August 12, 2016

How to choose the PERFECT lampshade


1 Images and shopping @pooky

Choosing a lampshade sounds easy enough, but the challenge is that lampshades have to go with two different things: the décor of the room, and the base of the lamp itself. And just to add to the decision there are so many shades to choose from!

To make it easier for you to choose the right lampshade we have teamed up with the lighting experts from Pooky to give you a complete guide on how to get it right.. the first time around!

1. Matching the shade size with the base size

Lampshades are a bit like hats – if they’re too large or too small for the head that’s wearing them they look silly, but get the proportions right and the effect is harmonious and curiously satisfying. Some good shade-size rules of thumb for table lamps are:

  • The height of the shade should be about three-quarters the height of the base.
  • The width of the shade base should be roughly equal to the height of the lamp from base to fitting.
  • The shade should ideally be to at least half an inch (1.3cm) wider than the base on both sides, to keep the whole lamp looking balanced.* If you’re debating between two sizes, it’s usually better to go for the larger (although having said that, very thin and tall lamps can often suit smaller shades).
  • Floor lamps will generally take a shade with a base diameter of 45cm (18 inches) or larger.

2 Images and shopping @pooky

2. Matching the shade size with the room

You’ll also need to think carefully about the space where your lampshade is going to go. For example, a large, empty-ish room can support a much larger floor lamp shade than a small full room. If it’s a table lamp you’ll need to consider the size of the table and the other objects around the lamp.

3 Images and shopping @pooky

3. Choosing the right shape lampshade

The main lampshade shapes are seen in the photo below. Again, when choosing the right shape you need to consider both the lamp base and the room and position of the lamp. Match the shape of your base and shade –square with square, for example – for a cohesive look, and you can place them close to a call with their shape. Rounded lampshades are generally more popular and are a soft finish.


4. Choosing a lampshade material

Lampshades come in various materials including plastics, but for Pooky the key lampshade materials are: silk, cotton, linen and parchment.

  • Parchment lampshades are rolled and can give a clean look, perfect for contemporary-style bases and modernist or minimalist décor – especially if they’re printed in a block colour.
  • Silk lampshades and cotton lampshades can be either rolled or ‘gathered’ with a pleated effect that creates a traditional feel – these will work best with a classic base, and in rooms with a more vintage feel* Meanwhile a natural linen shade in a muted colour will look great with a pale wooden base for a rustic look.

5 Images and shopping @pooky

5. Choosing lampshade designs and colours

This is the fun bit: there are so many options, from traditional Indian-inspired Ikat patterns to simple block colours that you can always find something to complement and enhance the décor of your room. Indeed, changing your lampshades is a quick and remarkably effective way to transform a room!

Here are some tips when choosing designs and colours:

  • The right light –how much light do you need? If you need ambient light in the room or if you use the lamp for reading, go for a translucent shade. But if the lamp is just for decorative accent lighting, an opaque shade in a dark colour will be fine.
  • Be bold with colour – lampshades are a great way of introducing a dash of bright colour into an otherwise understated room. In general, you don’t need to worry so much about matching with existing colours and materials in the way that you do with curtains and carpets, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
  • Think cosy – if you’ve got a snug corner of a room, then a translucent shade in ivory will be just the ticket to provide a soothing pool of light.
  • Make a statement – a flamboyant lampshade, particularly on a floor lamp, can be a good way to make a dramatic design statement without breaking the bank on an expensive ornament.

6 Images and shopping @pooky

6. Mix and match lampshades and bases

And finally, the best way to find the perfect lampshade is to try lots of different ones with your lamp base until you find one that feels just right. So here are a few last tips: if you’re going into a lighting shop to choose a shade, take your lamp base in with you if you possibly can, not your old shade! And if you’re shopping for lampshades online, use Pooky’s clever mix-and- match feature to browse dozens of different shades on different bases.

7 Images and shopping @pooky

Team up with a Homewings designer to help choose the perfect lampshade to bring your scheme together and much much more.

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