Lampshades are one of the last details considered when furnishing a space, but I find they are one of the most fun elements to create. Choosing a fabric, a lining, a type of pleat, and a trim or two to complement the style seems like a lot of specifications to make for such a small piece- but the finished look truly can transform an entire room! The master of lampshade design in my book is Jeffrey Bilhuber:
Above he is pictured next to a blue shirred lampshade with a small offset black trim. Delicious.
"I like anything that requires detailed, creative attention, especially lampshades. To some, a lampshade is just a lampshade... to me, it's a whole microcosm of form, function and craftsmanship… In a word, take extra time when selecting lampshades, as these details can transform a room from dull to delightful."
Amen, Jeffrey. Amen!
Adding a trim to a normal paper or linen shade can up the ante just a bit as well without making the shade feel too formal, like Bilhuber did on the shade shown above.
Below, Virginia designer Charlotte Lucas added a sassy coral trim to these swing-arm sconces in her daughter's room, which tie in nicely with the piping on the daybed:
While it might read more traditional, I adore tightly pleated shades. They are fun to see in bright colors or even in a patterned fabric.
Loosening the pleats also loosens the formality a bit. Amy Berry did a lovely box-pleat sconce shade in her client's home library. The trim appears to be a black leather, which makes the shade feel a tad more masculine. I dig it!
A box-pleat pair of silk shades, styled by Miles Redd:
My favorite custom lampshade seamstress here in the city is Sue Wellott of Shades from the Midnight Sun. Sue does exquisite work and can create almost anything you envision. She's currently making me a shade out of Rebecca Atwood's Dashes in Pale Marine fabric to match my bedskirt- I can't wait to see how it turns out! The style will mimic this shade I saw in Vaughan Design's showroom at the D&D Building:
If you'd rather not spend the money on custom but love the idea of a unique lampshade, here are a few pretty retail options (although, this first one is still a bit pricey):
Anthropologie and Etsy also have several cute shade options in a variety of textures and patterns. I'm also dying over the Bunny Williams Home options on One Kings Lane:
Happy shade shopping!