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How To Match Lamp Shades and Bases


At Pacific Lifestyle we know that pairing the right shade and lamp base can be difficult. That’s why we have put together a few helpful hints and tips to make sure you pick the right shade first time, every time!

The right lampshade can transform a plain base into something exquisite, while the wrong shade can make even the most stunning lamp look badly proportioned or inappropriate for the room.

The following tips will help you choose the shade that's perfect for your lamp and your setting.


Choose a shade that's two-thirds the height of the base. That proportion assures that the lamp won't look top or bottom heavy.

You also want to make sure the shade doesn't expose any of the hardware underneath, such as the harp (the wire frame around the lightbulb), or the lampholder.


If the base is round, it will look best with a round shade.

A square or angular base generally looks best with a corresponding square shade, or softended with a round one.

The exception: If you're putting a square-base lamp on a round table, you might like to echo the table top by using a round shade.

A candlestick lamp looks good with just about any shape of shade.


The widest part of the shade should be at least a half inch wider on each side than the widest point of the base.

Consider the location of the lamp. You don't want to crash into the shade every time you get in or out of bed, for example. Make sure the shade doesn't extend beyond the table top.

For a lamp that sits on a hall table: Don't let it stick out so far that you bang into it when you walk by.


If you need the lamp to read by or to shed ambient light, go with a translucent shade or task lighting.

If you're using the lamp only as an accent light and don't need it to illuminate the room or to shed light on a task, an opaque shade can be a good choice.


Pleated lampshades tend to look more traditional; they are most appropriate in rooms furnished with antiques or that have a lot of pattern and detail.

If the room is contemporary, go with a non-leaded shade. If you have a contemporary room and want to use a pleated lampshade, try a box pleat. 

A natural-feel shade also look great on a wooden base.

Stuck for ideas? Try these pairings...

We offer a huge range of shades in all sorts of designs and sizes. If you need any assistance please contact us and we'll be happy to help 01484 642115.