Types of Lamp Shades
As a custom lampshade designer, I create all types of lamp shades. While some clients come to me knowing what types of lamp shades they want, many ask me to use my expertise to determine the best types of lamp shades for their particular needs and decor.
Gallery of Types of Lamp Shades
Below is a pictorial gallery of the most popular types of lamp shades today.
Bell shades offer an arching frame with graceful and feminine curves. Bells are most commonly round, but can also be oval in shape.
Empire shades are similar to Bell shades, but their sides are straight (not curved). In addition, the bottom diameter is usually at least two times greater than the top diameter. Empire shades come from the French Empire movement (in the early 1800s). Of all the types of lamp shades, Empires especially embody elegance and sophistication.
Drums are one of the most versatile types of lamp shades. They can be used with both modern and vintage decor. Drums derive their name and shape from the musical instrument. You can choose from shallow drums (usually 10 inches in height) and deep drums.
Coolie lamp shades are named after the Chinese coolie hats with wide bottoms and narrow tops. Bottom diameters can range up to 24 inches wide. Coolie shades are perfect for modern decor.
Of all the types of lamp shades, Square shades are the most contemporary (even more than drums are). In general, a square shade looks best with an angular lamp base as well as a square or angular table.
Cut Corner Shades
Some square, rectangular, hexagonal and octagonal shades are referred to as “cut corner squares.” They have fuller sides joined together by narrower sides — creating an elegant and vintage look. Pictured above are an Empire Square Cut Corner and a Bell Rectangle Cut Corner.