Illumé, a bespoke lampshade store, opened it’s doors in NYC’s design district this past February. We finally had the opportunity to visit their design studio to create a selection of custom lampshades for an upcoming installation. The store carries a wonderful selection of lamp, chandelier, and sconce shades in materials such as silk, linen, parchment, and grass cloth.
Whether you’re looking to design your own custom shades or buy ready-made shades, we thought we’d share some tips of the trade that help us determine the right shade for the fixture. Design is in the details!
Steps to Choosing a Lamp Shade
1. Choose the Shape
The shape of the shade should complement the base of the lamp. For example, if your lamp has a round base, consider a round shade. If your lamp has a square base, consider a shade that is more angular such as a square or hexagon.
2. Choose the Bottom Measurement:
- Table lampshades typically have a bottom diameter of 16” or less
- Floor lampshades typically have bottom diameter of 16” or larger
- For more detailed measurements, the lampshade should have a bottom diameter that is plus or minus 2” of the height of your lamp. How to measure your lamp height:
3. Choose the Height:
- The height is measured on the slant
- The height of the lampshade should not exceed the height of the harp plus ½” and should not be smaller than the height of the harp minus ½”. Meaning, if your harp is 7” tall, your shade should have a height between 6 ½” and 7 ½”. How to measure your harp:
4. Choose the Fitting:
You’ll want to know whether you need a fitting that is a spider, uno, or clip-on before you buy something, get it home, and realize it doesn’t fit!
5. Choose Color, Material, and Details:
The shade color and material should compliment the room, but it also allows you to control light filtering. Things to consider:
- Do you want the shade to be an accent piece? Do you want the shade to blend in with the background?
- Does the color compliment the lamp as well as the room?
- A lighter shade will appear brighter, while a darker shade will let less light through and be more moody
- Materials like linen and silk will give off an ambient glow while materials like paper and metal will not let any light through.
- Keep in mind how you want to clean the shade as some materials are more dust prone than others
- Do you prefer stretched or pleats?
Images Courtesy of www.homeconcept.com, www.antiquelampsupply.com, and www.morleelampshade.com.