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What’s in a Shade? How Lampshades Help Create a Dramatic Effect

When I hear the word “lampshade,” I think of a triangle-shaped, finger-smudged, hundred-year-old lamp sitting on my grandma’s side table next to her navy Lazy Boy recliner. I’ve never been one to seek out lamps with defined shades. Even the lamps we had growing up were adorned with floral-patterned shades of olive, tan and eggshell. Because I had never seen them used in a (wait for it) good light, I’ve always thought of lampshades as tacky—not anymore.


Know the Trendsetters

Lighting design has come a long way since our weekend trips to grandma’s house. Not just that, but we know more about interior design now too, without having to take a single interior design class. Design blogs abound telling us how to light up an entryway (or foyer) to welcome company. We’re given a DIY crash course in how to light the bathroom so that when we take a bath, we feel like we’re at the spa. There are interior design blogs dedicated to every room of the house, all we have to do is read the content and implement the advice.

But what about when it comes to styles? Every year a new interior design trend comes out. It seems that after six months we’re told it’s on its way out and that we need to make way for the next fad. Shouldn’t a lighting design company exist out there that is all about timelessness and purity of form? Well here’s some good news: there is. The WAC Lighting design company has for the last 32 years produced a quality lighting design aesthetic that is clean in form and transcendent in design.

Do you remember what I was saying before about the atrocity that is the lampshade? WAC Lighting has turned the lampshade into a must-have lighting accessory. The crisp and fresh design of the shade is made in a variety of materials, not just stretched fabric. The shades are available in white, gray, black and beige. They are made of glass and accentuated with metal. All possess a strong linearity and geometric appreciation. The shades are square, rectangular, spherical and oblong—the shades are a work of art.

Do Your Research

It was Milton Glaser who said, “There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” WAC Lighting has that “WOW” factor. To keep that momentum going, it’s up to us to accentuate our space using their designs. Here’s the question: how do we do this?

Consider Scale

Interior design blog, Houzz, says that to create an effect, we need to think about the scale of the room and the lighting. If a room is too large, one shaded lamp is going to produce the lighting power we need to make a statement. In reviewing how to light your home, you’ve probably noticed everyone is saying that we need to layer our light sources. Combining a shaded floor lamp, table lamp and using your overhead lighting will open up your space and give it charm.

Know Your Materials

What is the style of your home? Is it rustic industrial or eclectic? A shaded lamp that works in one design space won’t necessarily work in another, this is why we need to take the lamp and its shade into consideration. A beige, shaded tall metal floor lamp isn’t going to work in a small, homey reading nook as well as a wood-based white shaded table lamp.

Go Bold

Probably the most important advice to glean from this article is what type of lampshade will work best in your home. Houzz suggests that a modern-styled home should feature drum-shaded lamps. A traditional home would do well with the rectangular-shaped shades. Before deciding on a lampshade, think about the design aesthetic of your space, and try to reflect that in the lampshade.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with color and material. The design of the lamp itself is just as essential in making a statement as the light it produces.

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