style

While lamp shades can come in a variety of different styles, there are two that are most commonly seen; pleated and smooth. Pleated lamp shades are typically more traditional in nature, while smooth shades lean towards being more contemporary. The style you choose will depend upon personal preference, as well as the theme of the room.

Fabric

The fabric that your lamp shade is made out of will change the way the light shines through. Depending upon how bright and strong you want your lighting to be, you can choose from a dense, heavy fabric to one that is more sheer and thin. Fabrics such as paper and silk can provide for excellent reading conditions.

Whichever shades you choose for your table lamps, it will be the right choice as long as it compliments your home and style.

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