The other day I was on the phone with my friend Penelope. She is a very busy woman. In addition to running her business, she also home schools her two boys.
Whenever I get her on the phone (which is not often), I always try to be as interesting as possible so that she’ll stay on the phone as long as possible. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
I tell her she is a total genius and I just love to listen to her talk about almost anything. She says she could listen to me talk all day about decorating.
Penelope has a lamp that needs a new shade.
In fact, she says, all the lamps in her house need new lamp shades.
I said, “Send me a picture, I’ll tell you what to do, better yet, take your lamps to a store, it’s easier if you can try out different shades”.
“I can’t, I live in the country, I do everything on-line.”
“Well the problem might not just be the size of the shade, it could be that the harp is an inch too long or an inch too short. It’s hard to figure that out without trying on shades.”
“Oh,” she says,” That is exactly what the problem is. I see it now, brilliant Maria.”
Then Penelope said, I love all these lamp shades at Anthropologie but I don’t know how to use them, how would you incorporate them into a room?
Well, first I think everyone should have a MINIMUM of 6 lamps in the living room, so then they should all be off-white.
White is too stark and generally looks cheap and anything darker than off-white draws too much attention. If you have 6 lamps in your living room and one is a burlap colour, one is white, one is black, and one is a pattern etc. then all you notice is the colour of the lampshades, it’s hard to notice the atmosphere that’s created with the lighting.
But for example, if you loved the Cockatoo lampshade, you might buy a tropical duvet cover and have them in your bedroom:
or how about this one. . .
This combination is pretty too. . .
Or, maybe you have an entry that wouldn’t need more than one or two lamps, so then you could have a blank lampshade.
Or THREE. I’m just wondering if there would be enough room for me to walk through this one (below).
Can you count how many lamps are in this photo (below)? Now THAT is more like it.
Another reason your lamp shade might be wrong is that you can see the mechanism above the base. See how it’s almost entirely covered by the shade below? That’s how your lamp should look.
But the easiest way to fix it is to take your lamp either to a lampshade shop or to any store that sells lampshades. I recommend checking your city for a store that specializes in lampshades, even if they have to make one custom to fit your base, they are not as expensive as you might think. I have paid anywhere from $30 to $90 for a really big lampshade.
My clients are always so delighted when their old and treasured lamp looks brand new again simply by updating the shade.
My cure for handling shorter winter days is to turn on more lamps! What’s yours?
If you want your house to fill you with happiness when you walk in the door contact me about our design services.