How to Choose a Lampshade

Choosing the wrong lampshade can subtract from the elegant beauty of your lamp. When buying a lampshade, there are a few things to keep in mind while looking. It is always good to measure your lamp and existing shade if applicable, prior to shopping online. The shade should usually be approximately 1/2 inches above where the neck of the lamp starts. The proportion between the shade and the lamp base is the key element in making the final decisions. However, there are always exceptions depending on styles and tastes in choosing the perfect shade. The goal is to cover the bulb and the light switch, not the base. 

Replacement Lamp ShadeWhen measuring the shade, do not worry about including decorative hangings, such as tassels, as the bulb and switch cannot be seen through these decorations.Click Image On Right to Enlarge.

Be sure that the shade is wide enough for the type of bulb used. The higher the wattage, the further from the bulb the shade needs to sit. When choosing a shade it is important to know if your lamp base is one of the many that require a harp and finial. A harp is the piece of metal that curves around the bulb and supports the shade. Harps come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and can help with ensuring the shade does not come to close to the bulb. A finial is a decorative piece that tops the lamp and gives it a signature of finality. Finials vary from being very elaborate to very simple in design, and affect the overall look of the lamp.

The color of your shade greatly affects the overall appearance. While in many cases, whites, creams, and blacks are safe colors, this does not necessarily apply to lampshades. When choosing a lampshade color, it is best to choose one that not only compliments the lamp base, but also the room in which the lamp will reside. The right color shade helps bring a warm and pleasant atmosphere to your room.

The shape and style of the shade helps to create uniformity to the overall lamp. The shape of the shade needs to compliment the base of the lamp. A curved shade is not as flattering on a straight necked base as it would be on a curvy base. As for the style of shade, it is best to choose a style similar to the base. For example, a simple base should be complimented with a more simple style, while a more ornate base, such as an antique or one from a historical period, should have something more elaborate