When it comes to home staging, the right lampshade can be a powerful tool to elevate the appeal of your space. Updating your existing lamps with carefully chosen shades can instantly refresh the look of a room and create a more inviting atmosphere for potential buyers. If you’re staging a home for sale, consider opting for shades that are neutral in color and versatile in design. This allows potential buyers to envision their own style in the space while appreciating the well-curated aesthetics you’ve presented. Take a look at our lampshade guide below for step-by-step instructions to help you choose a new lampshade with confidence.
Enhance the Lamp Base
Start by taking a close look at the base of your lamp. What shape is it? For round lamps, a round shade is typically the most suitable choice. A square or angular lamp base generally pairs well with a square shade.
That said, there’s always a funky-shaped exception to every rule (I’m looking at you, ceramic chicken-shaped lamp.) Sidenote: odd/unusual lamps are probably the type of piece you’ll want to pack away for home staging, anyway.
3D Chicken Egg Light with USB
This lamp is a perfect example of what you should NOT leave out for home staging photos or property showings. That said, it’s hilarious and if you love it, you should buy it to display at your NEW (not for sale) house.
Measuring for the Perfect Lamp Shade Fit
Now that you’ve identified the shape of your lamp base, it’s time to reach for a measuring tape. Here are a few straightforward rules of thumb on how to measure your lamp for the perfect fitting shade:
• Lampshade height
When it comes to table lamps, your shade should comprise roughly one third of the total height of the lamp. For example, if the total height of the lamp (including the bulb and harp) is 24 inches, the shade should be 8 inches tall. For floor lamps, measure from the floor to the bottom of the bulb socket, and choose a shade that is 1/4 to 1/3 of that length.
Remember, the right proportions matter! Excessive height could lead to a top-heavy appearance, while inadequate height might result in an unbalanced look. Also, just as you wouldn’t want your underwear peeking out under your clothing, you should avoid exposing the lamp harp. This is particularly significant if your lamp is positioned at eye level or on a mantel.
• Lampshade width
To determine the right lamp shade width, measure the width of your lamp base and double that value. (Example: For a 6-inch lamp base, the shade should be at least 12 inches wide.) For a lamp with a round base, measure straight across. For a lamp with a square base, measure diagonally. The broadest part of the shade should be at least half an inch wider than the widest part of your base on each side. You’ll also want to keep in mind the location of the lamp when factoring in width. If you’re placing the lamp near a bed or in a high-traffic hallway, opt for a slightly narrower shade to prevent accidental bumps.
Remember, these are just guidelines. Sometimes, you might encounter a lamp that demands an oversized or smaller-than-usual shade. Evaluate what suits your space best, then make your choice accordingly. Trust your instincts – if it seems off, reconsider, but if it visually appeals to you despite defying the norms, feel free to proceed. Use your best judgment.
Selecting Lamp Shade Materials
Your choice of lampshade materials depends on how you’re using the lamp. Translucent shades made from sheer fabric, paper, or similar materials are excellent for reading and creating ambient room lighting. On the other hand, opaque shades crafted from silk, thick parchment, or laminated card will focus light in distinct up-and-down beams, ideal for accentuating objects and establishing a specific ambiance.
Selecting Lamp Hardware
You’ll also want to remember to account for the fitters when choosing a lampshade. These determine how the shade attaches to the base. The three main fitter types are spider, uno, and clip-on.
- Spider: A widely used choice featuring three prongs converging at the shade’s center. This central point connects to the top of a harp, a U-shaped metal wire safeguarding the lightbulb. Note that the harp might not always be included with a spider fitter lampshade.
- UNO: The UNO fitter comes in two versions. The most common type sits directly on the bulb socket, with the bulb passing through the central ring. The less common version features a center ring near the top of the shade, where the bulb threads through from the bottom – often seen in older lamps.
- Clip-On: This type attaches by clipping onto the light bulb akin to a clamp. As clip-on fitters have direct contact with the bulb, it’s advisable to use them solely with low-wattage LED bulbs for safety reasons. You’ll often find these types of fitters on small, decorative lamps or on chandeliers.
Match the fitter to your lamp base for proper attachment. Be sure to coordinate the finish of the lamp finial, harp, and base with the shade hardware for a more unified and intentional appearance.
Tips for Choosing the Best Lampshade for Home Staging
When staging a home for sale, we generally recommend using lampshades with smooth, clean lines and made of simple, neutral material that allows lots of light to filter into the space. Avoid lampshades that may make the room feel dated or too taste-specific. This typically includes shades that have any of the following:
- custom details like embroidery, decoupage, and paint
- stained glass
- anything vintage or antique
We love fun, unique lamps, but a “for sale” home is not the best place to display these beauties. Secondly, dated decor can make your home feel older than it actually is. We want buyers to focus on the bones of your lovely home and not be distracted by interesting lamps! Pack them up to safely move into your new home.
Our Favorite Lampshades for Home Staging
Take a look below at some of our favorite lamp shades for home staging, available online from Amazon, Wayfair, and Target.
11 ” H x 10″ W Linen Rectangular Lamp Shade ( Spider )
Natural Linen Medium Drum Lamp Shade 15″ Top x 16″ Bottom x 11″ High
Linen Drum Lamp Shade White – Threshold
Large Linen Mod Drum Lampshade Gray – Threshold
Brentwood Collection Fine Burlap Medium Empire Lamp Shade 6.5″ Top x 15″ Bottom x 10″ High x 10.75″ Slant
10 ” H x 8″ W Linen Rectangular Lamp Shade
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