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3 Steps to Choosing the Perfect Shade for Your Table Lamp

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Table lamps are a great decorative homeware item for brightening up any bedroom or living space—in terms of both light and décor. Most new table lamps come with a lampshade, but these stock shades can often be uninspired and underwhelming. Many vintage and antique lamps, on the other hand, may not come with a shade at all. Whatever your reason for buying a new shade for your table lamp, here's how to find the perfect one for you in three simple steps.

Step 1: Choose the Size

There is no one perfect size for a lampshade because getting the right size is all about proportion. What looks great on one table lamp may look ridiculously large or small on another. To figure out the ideal size for your lampshade, measure the base of your lamp from the very bottom to the fitting. The width of your lampshade should be approximately the same size as the measurement, while the height should be around 75% as long. Don't forget to also take into account the size of the table you'll be putting it on. To keep your lamp looking balanced, your shade should be at least slightly wider than the base of your lamp. If this doesn't leave enough space on your table for other décor like flowers and ornaments, you may want to consider using a different lamp or a different table.

Step 2: Choose the Shape

Lampshades come in a wide range of shapes. The standard shapes most people think of are coolie and empire lampshades, which are shaped somewhat like cones with the tip cut off. Cylindrical lampshades of varying heights and widths are also very popular. Square and geometrical shaped shades are less common, but they can work for many modern lamp designs. If in doubt, match the shape of your lampshade to the shape of your table lamp's base. If you have a contemporary table lamp with a square base, a square lampshade will work perfectly. If your lamp's base is spherical, you can't go wrong with a circular lampshade.

Step 3: Choose the Design

Last but not least, it's time to choose the design of your lampshade. Before thinking about colours, think about materials. Plastic, silk and parchment are all great choices depending on the design of your room. A natural-looking parchment lampshade would look great in a modern room with greenery, while a silk lampshade is perfect for vintage lamps and traditional décor. Natural materials like parchment tend to be more translucent and give more light, while plastic is great for accent spotlighting. Finally, choose your colour. A lamp is a relatively small part of a room, so it doesn't need to match the other colours in your room unless you want it to. Instead, think more about complementary tones—a warm colour for a room with lots of reds, oranges and dark woods, or a cool colour for a room with lots of blues, greens and black or white furniture.

To learn more, contact your local decorative homewares shop today.