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Small Change, Big Impact - Choosing the Perfect Lampshade


Some might think that lampshades are a minor detail in a home’s overall interior design, but the ones you choose can have a huge effect on the look you are trying to achieve.

Even the Pacific Lifestyle team was amazed at how different the Jenny Worrall table lamps looked when we swapped the traditional pleated silk shades for more contemporary linen ones. And we’ve been in the lighting business for years! It’s a perfect case of ‘small change, big impact’.

Choosing the Perfect Lampshade

When selecting the right lampshades for your home there are several things to consider – colour, texture, shape and size – and these may be determined by the lamp’s base and the room it is to be used in. The permutations are vast!

Fortunately Pacific Lifestyle has extensive collection of quality shades to help and inspire you. >

Getting the proportions right is the first step. For balance, it’s a useful rule of thumb to have the diameter of the shade the same size as the height of the base, but a slim, candlestick style base needs a shade that’s just half the diameter of its height if it’s not to look top-heavy.

Candlestick lamps can be complemented by any shape of shade, but round bases look best with cylindrical shades and angular bases can be paired with either a rectangular shade or an oval one if a softer look is required. Do you want straight or tapered shades? Whichever you choose, make sure the shade is deep enough to hide the lamp holder.

Now think about the style of the room. Is it minimalist or luxurious? Cool or vibrant? Contemporary or traditional? The fabric of the lampshade will determine its texture and appearance – for example, open-weave cottons, slubby linens and natural hopsack materials will help create a natural, earthy look, whereas pleated silks and crushed velvets are more sumptuous. Pair natural materials together – wooden bases with textured natural shades in cotton; glass with hand-pleated silk; glitter-effect cotton with shiny metallic bases. The colour of the shade is important too. Neutrals blend with any scheme, but a deep pink or golden mustard shade will add a bold focal point to a room. Dark shades are effective if you are looking to project spots of light downwards or upwards to enhance a particular feature in a room.

Shade Guide

Of course, there’s more to room lighting than table and floor lamps. All our cylinder lampshades are reversible, meaning they can be used on pendant lights as well as lamps, and some, such as the Lino range, may be fitted with diffusers to cast the light over a wide area. If you’re looking to simply update your pendant lights we have a range of stylish electrified easy-fit ceiling fittings, in shiny, brushed or matt metallics with contemporary wire or more traditional chain cables.

For more lighting inspiration check out our new lighting catalogue here  >>