Jim Lawrence Knowledge Base

How to size lampshades for Floor Lamps

Before the ‘rules’ it’s important to bear in mind there is no such thing as the wrong shade. If you love it – it’s the right shade. Experimenting with lamp shades in new fabrics, shapes and colours is great way to instantly update your home’s style.

Floor or standard lamps are more difficult to size as they tend to be tall and narrow and it is important to make sure the shade sits at the correct height.Generally, they require a much larger shade than table lamps, starting from around 40cm to 60cm in diameter.

If your lamp is a normal sized standard lamp, you will need a shade somewhere between 40 and 50 cm wide. If your standard lamp is a bit smaller (as in our Nayland Adjustable Reading Lamp) anything between 30 and 40 cm may fit better. Note how the clean lines of these cylinder shades accentuate the sleek modern design of our range of Adler Standard Lamps (pictured right).

To determine the right size, measure the height of the lamp base from the floor to the bottom of the bulb holder, then divide by four to get the approximate height for the shade.

Trust your eye. The perfect shade should hide the fittings underneath without encroaching on the lamp base. We say that the bottom of the shade should just cover the lamp holder when looking at it at eye level.

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 Lifestyle floor lamps and shades
 Differing shades for floor lamps lifestyle

Choosing the right shaped shade is also important

As a rule of thumb, we say the shape of the shade should reflect the shape of your lamp base. If the base is straight, square or rectangular, a similar shaped shade that mirrors its lines will look better than a round one.

If your lamp base is round or tapered, a sloping or straight round shade such as an Empire, French Drum or oval shade will suit it.

As always, there is an exception to the rule and in this case, it is column lamps which suit any shape of shade.

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