should lamp shade colors/tones match

bbstxJune 8, 2012

All of the lamp shades in my living room are cream, beige, and light tan (fwiw, they are all silk or some similar fabric).

I do not like the shades on my buffet lamps. Although they are beige, they are too large. I found some shades that are the perfect size but they are white white white. When I tried them out in my living room, they stood out too much, I thought.

Is it just because they are different from what I'm used to seeing there, or is it because the colors should all be of the same tonal family?

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It's my opinion that every lampshade that is translucent, letting light into the room, should be the same white or cream tone. If you mix, the darker ones can make the spaces they light look dingy,and the overall effect is disorderly. If shades are matched, you don't notice them except for the light they provide.

For task lighting on a desk or something similar, an opaque lacquered shade can be any color you like.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 11:07PM
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bronwynsmom, I think you have confirmed what my eye was seeing. Back to the drawing board....

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:28AM
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I like when some shades are different but it's hard to say w/o seeing them first. Can you post a pic of them in your room?

Sometimes different is good an sometimes it is not so good!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:39AM
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Fox, I know a picture would be helpful, but I have dinner guests this evening and I'm in a total swivet.

The new entirely-too-white shades are going back, along with the beige but entirely-too-small shades. The entirely-too-big-but-beige shades are back on the lamps. I'll just live with it until the next time I can't stand it!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 12:56PM
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Hmm, I have different ones and it has never bothered me. E.g. my great room has two orange mica lampshades on very different bases (one floor for uplight, one A&C pot to brighten a dark corner), and a sort of nubby/burlappy cream shade. I love the ambience from the mica lamps - but the cream shade is perfect since it's right next to where I read. I would not want to read by amber light.

Visible from that room is an earth toned stained glass lamp, two white mica shade lamps, a bare bulb lamp (foyer), cream glass lamps (kitchen) and a moravian star clear glass lamp (mudroom). Sounds a bit more chaotic than it is, those different areas are spread out across about 1900 sqft.

I don't think it looks bad...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I think it depends, I have several lamps that have silk shades (all visible to one another) and they are the same color. Within the same visibility, I have two "specimen" lampshades, one in burlap and the other is Tiffany styled.
I think it all works but only because the predominating shades all match.
This is an area encompassing our dining room, kitchen, great room and foyer.

So, I think it depends on what else is in the, at all possible?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 4:58PM
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No pics. The white shades have gone back. I think the real issue was that all of my lamps give off soft, diffused lights, but those two WHITE shades were like there had just been an escape from Sing Sing. They were just tooo white and tooo harsh.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 9:43PM
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Too funny, bbstx!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 9:56PM
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