Lampshade Trends for the 21st Century

Lampshade Trends

Honestly, lampshades are one of those topics we just don’t spend enough time talking about.

No, they aren’t as exciting as fine furnishings or even most accessories. However, the right choice of lampshades creates a balanced, professionally decorated look for any space.

Let’s take a look at what’s hot – and what’s not – in lamps and lighting today.

Time to Dump the Drum?

For almost a decade, interior designers have made liberal use of the drum-shaped lampshade. This style features straight sides with equal top and bottom circumference.

Especially popular was the short, wide drum, a shape that might remind you of painful days in the high school marching band.

Today, the drum is still a viable choice for your interior design, but in a slightly modified form. Professional decorators have taken to using long, thin drum or cylinder shades*, especially for hanging and pendant fixtures.

How Does the Empire Lampshade Fit Today’s Trends?

The classic empire shape features a smaller top, larger bottom circumference with sloped sides. A decade ago, this shade shape was persona non grata in the design community, but that’s changed of late.

The empire shape is back and, in fact, it’s a much fresher look than the drum shape for most décor styles. The key is to choose a gentle empire shape, where the top is only slightly smaller than the bottom.

This gradual slope looks even more updated when the shade has a large top circumference**. It’s almost a drum, but with the slightest of shapely slopes. This is a particularly fresh look for floor lamps!

To Pleat or Not to Pleat… That Is the Question

Chances are, your grandmother’s parlor sported the pleated fabric shade, probably with the plastic covering still firmly attached. That reason alone is enough to make most of us eschew this style.

But, fortunately, some popular interior designers have resurrected the pleated shade with a decidedly modern edge. Parchment lampshades with fat, wide-set pleats, known as box pleats***, look fresh and modern.

For a more formal feel, especially if your furnishings are traditional in style, look for pleated silk shades in bisque, champagne or blush tones. Be sure to use a warm-toned bulb in the lamp, to make your space glow.

Linen, Parchment, Silk or ??

All the traditional materials are still in play, but you aren’t bound to them. If you want something other than parchment or fabric, consider a more contemporary shade material such as acrylic, vellum, cork, metal or even glass.

Guild Hall Fine Furnishings, serving Salt Lake City and the communities of northern Utah, offers a dazzling array of fine furnishings, accessories and lighting accents. Stop by today and talk with our professional interior design staff, for help in selecting the best lampshade trends for your needs.

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