At elle daniel, we handcraft lamp shades in all colors, shapes and styles. With custom lamp shades, we can design a lampshade as unique and one-of-a-kind as you are! However, if you’re looking for custom lamp shades or replacement lamp shades, you may wish for a few guidelines. To assist you, we have created an overview of the most common styles and shapes. These include drum lamp shades, rectangular lamp shades, oval lamp shades, pagoda lamp shades, empire lamp shades, bell lamp shades, and coolie lamp shades. All of these can be designed as large lamp shades or small lamp shades, depending on your needs and your decor. We design chandelier shades for clients as well.
Drum Lamp Shades
A drum shade is usually defined as a shade with the same circumference at the top and bottom. Some drums have a top diameter that is slightly smaller than the bottom diameter for a tapered look. A short drum is also known as a “shallow drum” or Bouillotte.
Drums (named for the musical instrument) have been popular since the early 1900s. Today they are definitely in demand. Drums can be used on table lamps, floor lamps, chandeliers, wall sconces, and more.
One of the benefits of drums is that they offer both beauty and functionality. Drums can light a much larger area that many other shades. Drums diffuse light both upwards and downwards, as well as through the shade itself. In addition, drums are highly versatile. They can be used in all styles of home decor, including modern decor, traditional decor, cottage decor, and eclectic decor. Modern drums offer a simple and stylish “oomph” to modern interior design.
Empire Lamp Shades
Empire shades offer a simple, classic look. Generally empires have a top width that is half the size of the bottom width, creating gradually sloping sides.
Bell Lamp Shades
Bell shades fit well into traditional home decor. With their slight bottom flare, bells were very popular in the Victorian era.
Coolie Lamp Shades
Coolies fit well into modern home decor. Coolies generally have a top width that is significantly smaller than the bottom width, creating dramatically sloping sides. The bottom diameter of a Coolie is often three times the diameter of the top.
Rectangular and Other Lampshade Shapes
Oval, square and rectangular shades have the matching top and bottom width/diameter. Pagodas are highly decorative with a dramatically flared bottom width. Custom shades can be any shape or style you desire. The image above is simply one example.
Choosing Replacement Lampshades
- Height: Generally about 3/4 the height of the lamp base. (Don’t include tassels or pompoms in this measurement.) In most cases, the shade should just barely hide the lamp switch.
- Width: Always wider than the widest part of the lamp base. Make sure you have 2-3 inches of separation between the bulb and shade, especially for higher wattage lamps.
- Top width is the width/diameter across the top of the shade; bottom width is the width/diameter across the bottom of the shade; height is the straight height from top to bottom of the shade, taken directly from inside of shade.
Match the style and function of your lamp base. For example, reading lamps require wider bottom widths to diffuse more light. Large lamps require larger shades, and vintage lamps require vintage shades. Usually you want to compliment your lamp, not compete with it. Square lamps often look best with square, rectangular or hexagon shades. However, matching a square base with an oval shade can create a unique twist. Don’t be afraid to play!
Ultimately, we encourage you to choose the shape, style, colors that please you the most. Create the atmosphere and ambience that personally inspires or comforts you. This is exactly why we create custom shades. We want you to have all the choices and options available to you. Life is too short for white shades! Your home decor influences your mood. Make sure you choose custom shades that charm, inspire or soothe, depending on your space or room.