Online shopping has its advantages.  But there’s nothing like the visual experience of walking into a lampshade store with your lamps and seeing several new and different shades on them.  Fresh, new lampshades transform lamps, especially when lit.  You don’t buy shades very often, but you live with them for a long time.  So before you buy new shades, see various sizes, shapes and fabrics on your lamps if you can. On a computer, tablet or smartphone, this is hard to do.

We can raise or lower shades on your lamps by changing the “harp” (the metal loop holding the shade up) or adding a brass “riser” for a more custom fit.  That’s why shade height is usually not our main concern.  You can also bring your favorite new CFL or LED bulb to see its color under different lampshade fabrics and colors.  And you may not have noticed, but the old shades may have darkened with age.  New shades will give you more light, even with the newer, lower wattage bulbs.

When you visit us, you can look at fabric swatches if you would like to order a specific color or texture.  You can take a few of your shade choices home “on approval” to see them in your rooms. Selection, custom fitting and ordering, plus experienced personal service are all reasons to bring your lamps to a lampshade store to buy new shades.  These reasons make it difficult to buy lampshades online.  So we encourage customers to bring their lamps and try on shades to make  the best choice – shades that will look great for years to come!



With spring around the corner, it’s a good time to freshen up your home, including your lampshades. Pleated or textured shades tend to collect more dust than smoother ones. To dust your shades, brush the exterior only (never dust the soft lining) with a clean, soft bristle brush. A new paint brush works well. Take your shades outside, hold them with one hand by the top wire and brush them gently from top to bottom, turning them to dust all sides.  Also brush the dust from the trim.

2014-03-13 Butterfly Shade

If your shade has deteriorated, i.e. the lining is split or cracked and yellow, it may be time for a new shade.  An old shade is  difficult to repair because the fabric is usually brittle or weak.  Silk-lined shades can be relined, but in most cases the cost is similar or more than a new shade.  New shades will freshen your rooms and give you more light.  And we have some new styles that can give your lamp a whole new look.  We encourage you to bring your lamps to try some new shades, or to find a similar style that fits well.  By adding a new finial (lamp top), you will have a totally new looking lamp!

Do you love your old lamps, but they are not working right? Consider lamp repair. New sockets, cords and switches will make them work like new, and freshen up their look as well.

Of course the first concern with lamp repair is safety. Would you use any other faulty appliance in your house? Then why would you risk an electrical shock or fire by using an old, deteriorated lamp that flickers or sparks? The cost of repair is just not worth the risks.

Vintage crystal or alabaster lamps with dirty, old white cords look great with new nickel parts and clear silver cords. New white or black shades and new finials can give them either a classic or a more contemporary look.


The same can be said for porcelain, brass, bronze or wood lamps with new antique gold, brown or black cords. Often some of the old brass parts can be reused. But if not, new “antique” brass parts can be used to give your lamps a more original look.  Polished brash parts are standard.

We have one of the finest lamp repairmen in Central Ohio. Frank has been repairing our lamps for over 30 years. He is an experienced, meticulous electrician, whose prime concern is the safety of every lamp he repairs.  His focus is table and floor lamps, so he does not repair chandeliers or halogen lamps, due to time and space constraints.

So bring your old lamps to have them rewired, with new sockets and switches, making them reliable and safe for years to come. And remember new shades and finials will give them a fresh traditional or modern look!

Now we can help you add some pizazz to your lampshades by combining two fabrics on one shade! There are two different looks available. You can choose the primary shade color from any of our hardback swatches, then choose a second color for the trim. The contrasting trim will be applied at the top and bottom of the shade:

LS pizazz

The drum shade above is a Beige Linen with Paprika linen trim. Try this with a bold accent color or a darker neutral color for a more subtle look.

Another fabulous option uses two colors on the body and trim of the shade:

LS Two-Fabrics

Here the primary color on the shade is the Paprika linen, with a Chocolate linen bottom quarter as well as top trim. Use this look to elevate your decor in a contemporary way, either on lamps or as a hanging pendant. Large shaded pendants over dining tables or in living spaces can have an awesome dramatic affect. A few colorful smaller pendants over an island or peninsula also look great!

If you’re a sports fan, we may be able to make a custom shade for your favorite team.

Any size or shape of shade can be customized.  We will have shade samples in stock soon, so stop by or call if you need more information about our custom two-tone lampshades.  As always, bring your lamps for the best fitting shades.  Feel free to bring your fabrics and color swatches too. Come tie your color scheme together for a custom, high-end look at an affordable price.

Buying a lamp is not easy.  There is so much to consider, and so many lamps to choose.  Here’s how to make it easier.  First consider where you will be using the lamp.

How tall should the lamp be?  Is it full size (at least 28-30″‘ to the top of the shade), medium (23-27″) or just a small accent lamp?  If you have other lamps, try them for size.  Or use a yardstick to eyeball the right height.  For reading, the lamp should be large enough to have a 3-way socket, or more than one bulb.

How wide can the shade be?  Full size shades are 16-20″ wide.  Drum shades save space, while comparable flares are typically wider.  Oval and rectangle shades save space from front to back.

What style lamp do you prefer?  Contemporary, traditional or somewhere in between (what I call “transitional” styles) are all available.  Should it be formal or casual?  Next consider color, texture and pattern.  There is a huge variety of colors to choose from.  One of our manufacturers has a “custom” color progam, where you can choose one of 35 colors, in 12 different lamp styles.  Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and textures – decorators do it all the time!

An interesting shade can make a big difference too.  Silk shades are usually more formal, while muslin, linen, parchment and burlap shades work well in a more casual space.  Below is an example of a classic lamp shape, updated  with a bright mustard color and burlap shade:

Mustard Yellow Pomegranate Lamp with Burlap Shade

You can already see why lamp shopping is not easy.  We encourage customers to come browse our selection as well as our catalogs to see what is currently available. Bring paint colors, fabrics and other swatches if you can.  If you see one you like, you can take a lamp home to try it “on approval”.   Stop by to see our lamps, and let us help you find the right lamps for you.  We appreciate your support of small, local businesses, including The Lamp Shade.  Thanks!

As a lampshade professional, I see many worn out lampshades every day.  I also see lamp sockets that are charred from heat.  One of the main causes of this deterioration is age of course.  With daily use, we can’t expect fabric shades or electrical sockets to last forever.  But high wattage bulbs are also a factor. 

Consider the wattage of bulbs you are using, depending on your lighting needs.  For reading, a 3-way bulb up to 150 watts should be enough.  Turn it up when you are reading, then turn it down when you are done.  If 150w is not enough, consider a lighter shade or even a second lamp.  The lining of older hardback shades turn yellow, and decreases the light through and below the shade.  A second lamp in the room can not only add light but distribute it more effectively. 

For general lighting, especially the lamp that’s on a timer every day, use a lower wattage (60 or less) to preserve the shade and the socket.  For a lamp that’s used for ambiance or as a nighlight, try even lower wattages.   

Of course new compact flourescent (CFL) bulbs are a step in the right direction, since they are cooler and use less energy.  I like the “soft white” CFLs for most areas of the home.  Their color is warmer and more pleasing for residential use.  Brighter whites can be used in work spaces such as offices and kitchens.

So check your bulbs throughout the house,and consider where and how you use them.  If you need new lampshades, or a new socket in your lamps, come see me.  And don’t forget to bring your lamps!

New Custom Color Program

January 19, 2011

I’m SO excited about this new ceramic color lamp and shade program!  Our manufacturer is offering 35 new custom Benjamin Moore colors, in 12 different lamp shapes and sizes!  And we can order paper shades painted in any 2 of these colors, one inside and one outside!  There are some really awesome color choices, from bright pinks, greens, yellows and oranges to cooler grays, beiges and blues.  I’m going to order a few sample lamps and shades for my store, so feel free to come see them when you have a chance.  Or bring your fabric or paint swatches to coordinate the perfect colors for your rooms. 

There are lamps with and without bases mounted at the bottom.  For lamps with bases, they can have mountings of wood, clear acrylic or gilded gold for additional “bling” .  Come see what we can custom order for you soon. 

Sample Lamps from Our New Color Program