Choosing the Right Lampshade for Different Room Styles: A Guide for Designers

Lampshades are an interior designer's best-kept secret. Not only do they illuminate a room, but their shape, light throw, fabric, size, and other features shape its atmosphere and enchant us.

We assembled this guide to help you better understand how to choose the right lampshade for different room styles and themes. We’ve included invaluable insights, expert tips, and creative inspirations on:

  • Understanding lampshade shapes
  • Mixing and matching lampshade shapes for a harmonious design
  • Lampshade materials and textures
  • Pairing lampshade colors and patterns
  • Lampshade placement and lighting effects
  • Unique and creative lampshade ideas

Let’s shine a light on them all!

Lampshade Shapes & Why They Matter

Lampshades are more than functional decor, but a critical element that accentuates a room’s ambiance. Let’s explore different lampshade shapes and how every curve, angle, and silhouette shapes your interior design’s aesthetic appeal.


black-and-gold paper hardback shade

With their clean lines and timeless appeal, drum lampshades infuse rooms with sophistication and various design possibilities. The versatility of drum lampshades lies in their simplicity and design. Their uniform shape, characterized by straight vertical sides and a flat top and bottom, creates a balanced, harmonious aesthetic that complements different decor styles and themes.

Here are some room styles where drum lampshades shine:

  • Modern room style: The clean, minimalist silhouette of drum lampshades, like our black-and-gold paper hardback shade, pairs perfectly with contemporary interiors.
  • Traditional room style: Drum lampshades made from luxurious fabrics like silk or velvet add a touch of elegance to classic room designs.
  • Transitional and eclectic: Drum lampshades seamlessly bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary styles in transitional and eclectic interiors.


woven paper lampshade

The elegant flair of empire lampshades stems from their distinctive shape, characterized by a wide bottom and a narrower top, resembling an inverted bell. This shape allows for a gentle diffusion of light, creating a warm and inviting glow that enhances the ambiance of traditional and formal spaces.

Spaces and styles where empire lampshades reign supreme include:

  • Dining rooms: Empire shades like this woven paper lampshade make a striking statement when placed on buffet or console tables in formal dining rooms.
  • Living rooms: Empire lampshades add a touch of sophistication and create an inviting atmosphere in formal living rooms or sitting areas.
  • Traditional room styles: Empire shades, the epitome of timeless elegance, are perfect for classic room decor.
gathered silk snow corset lampshade


For those seeking a sleek and contemporary aesthetic, coolie lampshades offer a perfect balance of style and functionality. The distinctive look of coolie lampshades is characterized by their downward-sloping shape, with a broader bottom and a narrower top. While this shape resembles empire shades, coolie shades have a wider, shallower profile. Their design, exemplified in our gathered silk snow corset lampshade, adds contemporary charisma to rooms and is ideal for task lighting or creating a cozy ambiance.

Here are some rooms and decor styles where coolie lampshades excel:

  • Minimalist and contemporary: Coolie lampshades effortlessly complement minimalist and contemporary room styles with their sleek, uncluttered design.
  • Modern living rooms: Coolie lampshades serve as striking focal points in modern living rooms, adding sophistication and visual interest.
  • Bar areas or lounging spaces: With their diffused throw, coolie lampshades are perfect for places where you want to set a mood, such as lounging spaces or bar corners.

Mixing & Matching Lampshade Shapes for a Harmonious Design

Consider the room's overall aesthetic and balance if you want to mix and match lampshade shapes for a harmonious and visually appealing design. Aim for a blend of contrasting and complementary shapes to create visual interest without overwhelming the space.

For example, pairing a drum lampshade with an empire lampshade adds depth. Experiment with different combinations, keeping in mind the space’s scale, proportion, and overall design concept. You can achieve a captivating design by carefully selecting and artfully arranging lampshade shapes.

Lampshade Materials & Textures

Consider the atmosphere you want to inspire when selecting lampshade materials and textures. Materials like silk or satin exude elegance, while linen and burlap inspire a more rustic vibe. Textured lampshades, such as this gathered ikat silk shade, add visual intrigue and dimension to a space through pleats, weaves, and patterns.

To ensure a room’s design harmony is never off-key, it's essential to balance lampshade material and overall decor. For instance, in a contemporary living room with clean lines and sleek furnishings, a coolie lampshade made of brushed metal or textured glass complements the modern aesthetic perfectly.

Patterned shades

Pairing Lampshade Colors & Patterns

Selecting the best combination of lampshade colors and patterns is crucial to nailing a room’s visual cohesion. When selecting colors, consider the room's color palette and choose shades that complement or contrast the existing pigments. For example, in a room with a neutral color scheme of whites and grays, opting for lampshades in soft pastel tones like blush pink or light blue unifies the design.

Patterned shades can add a playful or sophisticated touch, depending on your desired style. However, be mindful of balancing patterned lampshades with the overall decor to avoid overwhelming the space. When in doubt, starting with neutral or solid-colored lampshades is a safe bet, allowing you to introduce pops of color or patterns through the room’s other design elements.

Lampshade Placement & Lighting Effects

Understanding lampshade placement and its impact on lighting effects is essential for setting the desired mood in a space. Consider the room’s function and the lighting’s purpose. Do you need ambient lighting, task lighting, or accent lighting?

Place table or floor lamps strategically to provide functional illumination while adding aesthetic appeal. For instance, position a table lamp on a desk or workspace for focused illumination while working or reading. For accent lighting, consider placing floor and table lamps near artwork or architectural features to highlight and add a captivating touch to the room's focal points.

You can also experiment with lampshade heights, angles, and distances from walls to create desired lighting effects, such as casting soft shadows or highlighting architectural features.

custom shade

Unique & Creative Lampshade Ideas

Exploring unique and creative lampshade ideas enhances design projects. Consider unconventional materials like reclaimed wood, metal wire, or repurposed objects to craft one-of-a-kind lampshades that become statement pieces. Experiment with custom shapes, asymmetrical designs, or layered textures to add an element of intrigue.

If you want expert help to bring your one-of-a-kind shade design to life, we have years of experience helping designers. From crafting custom lampshades to providing wholesale shades through our partnership program, we'll work with you to create gorgeous lampshades that perfectly represent your vision, all at fair pricing. Choose from a quality selection of materials, or send us a fabric sample you love and we’ll make your design a reality.

Find the Perfect Lampshade for Every Room and Style With Lux!

Immerse yourself in a world of transformative design, where the perfect lampshade becomes your guiding light. Our comprehensive guide prepares you to curate captivating lighting experiences for various room styles and themes. Lux Lampshades will help bring your unique vision to life and enhance your design’s potential with a custom shade.