9 Reasons to Pick a Patterned Lampshade
Is a solid shade blocking your room’s potential? Consider a light fixture dressed more decoratively
Nothing transforms a room like great lighting. And nothing transforms a light fixture like a pretty patterned shade. Add extra sizzle to your lamp and your space — and solve some common design dilemmas — with these tips.
1. Distribute pattern and color around a room. A single statement fabric on the lamp at right provides color, pattern and texture in this sophisticated setting. Following design’s rule of three, the lampshade repeats the print found on the pillows and ottoman. The room would look off-balance without this third application, which carries the fabric to the opposite end of the room.
2. Introduce another size of pattern. A tried and true trick for effectively mixing patterns is to include different sizes of them. Here the comforter and window panels feature a large print, while the lampshade features a smaller geometric print — and proves that a patterned shade works in a masculine setting.
The scaled-down damask print on this chandelier’s shades offsets the blown-up stripes on the window panels.
3. Unite design elements. Black accents scattered around this room — including the tripod floor lamps — balance the bold rug and creamy seating and wall paint. The tripods’ custom shades, made from an antique suzani textile, bring cohesion to the design scheme by integrating black with the room’s reds, pinks and corals.
This energetic office space is sure to inspire creativity! The patterned shade on the desk lamp and the colorful artwork knit together all the brightly hued accents. The white lamp would disappear on the white desk without the fun shade (a piece of art in itself). And the orange book underneath adds another juicy color burst. The icy aqua walls are a cool contrast to the other vivid hues.
4. Add oomph to neutrals. Sand tones envelop this serene bedroom, and the lampshades continue the color story. But the shades’ botanical pattern, with its shot of spicy red (a color sprinkled around the room), punches up the neutral palette and keeps the shades from fading into the walls.
Surrounded by white furniture and window shades, this white lamp would look ho-hum if not for the patterned shade. The shade’s large floral design plays nicely with the patterns on the accent pillows. And with its golden ground, I bet this lampshade casts a warm glow, too — especially at night.
5. Play up other bold patterns. Black and white accents give weight to this room’s vibrant red, white and blue palette — and keep it from falling into a theme trap. The striped lampshades are the perfect touch against the artwork and with the graphic fabric at the windows and on that fabulous red chair.
See how black and white striped shades adopt a more sophisticated attitude in this setting? The room features the same basic color scheme as the bedroom in the previous example — in much softer tones. The striped shades work equally well here, but thinner pinstripes give them a more serious air — and balance the rug’s chunkier lines.
6. Tell a design story. Isn’t it hard to imagine white or off-white lampshades in front of this aged map? What a mood killer they would be! These tea-colored shades, on the other hand, complete the world-explorer look.
Color and nature are the two stories told in this fun bedroom. And the lampshade connects to both. I love the playfulness of the peacocks prancing in front of the wallpaper’s field of flowers, set on a peacock-blue background.
7. Inject a shot of color and pattern. These oversize pendant shades — with their loopy botanical print and lively green color — add some pizzazz to this classic white kitchen. The spring hue pairs well with the space’s only other permanent color: a dreamy blue tint on the island countertop (glazed lava stone from France).
8. Add an unexpected twist. Gold-toned accents in the artwork and on the lamp lend grown-up gravitas to this sherbet-hued bedroom. The chevron-print shade coordinates with the classic lamp base, not the room’s girly hues. (A pastel shade on the brass base might have looked mismatched.) Notice how the artwork pulls in all the colors, so the weighty accents aren’t jarring.
9. Create interest with subtle patterns and texture. If you want to dip your toes into the patterned-lampshade pool, try a tone-on-tone print. The lampshades next to this bed add only a hint of interest. The tonal patterns in the rug and window panels help keep the feeling soothing and serene, and allow the bed — with its detailed headboard and luxurious array of pillows — to be the focal point.
The pattern stars of this room are the graphic rugs and the cowhide-covered chairs. Other elements in the room play supporting roles, including the driftwood lamps and their richly textured shades. I’m not sure what the material is (cork? grass cloth?), but it’s a great earthy complement to the natural lamp bases.
More: How to Choose a Lampshade
More: How to Choose a Lampshade