- Examine The Base
The key to finding a lampshade that will match your base and other décor begins with examining the base. The shade should complement the design and structure of the base without being overwhelming or looking awkward in relation to it. Begin by measuring your base.
As a general rule, the shade usually looks best if it's roughly double the width of the base. For wider bases it can be as little as 6 inches wider than the base. If you go taller than the general rule, your shade will be narrower than the general rule. If the shade is shorter than the general rule, the shade should be shorter. This will insure that the balance feels right.
The height of the shade often looks best if it's 60-70% of the height of the base itself (from the bottom of the base to the bottom of the socket). So if the lamp base is 20 inches tall, your shade should be about 12-14 inches tall. There are always exceptions to every rule and this will apply to lamps that resemble buffet lamps (very narrow and tall lamps), these lamps often have shades that are significantly shorter than our 60-70% rule.
Lastly, look at the bottom of the base. If the base of the lamp is round, round often looks best, square with square and oval with oval. Matching the shape of the base always gives a nice sense of flow.
- Consider The Location
The next step is to take the location and colour scheme into consideration. Where will you place the lamp? If it’s in an area people will walk past often, pick a narrower shade to prevent it from being knocked over.
- What Ambience Are Your Hoping To Create?
Lastly, consider what kind of ambience you want to create with the lamp. For soft, ambient light, pick a shade made from translucent or woven materials.
Shades made from solid materials and darker colours will reflect light more prominently and create defined beams of light. Finally, when choosing a colour for your lampshade, pick a neutral colour that will be adaptable to various colour schemes, or go with bold and striking colour and design if you’re not planning on switching up your décor or are prepared to buy a new lampshade if you change your room’s décor.