5 Steps to Picking the Right Lampshade

Last updated on April 26th, 2022

Sometimes it’s surprising to see how we completely overlook a few things in our home. Take lampshades, for instance. Since lamp bases and lampshades are sold together, most of us don’t give much thought to the shape, size, or fabric of the shade. Which is odd, as the lampshade has as much effect on the room as the base, if not more.

Lampshades are an excellent way to add to the decor story of your home. Our simple guide takes you through the procedure of how to buy a lampshade – from picking the right shape and size to choosing the right fabric.

1. Consider the Room You Intend to Keep it in

Consider the color palette and decor of the room, the lamp will be in, before you make the purchase, and choose whether you want it to blend with the background or stand out in the room. In any case, both the room and the lampshade need to complement each other.

2. Consider the purpose of the lampshade

While picking the lampshade, think of the functions it needs to perform. For instance, if you are looking for a reading lamp, then, by all means, opt for a lampshade that is translucent, made of sheer fabric, paper or other alternative materials, for ample light penetration. If it is just to highlight a particular object or to set the mood in a room, then opt for opaque shades made of silk or thick parchment.

3. Check the size of the lampshade

Now, this is where it gets tricky. It is true that some lamps look great with unusual shade sizes, however, here’s a general rule of thumb for you: Your shade ought to be around 3/4th of the height of your light base (plus or minus an inch). Always remember that proportion is key–too tall and the impact will be top-heavy, too short and the lamp will look out of balance. To make sense of the correct width for a lampshade, measure the light base and then divide it by two.

4. Check the shape of the lampshade

Lampshades not only help diffuse light (so that you are not left gazing at an uncovered bulb throwing off a harsh glare) but also help add style to the lamp. Here’s a general rule of thumb for finding the perfect lampshade shape: If the lamp base is round, a round-shaped lampshade works best. Whereas, a square or an angular base looks good with a square lampshade.

5. Trust your Instincts

In the end, trust your instincts to decide on the lampshade. All things considered, you need to live with and be satisfied with your lampshade decision. In the event it works for you, then, by all means, it’s a keeper. If it doesn’t, there are always better options you can find.

Here’s to truly LIT interiors!