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Are Lampshades Streaking Through Your Living Room?


Got any streakers in your home? Look carefully…
Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking about lampshades!  Those bright white or ivory lampshades can look much like the white rear of someone running naked in your room if you have dark or colorful walls.   Take a quick glance around your home. Are there any big white or ivory things (not furniture) pulling for your attention?

Lampshades are rarely a focal point, they should coordinate not streak through the room.  Using the wrong lampshade can cause an otherwise beautiful room to become taken over by the wrong thing.  In this beautiful chocolate living room the eye is naturally drawn to the white lampshades and large white mats surrounding the artwork.  While the artwork may be significant, lampshades are not.  A lampshade plays a supporting role in a room, they have a function but they do not overpower the stars of the room.Look how stunning these colors work together, but imagine how the cohesiveness would be lost if there was a typical white lampshade instead of the pink one screaming for attention.  This could have gone so wrong.

Rooms with dark or colorful walls demand something more creative.  Against a darker or heavily patterned background, using plain white or ivory lampshades  call too much attention to themselves. Blink and you’ll miss it.  Lampshades need to coordinate with the rest of the room’s decor, but this does not mean they have to be boring (like a naked be-hind).  They can be solid colors, patterns, or embellished with trimsColored and interesting lampshades for contemporary or traditional interiors can be found all over, it just takes a little extra footwork too coordinate them for a superior result. Designers often have them made for our projects in coordinating fabrics.  In a pinch I once used spray mount on a plain white drum shade to attach a pinky-orange silk for a quick fix in an existing room…  worked like a charm.

Lampshades are one of the easiest interior details to tackle, even on the DIY scale.

  • You can paint them – Decor Chick has a great how-to.
  • Covered with fabric always chic – Pinterest is full of directions primer for perfect results.
  • House To Home shows how to cover a lampshade in wallpaper.

TIP: Need more light out of a dark lampshade?  Spray paint the interior silver or gold, this helps the light to reflect out the top and bottom of the shade.

If needed, add lampshades to the quick fix file for something you can change with the season.  Lampshades don’t have to be naked, especially not in the wintertime. 🙂

 Photos not my own: BBC, House Beautiful, Latest HomesMartha Moments,

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2 Responses to Are Lampshades Streaking Through Your Living Room?

  1. Janell

    Thanks for linking to my lampshade tutorial Lisa! Have a great weekend, Janell

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