Lamp Buying is Not for Dummies!

March 21, 2012

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!

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