Picking the Right Lampshade

Selecting the prefect lampshade is like choosing the right jewelry to go with the right dress. You want to draw attention to the lamp, but not too much attention.

When shopping for lampshades the first thing you need to do is choose the shape. Shades come in all difference shapes and sizes. Is the base of your lamp round? Typically you want to replicate the shape the base is with the shade. With the combination of curves, angles and lines, you should be able to find a lampshade that can really complement not only the lamp base but the table or area it will be placed on.

After you pick a shape, grab a tape measure. Make sure that the shade is about two-thirds the height of the lamp. You can give or take an inch, just make sure that everything is proportionate. If the shade is too tall, the full lamp will look top-heavy. If it's too short the whole shade will look unbalanced. To measure the right width for the shade, measure the lamps base and multiply by two. For a round base, measure straight across; if it's a square base, measure diagonally.

Next, you have to figure out the right material. Do you want the shade to be translucent or opaque? Translucent shades are great from reading and adding ambient light to the room. Opaque shades direct light better. These are great for highlighting objects or areas.

Finally you want to figure what kind of fashion you want the shade to be. Do you want it to be slick, refined or even contemporary? Pleats can give an antique feel. Also lampshades can be very detailed with embroidery, decoupage and even paint.

The most important factor to picking a lampshade is finding the right style for you and your room. Once you do that, you'll be happy with your choice.

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