by Lindsay Wilcox
Even the simplest lamps can look bolder and brighter with the right lamp shades. Whether you want to add a bit more light to your living room with sheer fabric lamp shades or create an old-fashioned bedroom with vintage lamp shades, the following suggestions will help you find the table lamps with shades that suit your style. Read on for tips on finding the best lamp shades for your table lamps.
Look for a lamp shade that doesn't overwhelm the base of your lamp. While you will want to buy lamp shades that are at least a few inches wider than the lamp's base, you won't want to choose a shade so wide that it frequently gets in the way. Keep the proportions of your table lamps in mind if you're unsure of the right size. If your lamp shade is more than half the height of the base, the lamp will look top-heavy; table lamp shades that are too small in proportion to the base will make the lamp look awkward and lanky.
Make sure your lamp shade covers all hardware well. The table lamp shades you buy should be large enough to cover the light bulb, harp, spindle and other hardware pieces. You'll also want to be careful when buying sheer fabric lamp shades to find styles opaque enough to hide all the hardware.
Buy a lamp shade that complements the style of the lamp's base. Although you can buy lamp shades in a variety of sizes and shapes to update your table lamps, your lamp will look best if the shade is similar in shape to the base. For example, drum lamp shades, which feature a wide and round shape, complement round bases, while bell-shaped vintage lamp shades look better with square bases. You'll also want to consider the size of the lamp's stand. Large drum lamp shades may overwhelm a thin stand, but they can balance a thick wood stand and base.
Find a lamp shade in a material that matches your home's style. If you're going for an elegant living room that features a lot of antiques, why not buy a few glass lamp shades for your table lamps? Clear or cream-colored glass lamp shades can add a warm glow to the room, while Tiffany-inspired shades with colored glass designs look sophisticated and classic. For a more subtle look that works with both traditional and modern decor, buy silk lamp shades. Soft pleats make this fabric look vintage, while bold geometric patterns and unexpected colors give silk lamp shades a contemporary feel.