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How to choose the right shape for your lamp
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How to choose the right shape for your lamp

When choosing the right shade for your lamp, it's important to remember that your new shade is a type of investment. One that lasts. And one that enlivens not just your lamp, but also your room and your personal sense of style.

Most all lamps, regardless of style, can take more than one style of shade, so first, know YOUR style, then consider the following:

Proportional relationships – the shade shouldn't be too large, overwhelming the lamp, or too small, appearing as an afterthought. Shades can be taller, shorter, wider, thinner. It's really all about the overall shade volume as that relates to the overall volume of the lamp.

Color relationships – neutrals are by far the most popular, but colors can add an additional and often exciting dimension to the shade. When choosing a colored shade, it's best to pull from similar or complimentary colors already in the room. Note, darker colors are less translucent. Patterned fabrics, too, on custom-designed shades can add another layer of visual interest.

Material relationships – papers, of different colors or textures are probably the most “relaxed” materials used. Cottons and linens, of varying degrees of tightness of weave are also “relaxed” but sometimes come across as that much more “finished” and silks are considered to the most refined.

Light requirements – translucent materials provide the best light for reading or for diffuse light. Opaque papers and very dark fabrics are very effective in providing accent lighting or for dramatic effect.

Following are some guidelines to help in choosing the right style shade for your lamp.

In general, classic or traditionally styled lamps are best complimented by the following styles:


Empire:              paper laminated fabric stretch fabric pleated,


Bell:                     round oval square rectangular


French Oval Cut-Corner Square Cut-Corner Rectangle

These styles are less or more formal depending upon the actual material, be it paper, linen, poly or silk. The most formal styles of shades are pleated – either a box pleat or flat pleat, and more often than not, silk.

Transitional-style lamps can take a range of shade styles, from slightly more traditional to decidedly more contemporary. Some styles are:




Ovals and

Round drums


Contemporary and modern-style lamps frequently are best complimented by straighter-sided shades. The same styles listed above for transitional-style lamps apply.

If you have a problem finding the perfect shape for your Lamp Shade, please do not hesitate to email us at and we would be more than happy to find the perfect solution for your need.

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