Let There Be Light! Your Comprehensive Guide to Different Lamp Shade Styles and Shapes

When looking to boost the lighting in your home, lamps are an ideal option. They provide efficient amounts of light and can be placed where desired. Although purchasing a new lamp might seem easy enough, there are a lot of factors you need to take into consideration. 

If you have the mindset that you'll walk into the store, grab the first lamp you see, and be on your way with no worries, then you may be in for a surprise when you arrive home. Although all lamps have their own beauty in design, not all lamp shade styles and shapes will work well with your home decor or your own personal style. 

There are several different types of styles and shapes of lampshades, and because of this, you must do your research before making a final selection. Who knew lamp shopping could be so detail-oriented? It's a bit complex, but with the help of our guide, you should bring home the perfect lamp in no time!

Continue reading below for our helpful guide on everything you need to know about the different styles and shapes of lampshades!

1. Drum Lampshades

A drum-style lampshade has a cylinder shape and resembles the form of a drum, which is where it gets its name from. Imagine taking a drum, removing the top and bottom sections, and placing a light inside of it. This is what a drum lampshade is!

This type of lampshade is modern and can come in either a shallow style or a deep style. The shallow style is commonly 10 inches or less, with the deep style being more. This type of shade works well with lamps that have a wider base.

Choose a drum lamp shade if you're looking to bring a lot of light into the room. 

2. Empire Lampshades

Empire lampshades are the traditional lampshade that you first think of when imagining a lampshade. They have a small opening at the top and the bottom opening is much larger. This gives them a cone shape. 

This type of lampshade works well as a table lamp because the shade forces the light to be dispersed below the lamp. If you're looking for a lamp to use when reading, eating a meal on the couch or other activities that require light directed towards your lap. 

3. European Lampshades

European lampshades resemble empire lampshades as they both have a cone shape to them, but the European lampshades have a wider opening at the top of the shade than the Empire ones. European shades also tend to be shorter than the Empire shades, making them a more modern piece. 

If you're looking for an urban feel, you can pair this type of lampshade with a candlestick lamp! 

4. Oval Lampshades

Oval lampshades are similar to the Drum lampshades but are a bit more narrow. There are plenty of different combinations of oval lampshades and all work best with a lamp that has a flat base. This type of lampshade works well in smaller rooms. 

You can place this type of lampshade on a lamp that's placed in a hallway or on a bedroom side table. 

5. Coolie Lampshades

The Coolie lampshade gets its name from the Chinese Coolie hate. The top of the shade is small and narrow while the bottom of the shade is much wider. It has a cone shape to it, but with a much wider base than you'd imagine for a cone. 

Placing this type of lampshade in your home will get it a more oriental feel. The length of the shade is shorter than most so these shades work well with shorter lamps. Because the bottom of the shade has such a wide opening, the light is evenly dispersed throughout the room. 

6. Square or Rectangle Lampshades

When a lampshade has equal diameters in the top and bottom of the shade, then it's considered a square or rectangle lampshade. These types of lampshades make for amazing statement pieces due to their clean lines and edges. They're also the perfect type of lampshade for those looking for a more formal or masculine feel. 

These shades are often paired with square or rectangle lamps, which works well. If you want to do things a bit differently, you can think outside of the box and pair these lampshades with a round or oval lamp!

7. Unique Lampshades

With so many different types of lamp shades to choose from, making a decision can become difficult. You have all of these options listed above, plus more! If none of these lampshade styles catch your eye, then you'll enjoy hearing that there are plenty of unique lampshades to choose from as well. 

The options listed above are the basic lampshades to choose from, but within each category comes its own breakdown of substyles. Be sure to look at all of the different types of lampshades within each category listed above and you're sure to find something you love!

What Are Your Favorite Lamp Shade Styles and Shapes?

After reading through this guide, have you found some favorite lamp shade styles and shapes? Be sure to have this guide on hand when preparing to purchase your next lamp shade. Always keep your home's style and decor in mind when shopping as you'll want to find something that matches it well!

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