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Very few individual elements of a design plan have the impact that lighting has on the final ambiance, aesthetic and practicality of a room. The perfect light layering and choice of elements can genuinely make or break your overall scheme. Furthermore, when balancing the relative affordability of changing a standing lamp or a lampshade against the remarkable difference that such a small change can make, you understand why this is a favourite design tip for a budget-friendly décor upgrade. Choosing new designer lamp shades for your room is also a wonderful way to experiment with patterns, colour or design trends while keeping your degree of commitment manageable. Just remember a few basic lampshade tips and you can revamp or freshly decorate any room with the minimal amount of bother.
The first thing to keep in mind when choosing your new lampshades is the space the lamp will occupy and the function to which it will be put. Is the lamp a part of the room’s ambient light? Will it be a task light or is it decorative? Consider the size of the room and the lamp in question. For example, a large room might support a few tall floor standing lamps or maybe multiple lamps spaced along a long wall. If you are shopping for floor lamp shades, your need is for a wider more ambient light spread – it would have to provide ample and well distributed light that is both bright and welcoming. You might choose to space matching lamps at three or four different corners within your room to
Image courtesy, KNS Architect
increase the radiance and to provide a more even light coverage. On the other hand when looking for bedroom lamp shades you would probably want a more cosy and relaxing tone. The shades would usually be shaped to funnel the majority of the illumination downward and you might want a light with a dimmer or even a movable shade. Your choice of bedside lampshade will depend very much on the size of your bedside table, the placement of your lamp and whether or not you prefer to read in bed. That said, ideally the lampshades at your bedside should sit below your line of sight, at about 16 to18 inches above your mattress.
The second factor to the perfect lampshade pick, is the lamp base you currently have. Examine the bulb socket and fixture settings properly to ensure that the shade you like will in fact fit into your chosen base, because not all fittings are universal. Sometimes when trying to modernise antique lamp shades extra care might need to be taken that the lamp base is suitable for the replacement shade. There are also some designer lamp shades that might need more attention in terms of bulb choice and fittings.
Another way in which the base will affect your lampshade choice is the shape. By-and-large when it comes to fitting the perfect lampshade designs to the right base shape, the guide is as follows:
● Round based lamps – Choose a drum or a hexagonal shaped shade for a more contemporary look. Conversely, a bell shaped, dome shaped or
empire shaped shade will give you a more retro feel.
● Square based lamps – An angular shade silhouette will generally look more visually appealing. Opt for a square or a rectangular shaped
shade or one with multiple pleats or geometric cut-outs.
● Short/squat based lamps – A tall cylindrical, tapered or square lampshade will give your lamp a more dynamic feel. Use materials and colours
that harmonise with the room décor not necessarily those that emphasise the base.
● Tall decorative or tripod based lamps – Choose a clean cylindrical drum shape or a simple cube to avoid visual distraction. Simple lines will
add a quality of intention and play up the interest of the base design.
Image courtesy, united photo studio/ shutterstock
The third tip is to be aware of proportion and size when picking your perfect lampshade: the height and width should correspond to the size of your lamp base. Whether you gravitate toward contemporary floor lamp shades for a modern concept or cosier vintage themed table lampshades, the dimensions of your lamp are integral to creating the right look. The rule of thumb is to ensure that the shade should be 2/3 the height and twice the width of the lamp base. Allow for about two to three inches of space between the shade and the bulb within, to prevent overheating or even a burnt shade. There should also be sufficient ventilation space from the top of the shade to allow for heat to escape. The harp (the piece that attaches the lamp to the shade and fits over the lightbulb), the neck of your lamp and all the hardware should be hidden underneath your shade for the cleanest look. As a secondary concern, you must be aware of the shade size in terms of the space it will occupy. Especially when picking lamp shades for living room areas, you have to be conscious of the seating needs and pathways to ensure that the shade does not intrude on headspace or obstruct foot traffic.
Once again, your fourth tip brings the question of lamp functionality to the fore; what is the core use you will be putting your lamp to? How much light will you need? Where does the light need to be focused? When you pick opaque or darker shades, you allow less light to filter through and usually get more focused under lighting and fairly direct up-and-down beams. On the other hand, translucent or sheer shades allow for more even ambient light. Thus, paper or alternative sheer fabrics are ideal for table lamp shades in rooms where you need a softer atmospheric light quality, ideal for reading or for inviting conversation. Take care to use frosted or half-chrome bulbs to eliminate hot spots and to reduce any glare from the top of the shade. Thick silk, laminated card, metallic or dark acrylic shades might suit a lampshade for a tall pedestal in an entryway or corner. The contrast between the light at the centre and the relative shadow thrown will help create an appealing depth of interest within the space.
The third slightly less seen category of shade is decorative or textured materials. Due to the fact that many vintage lamp shades are textured glass, decorative wood or metal, these styles are often dismissed as too old-fashioned and only used in retro or cosy styled décor themes. However with the right placement and base, your textured shade can be the perfect statement accent piece in a contemporary room as well.
The fifth and final designer tip is to be bold with your lampshade choices! As discussed earlier, changing your lampshades is a relatively low cost way to make a big impact and so you really ought to take full advantage of the freedom to play. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour, texture or pattern and lean all the way in on the idea of mixing styles. As before, antique-inspired lampshade designs might be the perfect way to add character to an eclectic or modern-boho room. A bamboo or rattan shade could beautifully accessorise your tropical-rustic scheme. Or a more minimalist contemporary look might get a boost from a few well-placed metal filigree designer lamp shades. What is more, colour,
Image courtesy, Followtheflow/ shutterstock
texture and pattern can create visual impact even in a smaller size. A small table top lampshade in a bright contrast colour could lend a pop of interest that complements and elevates your overall design scheme. Or a pleated lampshade in a concept matching tone could add depth and tactile interest to a more monochromatic space. The possibilities are limitless!
While it would be ideal to take your lamp with you shopping, the next best solution would be to get a little bit of added expert help. Why not let our team help you pick the perfect lampshade choices for your home? Reach out to us and discover how, at Beautiful Homes Service by Asian Paints, we partner with you to make your dream home a reality! Whether it’s assisting you with your flawless installation and all your design decisions, or helping you to source the latest in furniture, home accessories and décor styles from our curated collection, we’re here for you, every step of the way.
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