the right lamp shade can make a difference

When it comes to lighting in a room, I believe that if you skimp – you might as well not design the room at all.  Whether you are purchasing new lamps or refreshening the ones you have, the right shade paired with the right lamp can make all the difference in the world.

When choosing lighting, everything about a lamp and its shade must be taken into consideration… the scale, the shape, the fabric, the trim, the lining, even the task that it will be performing. Lighting is a subtle but important element of a well-put-together room.

A shade can change the entire look and feel of a room, not to mention the look of the lamp. The mood of a room can be altered by the right lamp and the right shade as well as the right balance of light.

Take a look at these four lamps with various shades, and notice the differences:

An Urn Lamp

This shape goes back to the time of the Greeks. The glass base makes it versatile. It could work in a living room or a library with a silk shade, on a porch with a paper shade, or as a focal point in a kitchen. Because of the strong color of the base, it could give punch to a room by itself or complement an overall design as a pair.
Casual Setting
Shade: Oval knife-pleat in silk
The cream silk provides warm, beautiful light
If you want a little more pizzazz, put a trim on the shade

Formal Setting
Shade: Knife-pleat with cut corners in silk
This combination would be found in a formal room or in a spot where a really special lamp is needed

Clean Lines
Shade: Rectangular in silk
The straight lines of the shade complement the clean lines of the lamp
The combination becomes sharp and chic

A Candlestick Lamp

Candlestick lamps are most effective in pairs. They can be used either on the same surface, such as a chest or tabletop, or separately on two surfaces that are smaller and somewhat close together.
Traditional Setting
Shade: Rectangular with cut corners in linen
Strong, clean lines present a traditional face
A contemporary fabric would make it look more current

New Look, Antique Style
Shade: Square in sheer silk
The compact size with accentuated height balances well with the shape of the lamp and gives an update to an antique style

Feminine Details
Shade: Knife-pleat in silk with collar
This feminine detailing goes well in a bedroom or dressing room
The round shape reflects the round base

Vintage Tin Lamp

This shape is more interesting to pair a round shade and a square base... than to pair a square shade and a square base. Notice how the shade hits above the cap and does not rest on the top of the base.

Added Interest
Shade: Oval knife-pleat in cream silk
This makes the lamp look a little larger and gives it a slightly edgy look

Simple Silhouette
Shade: Knife-pleat drum shade in cream silk
Straight lines... well-proportioned

Traditional Look
Shade: Box-pleat in ecru silk
This shade is narrower than the first, giving the lamp a more traditional feel

Stacked Spheres Lamp

Stacked spheres give the overall appearance of a column-shaped lamp.

Shade: Hard-back drum shade in natural linen
This shade gives the lamp a cool, clean, sophisticated feel and could work in a variety of spaces.

Reading Lamp
Shade: Hard-back in kraft paper with black trim
This architectural shade is great for reading, with light thrown from the top and bottom

Style Sense
Shade: Shirred with flat cut corners in sheer silk
This lamp presents a great sense of style