A lamp shade is so much more than merely a functional shade. It adds style, color, and personality, all while creating a softly diffused light source in your home. There are many different options to choose from when selecting a lampshade, and styling your lamp base with different shades can create an entirely different look – from colorful to muted, or from minimalist to bold and striking.
There are many shapes that will complement different lamp bases better than others. This guide outlines the various types of popular lamp shade shapes that you can find, highlights some of our bestselling lampshades, and describes which will best suit the many lamp bases around your home.
Drum Lamp Shades
Drum lampshades appear perfectly cylindrical in shape. They have similar openings on top and bottom, allowing an even distribution of light to glow above and below. Initially introduced in the 1060s these precisely formed lampshades became an instant hit with interior designers of the era; given that the cylindrical, symmetrical form matched so well with the geometric aesthetic at the time.
Want to know more about our Drum Lamp Shades? Read our blog A Buying Guide: Drum Lamp Shades to discover more.
Our most popular lampshades include a selection of handcrafted drum shades, including our bestselling Deep Drum Pleated Lamp Shade – a beautiful white or off-white-colored shade with detailed trim and rows of intricately folded pleats.
A more contemporary shade, our popular Black Retro Drum Shade is made in hardbacked faux silk with a vibrant gold lining; perfect for creating a more modern look.
- Geometric lamp bases in either form or pattern
- Retro-inspired lamp bases (the 1960s in particular)
Coolie Lamp Shades
A more traditional lampshade, a Coolie shade features a smaller upper diameter and broader lower base. Coolie lampshades are easy to distinguish from their flat, squat shape, with the bottom part of the shade usually around four times as wide as the top opening. Originally designed and created in China, these traditional shades are perfect for adding authenticity to an Oriental-inspired setting.
A long-standing favorite at Lamp Shade Solution, one of our more popular styles is our Black Coolie Hardback Lamp Shade – a clean and modern shade crafted from shiny black parchment with a contemporary reflective gold lining.
For a more traditional look, our Coolie Lamp Shade with Hand Rolled Edge is available in either beige or white offers a classic style for a simpler setting.
- Short, squat lamp bases (to match with the short height of this style)
- Either angular or rounded shape bases
Bell Lamp Shades
Credit: Halkin Photography LLC
Enduring and classic, Bell Lamp Shades provide a traditional look. Their shape is curved and tapered out to form a wider diameter at the base. Given the shapely swooping frame of a Bell Lamp Shade, this style works best with spherical lamp bases, and complement a more traditional interior theme.
Our most popular shades in this form include our Bell Uno Lamp Shade – available in a wide variety of fabrics and colors this shade can be matched to any décor, offering complete versatility. This particular shade features a circular, three-prong UNO light bulb fitter.
A more extravagant style, our Bell with Smocked Pleated Cuff Lamp Shade includes an intricate hand tucked and pleated ‘hem,’ which adds a beautiful finishing touch.
- Traditional lamp base styles in curved shapes
- A base around 2/3 the size of the lampshade
Empire Lamp Shades
An empire lampshade has a clean shape with a slightly smaller opening at the top than the bottom. This style tapers to a narrower diameter at the upper part of the shade, allowing slightly less light to emerge than across the base. With a slightly shaped, gently narrowing form, this simple lamp shade style remains ever-popular, lending its use on both table lamps and ceiling lights.
Our bestselling Black with Gold Lining Empire Lamp Shade is available in a deep black softback fabric with a smooth satin lining, giving it a contemporary feel. Place on table lamps near sofas or seating for a little extra reading light.
Additionally our bestseller Empire Hand Rolled Side Pleated Lamp Shade is handcrafted in a softback construction, with individual pleats around the exterior. Perfect for creating a more traditional look.
- A wide range of table lamp bases – this is the most versatile lamp shade style!
- Spherical or square lamp base shapes
Are you feeling inspired to try a new style? Explore our selection of Bestselling Lamp Shade Styles to discover more of our most popular lamp shades.