Choosing the right lampshade for you


The right lampshade can provide a forgotten corner with a cosy ambience, or give the hallway an inviting homely feel on arrival. You can choose to go with antique, ultra-modern or somewhere in-between. Whether you’re planning to fully refurbish your home, moving into your first house, or simply looking for furniture accessories to give your home a bright uplift, you’ll find everything you need in our guide to choosing the right lampshade, here at Dusk Lighting

What makes choosing a lamp so difficult is that they take on a range of forms, shapes, colours and styles so finding the right lampshade to fit in with both your interior, space and base of your light can be tricky. Picking one to suit your table or floor can is all about scale, style and supporting your lamp base. It also has to fit the room, complement without overwhelming, yet still draw enough attention to be noticed. 

Lamps can be as extravagant or as minimalistic as you need them to be. They also serve a purpose as well as being a decorative feature of a space or room. Lamps also conveniently come in a vast array of styles, shapes and sizes to suit all tastes and budgets. At this point you could be worried about mismatched styles, going for the wrong size or clashing textures,  but don’t worry, we’ve got it all covered.

Choosing the right size lampshade  

Matching the shade size with the base size 

Choosing the right lampshade is all about finding the right balance and proportion. 

Here are a few shade-size rules for table lamps that may help: 

  • The height of the shade should be around three-quarters of the height of the base. 
  • The width of the base should be roughly equal to the height of the lamp when measuring from base to fitting. 
  • The shade should ideally be at least half an inch (that’s 1.3cm) wider than the base on both sides. This will keep the whole lamp looking balanced. 

Floor lamps can take a shade with the base diameter of 45cm (that’s 18 inches) or larger. 

Matching the shade size with your desired room 

You’re going to need to consider where you’re wanting to place your lamp. A large room with lots of floor space can support a much larger floor lamp than a smaller room or more clutter space can. 

If it’s a table lamp you’re thinking about, you’re going to need to contemplate the size of the table and the other objects you wish to place around the lamp. 

Choosing the right lampshade

Choosing the lampshade shape 

When choosing the right shade you need to factor in the lamp base, room and position of the lamp. We would recommend matching the shape of your base and shade together – square with square, for instance, if you’re wanting to create a cohesive look. 

Living room lampshade

Rounded lampshades are generally people’s go-to, however, square shades are becoming increasingly popular as you can place them right up against the wall –  great if you have limited space. Square lampshades can often be found in hallways or on narrow tables. 

Of course, ultimately this comes down to personal preference if you’re trying to create something a little bit quirky then mix a match geometric lamp and curved lampshade, or be bold with some bold statement patterns. 

Choosing a lampshade material

Lampshades come in various diverse materials including silk, cotton, linen, velvet, parchment, paper and even plastic. 

Parchment lampshades

Parchment lampshades are rarely duplicated with other types of lampshades – so are great if you’re looking for something unique. Parchment is more durable than a paper lampshade but is not as tough as fabric. They often provide a clean look, perfect for contemporary-style bases and well-matched with minimalistic decor.

Silk and velvet lampshades

Beautiful and elegant, silk lampshades add a touch of class and luxury into your home. They have the ability to add warmth and comfort to even the simplest of decors. The perfect addition to your bedside table.

Cotton, fabric or linen lampshades

These of the most versatile styles of shades, they are available in so many different shapes and sizes and can be placed almost anywhere in your home. If you’re unlikely to update your lampshade seasonally then a simple design crafted from one of these materials would be a good choice. 

The style and material of the lamp itself should influence your decision. A base with a smooth finish might need a contrasting lampshade with lots of detail and texture, while a lampshade with a similar feel as the base can also unify the lamp. 

Lampshade designs and colours 

Bedside lampshade

This is the part some of us love, and some of us dread. If you’ve got an eye for interiors you will be excited at the prospect of contemplating colours, patterns, fabrics and textures. However, if you find a sea of colours and textures a little bit overwhelming, the best way to think about it is; there are so many options, there’s always going to be something to complement and enhance the decor of your room. Here are a few tips to help you:

The right light

Think about what you’re going to use the light for. Is it decorative or functional? If you’re wanting to use the lamp to create ambience or for reading then opt for a translucent shade. If the lamp is for purely decorative purposes then an opaque shade or dark colour should be fine. 

Experiment with colour

Lampshades are a great way of introducing colour to your decor, in particular an understated room. They are not as much commitment as an accent wall or bold coloured sofa, but they still add a little bit of personality to your home. When it comes to carpets and curtains you have to consider how they fit in with the rest of your decor, when it comes to shades, don’t be afraid to experiment as you don’t need to worry so much about the matching element.

Make it cosy

Accessorising is all about making a house a home. If you’ve got a snug corner of a room, a tall floor lamp could be just the ticket to giving it that homely feel. Textured lampshades are also a great way to add a touch of cosiness, and turn your house into a home. 

Make a statement 

A lampshade can be a great way to introduce a dramatic design into your home without breaking the bank on an expensive ornament or piece of furniture. 

Lampshade decor

If you’re not sure what type of atmosphere you’re wanting to create then a clean, light coloured shade could be the answer. They instantly brighten a room and make it feel more spacious. Additionally, a simple block colour lampshade is always a good idea and will always create a contemporary effect. We particularly love the Astro Lighting Park Lane floor lamp in white!  

What is a duplex fitting lampshade?

A lampshade fitted with duplex fitting is used with a shade carrier to connect the lamp holder to the lampshade. This controls the height between the base and shade and results in the lampshade carrying itself in a more elegant way. Shades that use this system have many beneficial features in opposition to a fixed, fitted frame. The lampshade can be lifted off the carrier so it is easier to clean and maintain. The height between the lamp base and the lampshade can also be controlled easily by adjusting the size of the carrier. 

How to change a lampshade fitting

Once you’ve decided on a lampshade you’re going to want to know how to fit it.

  1. Unplug your lamp at the electrical outlet. 
  2. Remove the current shade and harp (the wired shape that holds the shade) by unscrewing the finial, removing the shade, and squeezing the harp out of the saddle. 
  3.  Squeeze the new harp into the saddle. 
  4. Add your new shade and screw on the finial to secure it. 
  5. You’re done!

Whether you’re looking to add a decorative touch to your home, or completely revamp your interior, you’ll find high- performance lighting with a high-quality edge here at Dusk Lighting.  Give your home the finishing element it deserves by introducing a shade from a vast array of designer brands. If you’re looking for a lamp base, discover our diverse range of floor lamps, whether it’s a traditional, industrial or contemporary look you’re trying to achieve, you’ll find plenty of choices.

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