Light Up Your Home With the Right Lampshades

No matter which room of your home you're decorating, lampshades are essential in the room's decor. Here are some questions to consider as you select the best ones for your home.

Size

Selecting the right size item is a matter of choice, but it's good to give some thought to how a relatively tiny lampshade will look compared to the relatively big room. Be sure your shade is big enough. And when trying to decide between a smaller and larger one, don't be afraid to choose the bigger shade: it's easy for a small one to get lost in a room's decor.

Part of the size choice will also be dictated when you consider whether you want a table, floor, or hanging lamp. There are many beautiful choices of lampshades among these three styles. In addition, when you are making decisions about size in pairing the light fixture with the right accessory, decorating experts recommend that a lampshade be about one-half to three-fourths the size of the base.

Style

Do you consider yourself a contemporary person or an old soul at heart? Do you prefer the modern or the traditional? The good news is that there are lampshades in every style and color imaginable.

You'll want to consider the decor in the room where the fixture will be placed. The light fixture doesn't have to "match" everything in the room - that would be boring. But it does need to "fit" the style of the room. Decorating experts claim that clear lamp bases appear lighter in weight, while heavier bases like wood or iron offer richness and texture to the appearance. A crystal base suggests glamour, while porcelain bases that are painted lend a luxurious Old World outlook. For added impact without overpowering the space, consider choosing a slim base paired with a drum-shaped shade. Alternately, you could select a lampshade with a bold pattern or added items like tassels or beads.

One of the fun things about these accessories for light fixtures is that it's possible to change the tone or feel of the room by simply purchasing a new one - and it's much less expensive than buying a new sofa or new carpet.

Purpose

In choosing a lampshade for a room, you'll want to consider the light fixture's purpose. Will the fixture be strictly decorative, or will it provide safety lighting? Will you use it for reading or just for mood lighting? Will the fixture provide light for a corner of the room or the whole room? Take a few minutes to consider the purpose before you choose the fixture and accessory. Your planning will help you narrow the choices somewhat before you begin shopping.