Shades of #Light~

Lampshades can make a difference.

We all know that lighting can make a big impact on the design of a space. Lamps are a convenient way to add lighting, so cutting into the ceiling to run wires to a switch, in essence,just plug and play.  In addition to the lighting they bring to a space, they serve as decorative objects simultaneously. Dual purpose. Lamp shades are a great little ‘pick me up’ to a lamp. You’re telling it, “I like you, I want to keep you around, but you need a new hat.”

Obviously  you wouldn’t put a lamp on your sofa table or desk without a lamp shade,that’s just not right. But you wouldn’t place a lamp shade there all by its lonesome now either would you?  If you do, well that’s another post.

Here are some tips on how to select a shade and the different kinds of shades for different kinds of lamps. Lamp shades are a great way to breathe new life into a room without replacing a lamp that looks just fine. However, in my book, lamps are an important accessory, not unlike a great purse or necklace. I like to change mine – often.

This lamp shade is transitional, not too traditional, not too modern, can go on several styles or lamps and will blend in as it is somewhat neutral. Put this on a black, ivory or metallic lamp base.

Photo via

Notice how each lamp shade varies in height in proportion to the lamp? These lovely lamps are via and so lovely. I’m partial to whites.


I really like the design of this lampshade. It is structured and tailored and looks a little bit important! The black shade  will prevent the lamp from giving off too much light so place it in a spot where you simply want some ambient lighting.

Put this lamp shade on a white ceramic lamp, a gold glass lamp, a hammered silver lamp base and it will look pretty sharp. You will often see this type of shade on a rectangular lamp, but it can also go on a ‘flat’ base lamp.

Photo via

This shade offers a bit of sophistication. I happen to love the color taupe, it appears a bit like champaign in this photo and would actually look lovely on a crystal or ceramic lamp base.

Photo via

There are different methods for determining the correct shape and size of a shade for your lamp. Sometimes lamp shades simply wear out before the lamp does or you may want to update the look of a great lamp. There are formulas but I approach it with a concept of proportion and scale. The standard rule of thumb to determine size of a lamp shade is approximately one-third the height of the lamp. If a lamp is 32″ tall, an 11″ shade will fit perfectly. Always, always be sure that  the light bulb(s) and switches are not visible when looking at the lamp. Also be careful when removing those silver stickers, it can remove some finishes.

Love the scroll ‘fretwork’ effect on this shade. Lamps can definitely be a conversation piece!
This lamp is a definite “DO” in a beautiful interior and is a John Richard design.

Outstanding Design! Photo via Horchow.

The lamp below is definitely a “DO” in the right room with the right decor of course. It also is from the John Richard Company whose product lines include beautiful lighting, mirrors, upholstery, furnishings and accessories. You couldn’t put this lampshade on just any lamp. Probably only this lamp. Yes, pretty sure.

A John Richards Faceted Gold Crystal Lamp shade on gold crystal lamp.
Stunning for the right space!

Sorry, but this lamp doesn’t work any magic for me!

If  I come to your house and find this Genie lamp, I WILL hide it on you.

The lamp below grew arms. YIKES.

Yeah, let’s not use this one.

The same rule of thumb stated above for selecting a shade does not apply to a floor lamp. One third of the height would be way out of line, again make sure the bulbs and switches are neatly out of sight and that the diameter of the shade is similar to the diameter of the base of the lamp. It’s an easy way to select one. The drum shade (called that due to its shape) on the floor lamp pictured below, is a bit larger than the base. Actually, the small base makes me a bit nervous that it could tip over easily. I like things well-balanced and sturdy. These are safety concerns.

Photo via

I simply adore lighting, there is so much to choose from and there are lamps for every taste and style. For when you find that perfect lamp but the not so perfect shade, look around, the perfect shade is out there too!

You may also enjoy an earlier post on Lamps here. To view  more beautiful lighting selections visit my Pinterest page. When in doubt,  you can leave your comments and questions for me!

Thanks for stopping by Chatti Patti Talks Design! Hope to see  you again soon~

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