When it comes to lamp shades, the options are nearly endless. The selection can be overwhelming, but the good news is that there are a few simple rules that can help you choose the right shade for your wall light.
One of the most important rules when choosing a lampshade is to consider the material. The type of fabric you select should match the style of your room. For example, if you have natural materials throughout your interiors like wool rugs in neutral tones and rattan furniture then a linen lampshade would complement this look perfectly. Linen has a much lighter texture than other fabrics and can add a more relaxed feel to your home while adding a soft, warm glow. Another great option is parchment which has a beautiful, tactile quality and can work well in any modern or minimalist interior. It’s also very lightweight and has a subtle, block print colour that’s easy to pair with any other neutral tone or metallic finish on your fixture.
The next thing to think about is how the shade will attach to the base. There are three common types of fitters used on lamp bases: a spider, uno or screw-on. It’s essential to choose a fitter that matches the style of your lamp base and can be attached securely.
A finial is the decorative piece that tops the lamp shade and can have a huge impact on the overall design of your fixture. It can be as simple or as intricate as you want – from a star-cut crystal to a life-sized porcelain golf ball, there’s an ornamental finial for every taste.
You’ll need to know the size of your base before you can decide on the shape of your shade. The rule of thumb is that the shade should be no more than 2 to 3 inches wider than the widest part of your base on both sides. This helps to ensure that your shade will sit properly on the base and won’t create any unwanted visual distractions.
Lastly, the color of your shade is also something to consider carefully. If esthetics are your priority then you can be more liberal with your choices; however, if function is the main concern you’ll want to choose a lighter-colored fabric as it will reflect light more effectively.
If you do choose a colored or patterned shade, try to ensure that it’s echoed in your other decor items such as rugs, cushions and curtains for maximum effect. It’s also a good idea to consider the season and time of year when it comes to colors; during spring and summer, opt for neutral or pastel shades to create a light, airy feel while softer, more autumnal hues are better suited for warmer seasons and can create a more cocooning effect.
Lastly, don’t forget to choose a finish for your shade. There are a range of finishes available, from brass and gold to white, black and grey. Choose a finish that matches the lamp base and harp for an integrated, intentional design.