All day you wear THAT outfit – the one that’s not really out of style. It’s just too “classic” to discard, but it’s tired. Or worse yet, it’s an expensive and unfortunate fashion statement that needs a friendly intervention. A real friend will tell you the truth. You need permission to let it go.
You probably have a lamp suffering the same fate. That simple but reliable urn lamp on the den chest? Nothing too inspiring, it’s just been quietly serving its purpose for two generations. The problem is – so has the shade. What about that trendy lamp in the sunroom? It seemed like a good idea at the time. The base is fine, but now that lampshade looks, well, silly.
So, which is preferable? A lampshade so classic that it’s boring or so trendy that it’s annoying with time? The best answer is probably neither. A classic urn still needs updating and a funky lamp could be revived by a simpler shade. Lamps and shades are, in an odd way, a fashion accessory – in fact can be thought of as the jewelry of interior decoration. Quality lampshades are not inexpensive, but can still be one of the most cost effective ways to update a room.
The late Mark Hampton (my favorite designer, ever) states, “The subject of lampshades alone provides us with an indicator of time that can be as accurate in establishing the date of a room as counting rings on a stump in dating a tree.”
Some basic shapes
Think of old photos of classically decorated rooms that are marred by dated, funny, outmoded lampshades. Those old photos can also show you how trends come full circle, too. (Those drum shades from the 50′s and 60′s are popular again today.) My personal favorite, a pleated Empire shade, is the most timeless and classic.
Which is right for your lamp in need? If you want an easy answer – the safest approach (but not always the most fun!) is to opt for the simplest design made in the highest quality. Daring shade changes are sometimes best left to the professionals. However, some lamps may be beyond a makeover. And then, like a good friend, we can give you permission to let it go and start over.