Previous posts have highlighted the seriously outdated nature of the overhead lighting in my current overseas rental. Unfortunately, the lamps that came along with the house are equally afflicted by early 1980s "style". Because the house runs on 110v but the country runs on 220v, popping out to IKEA to replace the lamps is not an option — not to mention the hassle of storing the outdated lamps! After the success of my pendant light update, I decided to hit that close-out home store again to pick up some additional lampshades.
This time I opted for a more neutral option for the bedroom lamps which are an off-white porcelain with a typically 1980s shape. The old fabric pleated shades were in rough shape — stained and even starting to fray in places. Just pulling off the shades made an immediate difference to my feelings about the lamp; once I added the new shades, I discovered I actually like the shape of them. I also prefer the way the wider shades spread the light around the room — you can see the difference in the uplighting in the third picture where one of each shade is on display.
Thanks to the closeout store, the new lamp shades cost me only $35 for the pair which made this a very affordable project. Because the lamps themselves are heavy porcelain and would be costly to replace with items of the same quality, even purcahsing more costly shades would still have been the budget option. If you have a vintage lamp in good working order, replacing the lamp shade can make a big difference and help extend the life of your lamp by another 30 years.
Images: Colleen Quinn