Finding the right lamp is a piece of cake, especially when you’re choosing from a range as stunning as ours. But picking a lampshade is an entirely different story. How do you know what shape, style and size best suits your lamp? To make shopping for a shade an easy and enjoyable experience, we have put together this helpful guide on the different types of lampshades available, answering as many questions as possible. Follow these tips and you’ll be an expert in no time at all.
The main lampshade shapes are drum, empire and square, but we also stock oval, rectangularand cone shades, to fit our unusually sized lamps. In case you weren’t aware, an empire shade is a classic ‘frustum’ shaped shade, a shape that is created by taking the top off a cone with the cut made parallel to the base. Drum shades look more contemporary and are cylindrical in appearance, rather like a musical drum. Lastly, square shades have the silhouette of a pyramid, minus its peak. Here are the most popular lampshade styles.
If you have a plain lamp, then you might want to cast your eyes over our unique lampshades. Be inspired by colourful prints and patterns; swirls, stripes and floral motifs are woven into the fabric of a shade or digitally printed on card. Plain shades are great if you have a really dynamic lamp and are worried about it being overshadowed by a showy shade. Plus, they will complement practically every scheme.
This depends on the lamp that you are dressing. Organic shapes tend to suit empire or drum shades whereas geometric lamps look better with square designs. Some lamps, such as our Palladio, only need a half shade as they are designed to sit flush against a wall.
If you lean towards classic interior décor, an empire shade will be your best bet. Rectangular shades are good for narrow lamps and drum shades are just the ticket if you’re lighting up a modern scheme. Square, mini, oval and cone shades are a good match for wall lights and small column lamps; they are often chosen for lights in bathrooms and hallways.
Most lampshades are made from linen, cotton or card. Fabric shades are supported by metal frames, while card shades hold their own shape. If you’re struggling to choose between the two, consider what kind of atmosphere you want to create with lamps. Card lampshades have a clean façade, in white they instantly lighten a room, making it feel more spacious. Black-out linen shades are perfect if you’re a fan of dark, mysterious décor or want to create contrast using a bold lamp. Pleated fabric shades are quite traditional and have that ‘French cottage’ look to them, ideal for a vintage-inspired scheme.
We have an entire blog post devoted to lampshade sizes and how to measure a lamp. Essentially, you measure the lamp base with a ruler or tape measure and follow the steps in the blog post. If your lamp is in between two sizes of lampshade, choose the biggest size as proportionally it works better and will distribute more light.
If you’re still in the dark when it comes to choosing lamp shade styles and shapes, have a look at our extensive range of lamps and bulbs - you’re bound to find the right lights for your home. Once you’ve found something you like, take a peek at our lighting dos and don’ts where you can learn how to light your home like a pro with some help from the Interiors Editor of Country Life, Giles Kime.