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The beginner’s guide to lampshades: The different types, explained!, Zazzy Home

The beginner’s guide to lampshades: The different types, explained!

Believe it or not, a lampshade isn’t just a lampshade! There are many different types of lampshades that you can buy. In addition, you can find a large variety of lampshade styles in many other materials at local home improvement stores, craft supply shops, and online retailers. The following article is a quick introduction to some of the most popular lampshades you can buy, what sets them apart from each other, and the different materials they come in.

The beginner’s guide to lampshades: The different types, explained!, Zazzy Home

However, you should be aware that if you are shopping for lampshades, you will find many styles that may not be suitable for hanging above a dining room table or light fixture. Therefore, you should consult with an interior designer before buying your next set of lampshades. Also, make sure you consider the color changes in each type of lampshade to ensure they do not clash with your existing decor.



While all types of lampshades are intended to direct the light from your lighting source down toward your furniture or room’s flooring, most other purposes and effects come from the materials and designs used. So the first thing to know is whether you prefer a utilitarian or glamorous look for your new lampshades. Do you want them to blend into the background, or do you want them to be an overstated accent point? Where will the lampshades be located in your home? What style of decor is used in that room or space? These are just a few of the many questions to consider when buying new lampshades.

Lampshades come in two popular types: drum (cylindrical) and bell (bell-shaped). However, there are other popular variations like square shades, which are flat squares or rectangles with hidden sides; cone or tapering shades which narrow toward the top; square cylindrical which are square on top and bottom, but cylindrical through the middle; drum bell or trumpet-shaped which is like a standard drum shade, but flares out at the top; grand piano lampshades with wrinkles; and more.



It would help if you also considered how light would be prevented from shining toward your eyes. For example, lampshades can be frosted or lined with blackout fabric that eliminates most of the morning, or they can be fitted with netting that allows some light to filter through.

With all this in mind, let us explain to you the most popular kinds of lampshade you’ll find in-home stores.

Abstract lampshades… fit over a basic table lamp and feature a modern design made from a wide variety of materials. Generally speaking, abstract lampshades can last for years without showing too much wear and tear, though they tend to show more scratches than other types of lampshades. Abstract lamps can be found in almost any home goods gift.

Laminated Paper Laminated… paper is a popular choice for lampshades because of its bright and vivid color patterns. Paper lampshades usually have a shiny surface that can be either smooth or textured in appearance, which makes them ideal to use when adding some pizzazz to your room’s decor with bold colors. The laminated paper is available in different patterns and colors, so you can choose the one that best fits your decorating style.



Palm leaves… along with coconut shells, are used to make lampshades. They provide a unique look to any room or area where they are placed. The natural shapes of these shades will remind you of the tropics and beaches.

Cotton fabric… provides a traditional style that makes it ideal for use as a table lamp shade. It is also commonly used as an economical alternative to silk shades because it will not fade or tear easily. Cotton blends well with many types of decor; however, its lack of color retention means that cotton lampshades require more frequent replacement than shades made from other materials. Also, cotton lamps can be difficult to keep clean.

Felt… is another popular lamp shade material that has been used for many years. It can come in a wide variety of colors specially dyed to match your decorating needs at the time.

Lace… lampshades are attractive for lights placed in bedrooms or living rooms because their traditional design fits most room styles. When buying lace table lamp shades, the color and pattern you choose will depend on how you plan to use them throughout your home. If they are going to be turned on often, darker hues will show less wear over time.



Rattan… is the name given to either natural or manufactured wooden fibers woven together to make lampshades. Rattan provides a rustic look that works well in country-style homes, and its weave is also great for hiding accumulated dust and dirt.

Organza… lampshades are an attractive choice for lights placed in bedrooms, living rooms, or other areas where they will be on often. Their traditional design fits most room styles, but they are also effective when adding privacy to a bedroom. Remember that the color of the organza you choose will depend on how you plan to use it throughout your home. If they are going to be turned on often, darker hues will show less wear over time.

Pressed paper… lampshades provide a unique and colorful look that can complement any room’s decorating theme. The pressed paper is available in different patterns and colors, so you can always find just the right shade for your needs at the moment.

Silk… is one of the most popular materials used to make lampshades because it reflects light very well and produces a warm glow when illuminated. Although stiffer than other fabric types, silk has an elegant appearance suitable for formal rooms like dining rooms or bedrooms. Darker colors tend to show less wear over time than lighter hues, but they do not provide as much illumination as some other fabrics.

Straw… lamps are perfect for adding warmth to your home decor by bringing back memories of summertime spent at grandmas house. They create an inviting atmosphere that is incredibly comforting around the dinner table.

Wicker… lampshades are smart choices for those who like to decorate with natural materials. Their woven appearance and textured surface make them a great addition to rooms with country or coastal themes. They can also be painted or stained in fun colors and patterns, adding extra life and personality to your home’s lighting fixtures.



Many other types of lampshades are available on the market today that most people have not heard about or seen before. From antique harp-style light shades made from wood and fabric to exotic palm fronds used as utilitarian fan covers, there is a shade out there for almost everyone’s taste, style and budget. Some other examples include bamboo shades, cardboard lampshades, fabric drum shades, and more.

What is the difference between soft and hardback lampshades?

The difference between a soft and hardback lampshade is the actual material the shade is made out of. Soft lampshades are usually made from a thin fabric, while hardback lampshades are thicker, more durable, and typically made from plastic or metal.

Soft lampshades are often more flexible in that they can be easily shaped into different forms but provide little protection to the light bulb itself. In addition, sometimes, the heat from the light bulb can damage the interior of a soft lampshade, causing it to melt or discolor.

Hardback lampshades protect the light bulbs from being damaged directly since they don’t sit against them directly as a soft shade would. The plastic or metal material makes them sturdier and less likely to bend or break, but they are harder to shape into different forms.

What is a UNO lampshade?

A UNO lampshade is a round, flat structure with a small hole in the center. It is designed to be installed on a floor lamp to diffuse light from a bulb and create even lighting along the entire surface of the shade.

UNO lamps were trendy from the late 1950s through the 1970s but have since been discontinued by their manufacturer. Unfortunately, replacements are challenging to find, so collectors often transform antique UNOs into other valuable items — such as lamps or planters — for modern decorating needs.

 

Author: Claire Claire is a blogger, writer, and designer with a passion for making the most out of any space. She's worked in interior design and maintenance for over a decade, and has learned how to make the most of even the smallest room. Claire shares her expertise, where she offers tips and tricks for creating beautiful, functional spaces on any budget. When she's not blogging or designing, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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