What You Need to Know About Ordering Custom-Made Lampshades

Posted on: 28 February 2022

If you have searched high and low to find the perfect vintage table lamp for your living room and have finally found one, now you need to buy a complementary lampshade. The shade needs to compliment the base in such as way as it looks balanced and like they always belonged together.

Since a plain white or beige lampshade that you can buy at the local big box store just won't do for your vintage lamp, you will need to order a custom-made lampshade.

If you are struggling with all of the various decisions about size, shape, material, design, and color, keep reading for some help:

Lampshade Size

One of the most important aspects of lampshade selection is size. A shade that is too small or too large will not have a good aesthetic look.

To choose an appropriately-sized shade, make sure it is:

  • approximately half of the height of the lamp base
  • at least a few inches wider than the widest part of the base

For a very dramatic look, you can always try a very small shade on a large lamp or vice versa. 

Lampshade Shape

Custom-made lampshades can be made in any of the typical shade shapes, including:

  • pleated
  • drum
  • cylinder
  • floor
  • bell 
  • empire
  • coolie

A lamp's shade greatly affects its design style. For example, a pleated shade gives an artistic or expensive look, while a drum or cylinder shade is more of a contemporary or modern design style.

Lampshade Material

Lampshades come in a variety of different materials. The most common are:

  • fabric (cotton, linen, and silk)
  • parchment
  • paper
  • glass

Glass is ideal for adult-only households without pets. Paper and parchment are the least expensive. And, fabrics are the most common and versatile lampshade materials.

Lampshade Design and Color

Now that size, shape, and materials are out of the way, it is time for the fun decisions about your custom lampshade's color and design.

While you may want to make a bold statement with a dark shade color or busy design, it is important to remember light will be restricted more as it flows through darker colors or busier designs.

If you want a lot of light to emanate from the shade, then it is advisable to use light colors, ample negative space, and a single design on a transparent background.

A Final Note About Lampshade Safety

Lastly, it is important to note that any lampshade that sits too close or leans against a lightbulb can cause a fire. For this reason, never use a lamp if the lampshade is too small or ill-fitting.