How to Match a Lamp Shade to a Lamp


Lamps add light and a touch of warmth to any décor. Lamps come in a variety of styles, and you can use them to change the look of a room without doing a large renovation. Most lamps come with removable lamp shades that allow for further customization. Matching the shade to the lamp will help prevent a decorating disaster from mismatched pieces.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Use the measuring tape to determine the height and diameter of your lamp. The bottom of your lamp shade should fall within 2 inches of the height of your lamp. Tall, wide lamps look best when topped with a wide lampshade. Short, diminutive lamps need small shades to prevent an overwhelmed look.

  • Look at the shape of your lamp. Lamp shades should complement the overall shape of the lamp. Pairing a horse-shaped novelty lamp with a triangular-shaped pleated shade makes for an unsightly combination. Plain round or square lamps can be paired with oddly-shaped shades, while novelty lamps look best with plain round or square shades.

  • Decide if the lamp will be used as a primary light source or decorative accessory. A lamp used for light should have a simple fabric shade that allows light to filter through and brighten the room. Lamps used for decoration can be paired with shades made of material such as metal or animal hides that can restrict light flow.

  • Pick a color that matches not only the lamp itself but the room around it. If you want to add a pop of color to the room, pair a neutral lamp color with a bright shade. For example, if your walls and carpets are pale shades of blue, top your black lamp with a bright blue shade to complement the room’s existing color.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your lamp is not too large to transport, take it with you while you look for shades. This allows you to place the shade on the lamp to get an accurate visual of the finished product.

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  • Photo Credit lamp isolated, furniture image by JoLin from
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