Lamps are more than just functional. Besides lighting up a room; they also add style and ambiance. In the July/August issue of HGTV magazine, popular interior designer and HGTV Star judge Vern Yip gave us “his brightest tips for lighting up a room”. And I just had to share them with you. I also understand how shopping for the right shade can be frustrating when you’re not sure how to size a lampshade. So, I’ve included some tips to help you choose the proper size shade.
Tips for Table Lamps
Here are 7 tips for table lamps from Vern Yip and HGTV magazine….
1 “Table lamps commonly range from 24 to 34 inches tall, including the shade. A good trick for choosing the right height: The bottom of the shade should be eye level when you’re seated.”
2 “A drum shade is pretty no-fail. It complements almost any base, from a sleek cylinder to a curvy urn. I’m a fan of white linen, but you can’t go wrong with any neutral, like a cream-color paper shade or a pale gray cotton one.”
3 “If you choose a lamp with a vibrant shade or base, add accents in the same color – like pillows or a throw – to tie the room together.”
4 “Lighting a really dark room? Pick a translucent paper or fabric shade – it’ll let lots of light through.”
5 “Different lamp bases in the same room can look great. To unify them, top them all with shades that have the same shape.”
6 “When I’m putting two lamps on one table, I like to leave at least two to three feet between them so they don’t look clumped together. I t also helps distribute the light evenly throughout the room.”
7 “Shades attach to bases in different ways. Some require a harp (a spider fitting), some sit on the hardware attached to the bulb’s base (an uno fitting), others clip right on the the bulb (a clip-on fitting). If you buy a base and a shade separately, make sure they both have the same fitting.”
How to Size a Lampshade
I shared these basic tips on how to size a lampshade when I first started the blog. However, I thought it would be good to go over them again for this post. They’ll help you to choose the proper size lampshade. When selecting a shade, it’s important to know the three measurements to consider.
1) Diameter – This is the width across the bottom of the shade. To determine what size diameter your lamp needs, measure the lamp from the bottom of the base to just under the socket cap; this will give you the lamp height. Once you have that, choose a lamp shade with a diameter that is within 2″ of this measurement – plus or minus. For example, if the height of your lamp is 16″, then select a shade with a diameter that is between 14″ and 18″.
2) Height – (Also referred to as slope.) The actual shade height is approximately 1″ less than the measurement of the slope. Fringe, tassels and other hanging ornamentation isn’t included in this measurement. Shade height should be about 3/4 the height of the lamp. Example – a 12″ lamp height would need a lampshade that is about 9″ in height. The shade should cover the bulb and socket. The bottom of the shade should reach just above the top of the base allowing only the neck of the lamp to show at eye level.
3) Width – This is the measurement across the top of the shade. The top opening of the shade should be large enough to allow heat to escape.
About harps. When choosing a harp, your shade shouldn’t be more than 1/2″ taller or shorter than the harp. For example, a 10″ shade would use a harp that is between 9 1/2″ – 10 1/2″.
Table lamps are a wonderful way to accessorize a room and provide functional lighting. Use them as an opportunity to bring in color, style and personality.