A carefully selected lampshade will make your lamp really special as well as maximize the function of the lamp. You should choose a shade with a shape that follows the general contours of the lamp. Square lamps look best with square shades and round lamps look best with round shades. A shapely lamp can take a shapely shade. An interesting alternative is to repeat the shape of the BOTTOM BASE of the lamp in the shade’s shape. For example, try a square shade on a round ginger jar with a square wood base.
The height of the shade should never exceed the height of the body of the lamp. Generally, the shade is 1/3 the total height of the table lamp. The more slender the body of the lamp, the shallower the shade can be. Often you will need to change the size of the harp on your lamp when you change the lampshade. The more flared the shade, the shorter the harp you need. The bottom of the lampshade should come to the top of the body of the lamp so that no mechanical parts except the neck show. The bottom of the shade should also fall at the eye level of the user.
While shades add the finishing touch to a lamp, they should also be selected to produce the amount of light required. Translucent white and ivory shades give off a gentle overall light while opaque shades focus light down for reading or illuminating objects on a table. Although it’s best to keep all the “white” shades in a room the same color (keep to the tones of the wall or trim color), an occasional colored or black shade can add pizzazz and diversity.
©2005 Ashton Harrison. All Rights Reserved.