If you caught my Instagram Stories this past weekend, you know I scored a couple of really great vintage lamps at my local Goodwill store on Saturday evening. *(Sidenote – I’ve found that Saturday around dinner time, during yard sale season, is the BEST time to snag the fresh goodies that roll in after yard sale closing times. <- Also, if thrifting trips and tips like this are your jam, follow me on the ‘gram because that’s where I share all of that goodness.) Any time I share a vintage lamp score, lampshade questions roll into my DMs. The main one is -> What size lampshade should I use? Choosing the perfect-sized lampshade for your lamp is fairly simple. There are just two easy-to-remember guidelines.
First, let’s take a moment for this $4.99 ginger jar lamp score! Gah, she’s such a classic beauty!
Alright, I’m not much for following decorating “rules”, but I do think a general knowledge of guidelines can be really helpful. When it comes to lampshade sizing, you want the width of the shade to be double the size of the base……..
…..and you want the height to be about a third of the total height of the lamp including the harp.
However, keep in mind, rules are meant to be broken. 😉 Don’t stress about exact measurements. What you want to avoid is a high water situation like this. This is really the only rule that matters -> Lamp harps should not be seen. As an example below, you’ll see the width of this shade is great, but it’s just a tad too short.
But also know that an adjustable lamp harp can be a game-changer! For example below, this black shade with a shorter harp is a tad too big. It cuts the top of the lamp off and makes the proportions look more like a 50/50 split rather than the preferred 40/60.
But with a taller lamp harp, or by adjusting the lamp harp to a taller size, the lampshade sits perfectly, with the base taking up about 60% percent of the total lamp look and the shade 40%.
Of course, when it comes to decorating your home, the most important question is -> What do you think? The only opinion that matters in your home is your own. So you should always go with what looks best to your eye. But if you’ve been stuck trying to figure out what size shade to use, I hope this post is helpful! Let me know if you have any questions!
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