Sunday, June 24, 2012

How To Pick the Right Lampshade

I am always on the lookout for lampshades.  They can totally change the appearance of a lamp, and give a room a totally different feel with just a change.

I have a really inexpensive candlestick style lamp that I use in the familyroom on a small table and I need a new lampshade for it, so I tried out a bunch from around the house so I could get a feel for what I wanted.

This is the lamp and table I am working with, it is in the familyroom, so I have to take into consideration the overall feel of this room.  The lamp is not real tall, so this small shade works, nothing special, just ok.

 However, since I have a much taller table on the other side of the sofa and the rooster lamp is taller, this little shorty looks out of proportion for the whole area.  It makes the taller table look like it over powers the room.

 I have a little round pedestal that fits the base of the lamp perfectly, and it raises the lamp up to the right height.  However now the shade looks way too small for a taller lamp.

 The height is perfect and it balances out the difference in the tables, but the shade is all wrong.  Way too small.

 I borrowed several shades from around the house to figure out what will work.  This shade is a great size for the taller lamp.  It's tall enough and wide enough at the base to balance out the height of the lamp.

 Only problem is I don't want fringe and since I have a bell shape on the rooster lamp, this is way too matchy matchy.

 I love the shape and size of this shade.  It look great with the lamp too.  However, I don't want such a formal fabric shade for this room.

 Shape and size are great together, maybe if I find something in a simple linen fabric.

 This one is a little taller than the last one, but it has the same size base.

 This one is probably the best size and shape overall.  Looks like it balances out the rooster lamp perfectly.  This is one that I am using in the living room.  So, I can look for something that will work in either place just so long as the size is the same.

So, the next time you need to replace a lampshade, try several from around the house.  You will be amazed at  what a difference it makes, depending on size and shape, you can totally change the appearance of a lamp and your room.

So I either need a new shade or a new lamp.  Sometime you can find a lamp just as cheap as a shade if you shop at Ross, TJMaxx, Home Goods or Hobby Lobby.  Guess I need to make the rounds.


  1. Your family room is very pretty. I have to say, I always dread looking for new lampshades but shopping around the house first is a great idea!
    Good luck with finding the right shade or lamp for your table!

    I'm having my very first blog giveaway and would be delighted to have you stop by. I hope you have a really wonderful day!

    Aledia @ Plum Perfect

  2. Very nice, Marty :) I purchase plain lampshades and hand paint them! It's fun, try it one day!

  3. I have the reverse issue at the moment, Marty! I picked up a great script document shade {I can't even remember where now} a couple of months ago and now I need a lamp for it. Those small countertop lamps are too small, but a normal size side table lamp is too big. I need to find something in the middle. I'll be keeping my eye out at the thrift and antique mart for one.

  4. great tips- it is never easy to get the perfect lampshade for a lamp...


  5. Hi Marty, I had to chuckle as I was reading your post because I have a hard time getting the right lamp for the table and its surroundings. Your good tips made me rethink some of my choices.
    Thanks for stopping by, Mary Alice

  6. Great post on selecting lamps and shades. I see so many I love. sometimes it's great fun to pick up some at a bargain price and embellish them.

  7. For me it is all about light...I do not enjoy dark rooms and for this reason, I want to get the most light from my lamps...
    I have noticed that some of the prettier lamp shades do not put off enough light. I have also noticed that a lot of the shades these days are oversized...I'm not a fan of the large shades either...
    It doesn't sound like I'm picky does it? ha!
    Enjoyed your post.

  8. I have a love affair with lamps. I see one I love, and I think: surely I can find a place for it. If I can afford it anyway!

  9. It is funny you are writing about this today. Lamps with the wrong shades kept jumping out in front of me when I was shopping this morning. There were very tall table lamps made of weathered iron that were gorgeous but some of them had shades that were only 8-10" tall and were maybe 12" across at the base. The shades were totally dissproportionate to the size of the lamp. What a shame because they were true works of art. Likewise, there were some very charming bed side lamps that were about 12" high with shades that were very tall and thin. Again, not proportionate. I believe the rule of thumb is that the diameter of the bottom of the shade should be roughly the same as the height of the lamp from the bottom of the base to the bottom of the socket. (There is some margain, but I can't remember what it is - probably an 1" one way or the other). The height of the shade should be the same height of the harp. (Again, there is some margain of error.) Hope this helps with the lampshade shopping.

    1. Thanks, Patty. I need specific guidelines like that...I'm not as good as Marty to "eyeball" and tell if a shade is right for a lamp base or not.

  10. Marty,
    All your shades were lovely on the lamp! I adore the one with well with the fringe on your pillows! You alawys have "the best" ideas in changing things up around the house. Thanks for sharing!!!

  11. Oh boy , lamps!! I have this crazy addiction to lamps. I now have just about every lamp and chandelier in my home on dimmers. I can have bright bulbs but I like to be able to control the mood by dimming them for a nice warm feeling.

    By the way I've recently discovered your blog. I enjoy reading all about your lovely home. It's charming?


  12. Thanks so much for this information on shades. I have been looking for a shade for a lamp forever and did not realize how I need to look at the area where it was going to be used to determine the best size. Your blog has saved me so much hunting around. Love your blog.

  13. You are so right Marty. When I bought new lamps for the living room last year they were just too small, so bought new ones this year. Of course I was able to use them in other rooms, so did not waste them. One thing I noticed on both lamps was the small shades they had. Later when we get the money I will be buying bigger shades.

  14. Thanks for sharing. I love your decor. I've seen the idea of placing a shorter lamp on top of a couple of books. That might give you the look you're striving for.

    Have a great week, Marty.

  15. Great and informative post. I'm looking for new lamp shades myself as I agree they can really transform a room. Thanks for sharing and good luck on your hunt. Liz

  16. Marty,

    I enjoy your blog so I have awarded you the Sunshine Award to show you how much I do..


  17. This was such an interesting post for me to read as I just struggled with replacing shades last week. I wish I had read this first. As usual, I just rushed ahead and bought something much too quickly. Your ideas will be helpful for the next time, which might come sooner than I had planned. hehehe