Picking out the perfect shade for your lamp base sounds simple enough, right? Yet anyone who’s ever tried to create the perfect combination knows, this task can prove trickier than at first it seemed.
Round or square? Big, medium or small? Translucent, opaque, and what about colours? You’ve a lot of decisions to make – here’s our guide to help you through them…
What shape should you shop for?
One little known interior-design tip for your table lamps is to look at the shape of the base. If it’s round, a round shade usually pairs up best, whereas square or angular bases typically work best with a square lampshade. An exception to this rule is the extremely versatile candlestick – which can accommodate almost any lampshade shape.
Big, medium or small?
Surprisingly, there’s an exact science to creating the perfect proportions for your table lamp.
For width and height, the base should always take up 60% of the total height (the lampshade accounting for 40%), and the widest part of the base should be around 50% of the lamp shade width.
Translucent, opaque and touching upon colours…
Choosing between translucent (where the light shines through the shade to an extent) or opaque (which blocks out most of the light, with the illumination mostly shining though the top and bottom) is simply a matter of whether you want ambient lighting (for which translucent is ideal) or you want to highlight key areas of the room (in which case, you’ll want to go for opaque).
As for lamp shade colours– you have two choices: go for complementary colours – either matching the shade with the base, or go for contrast. In the latter instance, you can make light work of discovering colour combos by looking at a colour wheel. Start by finding the colour of your base, and look to the opposite side – right there you’ll discover the perfect colour for contrast.