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Decorate with Lampshades
Lampshades are often an afterthought when it comes to decorating a room, but can actually contribute greatly to the design and feel of your interior being a flexible way of adding colour and pattern.
There are a number of things to bear in mind when purchasing a lampshade:
Is your shade for a ceiling pendant light fitting, a side/table lamp or a standing lamp — it is important to make sure the shade you buy is suitable for its purpose as fittings may vary. Do you need a lampshade with UK standard fittings or are you looking for a shade to fit a base from Ikea or similar which use wider European (ES) fittings?
If for a central ceiling pendant light, bear in mind how large your room is; you don't want a tiny shade that will be lost in the space. Equally, a large shade will dominate the space. Don't forget that if you hang it too low some of your taller friends and family may bump their heads — I once had a beautiful silk shade that was huge, but I hung it so low my husband used to have to walk around it!.
For a lamp base, the shade should skim the top of the base with no hardware or sockets visible when you look at your lamp whilst standing in the room.
The coolie/empire shapes are becoming less fashionable for ceiling lights being replaced by the more contemporary drum shape, but they still look great for a small bedside lamp.
If you want to use a glaring 100watt bulb, be sure that the shade you buy can take this high wattage; many shades advise a maximum of 60watt but some are as low as 40watt and therefore don't allow much light through. Don't opt for a dark coloured shade if you want a lot of light to shine through. I recommend using a max 60watt bulb with all of my shades.
Lampshades are not the easiest things to clean and can attract dust. You can buy 'lampshade cleaners' which are basically a rubber sponge that brush the dust off. Otherwise, a soft bristled paintbrush should do the trick. Some people even use the upholstery attachment of a vacuum cleaner, but having not tried this myself I would advise that you take care if using this method.
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