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Hubbardton Forge Lighting


Design Advice

Some shades will make your lamp look smaller, bigger, or simpler. There are also traditional and contemporary shades that add elegance, drama, or flair to a basic lamp.

Shape Considerations

Typically, the contour of the lamp should match the shape of the shade. Whenever a base is curvy, use a shade that has a slightly curved shape. A lamp that has a straight base must use a shade that has straight edges.

Bonus Tips

Place a cone-shaped shade on a bottom-heavy lamp to make it appear lighter.

Always use a round shade on a round base and a square shade on a square base.

If a lamp has square and round elements, use a square lamp shade that is modified.

Shape Details

The shape of a shade has an impact on a home’s overall design scheme. To achieve a traditional, elegant, or refined look, use fluted shades throughout the home. Homeowners who prefer a more homey or casual look typically choose pleated shades. In the bedroom, scalloped edge shades are recommended. Bell shaped shades can be used in any space because they have a chameleon look.

Color Options

Usually, most homeowners buy white lamp shades because they allow more light into a space. Black shades are worth buying too because they direct light down. A black shade is ideal for homeowners who need a sophisticated lighting option. Other shade colors can be used as well; however, always choose a shade that does not match the walls in your home.

Shade Color Advice For Specific Bases

Use a white lamp shade on crystal lamp bases.

Polished brass also requires a white lamp shade.

A cream or off-white lamp shade should be placed on an antique brass base.

Ceramic or porcelain bases typically have patterns, so use a shade that matches the base pattern’s subtle background color.

Any shade can be placed on an iron or wood lamp base.

Fabric Options

The shade’s fabric should match the décor in the space. However, some fabrics should only be placed in certain locations.

In bathroom or formal locations, use silk shades because they are very classy. Textured, linen, and parchment fabrics look best in dens or family rooms.


Shade manufacturers are now placing accent pieces on their shades, such as crystal bends. Use these shades in dull rooms because the crystals will add brightness.

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Hubbardton Forge Lighting
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.

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