The great thing about lots of lighting, from pendants to table lamps, sconces to chandeliers, is that all it takes to reinvent a fixture is a new shade. Options for replacement shades run the gamut—neutral versus bold colors, patterned versus solids, pleated versus smooth. Heck, you can even choose something with fringe or ribbons on it if you're into trim. The biggest question isn't what but where to find the best shade.
Unless you live in New York City and can walk into one of the many lighting stores on Bowery, your best bet when replacing a lamp shade may be online sources. But lest we let you go at it without any guidance, here's a resource guide to help you find what you're looking for.
Best Overall Selection: Lamps Plus
This virtual lighting superstore has over 17,000 search results for "lamp shade," so there's bound to be something in stock that suits your taste. Besides basic plain shades in a multitude of sizes, you'll find exclusive giclee styles for under $100 in all the patterns you could possibly want these days—palm leaves, pineapples and graphic triangles, for starters. There's even a selection of pre-made trims for sprucing up old shades. Before you buy, search for a discount code or a store coupon here.
Best Made-To-Order: Minted
When you want to play designer and find the perfect colors to match other furnishings in your space or just coordinate everything (pillows, lamp shades, teepee!) from top to bottom in a room, this online stationery purveyor turned home goods retailer is where it's at. Just like their paper goods and art prints, patterns are crowdsourced through Minted's community of independent artists, so you'll find a wide range of options to choose from. Currently, there are four sizes of shades available (chandelier plus small, medium and large drums), and you can also pick between cotton and two types of linen for your shade material.
Best Vintage-Inspired: Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
Old house lovers are probably familiar with this Portland-based brand's period-appropriate metal and glass shades for sconces, flush mounts and pendants alike. But Schoolhouse Electric also has some great fabric options as well in three different sizes.
Best Curation: Shades of Light
This Virginia-based company specializes in lighting, and their shade selection doesn't disappoint in terms of both sizes and styles. If you're looking for higher-end features like gold foil lining and dimensional stitching or unusual shapes like faceted hexagons and flared bells, this is the place. Shades of Light is also home to the lighting line by beloved bloggers John and Sherry Peterson of Young House Love, which includes several colorful drum shades.
Best Budget-Friendly: Cost Plus World Market
A few years ago, World Market made a splash with their lighting, IMO, by selling lamp bases and shades as open stock, meaning you weren't stuck with whatever shade the lamp you want comes with. Obviously, you can go to town buying just shades here, too, which is a win-win. Why? Every season World Market tends to have the trendiest materials (jute, velvet) and specialty prints galore (shibori, malachite) at super affordable prices. At press time, no shade was over $50.
Best Embellished: Anthropologie
Who knew Anthro's boho vibes also extended to their small but super unique collection of shades? Like the retailer's clothing and linens, texture and embellishment are key. You'll find styles sporting pom poms, tufting, tassels, metallic foil and embroidery. Snag one of these guys, and you can pretty much guarantee your neighbors aren't going to have the same shade.
Best Bespoke: Etsy
This crafty marketplace is still a great resource for reasonably-priced custom shades. Say you want something made of mudcloth and don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it at a boutique, chances are you can find a maker on Etsy to DIY it for you. Same is true for "to the trade" fabrics.
Best for the Classics: Ballard Designs
Ballard Designs is straight out of Atlanta, and if there's anything Southern design does best, it's modern traditional. So for classic silhouettes in pretty neutral hues, Ballard is your best friend. They also have a great Buffalo check shade if you can't get enough of gingham and its close cousins.
Best for a Pop of Color: Land of Nod
Sophisticated whimsy (for both kids and adults alike) is Land of Nod's calling card, so their lampshade game is kind of the same. You can find bolder colors like mint, lime green, olive and orange well as well as more subdued hues, including navy, white and black, all for under $40. Fun prints are available, too.
Best High Design: One Kings Lane
Bunny Williams shades mingle with lesser known but equally stylish options from Bradburn Gallery Home and an impressive collection of finials. Yes, OKL can be a bit pricy, but everything I've ever bought from the once flash site has been good quality and arrived as described. If you can wait for a national holiday, the site usually runs sitewide 20 percent off specials.
Best Online Superstore: Wayfair
Light shades on Wayfair run the gamut in terms of colors, styles and designs. There are tons of options, even in the 4 to 6-inch chandelier shade size, which can be tricky to find elsewhere. Since AllModern is part of the Wayfair family of brands, you can expect to find modern styles alongside the typical cotton and linen looks. And you can't beat the free shipping over $49 policy.
Best Vintage: Chairish
Mid-century woven wood drum shade, anyone? When only one-of-a-kind or vintage will do, Chairish has a nice selection of shades, mainly from the 1950s and 1960s, in materials ranging from silk to grasscloth. There are also some newer styles here, too, in fabrics from heavy hitters like Duralee, Schumacher and Brunschwig & Fils.