Project Description

Savvy Interior Designers Turn to the Internet to Save Up to 25% on Custom Lampshades

Buying online direct from a quality domestic resource can enhance aesthetics,

speed delivery, and eliminate retail middlemen

When interior designers and decorators craft beautiful, cohesive designs in homes and commercial properties, a crucial element of such projects is how custom lampshades compliment both lamps and the overall look.

“As beautiful as a lamp can be, if it does not have the right shade, it is like a person wearing a bad hat,” says Melissa Warner Rothblum, co-owner and principal designer of Massucco Warner Miller (MWM), a West Coast-based interior design firm that does mostly residential projects nationwide. “Getting the right lampshade that fits properly and matches the furnishings is important to the overall design of any room.”

Whether for homes, offices, or high end retail establishments, customizing lampshades in size, shape, color, or fabric to enhance aesthetics, or replace a damaged shade, is essential. However, buying shades with enough design flexibility, from retailers with limited inventory, can be challenging.

“When buying a retail off-the-shelf shade, you are often limited to small, medium, or large in one or two colors,” says Warner Rothblum. “Customizing locally may not be an option, or can be costly or slow. Professionals need a more sophisticated, custom range of design options.”

Now instead of ordering from traditional retailers, a growing number of astute interior designers and decorators are opting for a better choice: purchasing custom shades direct from a quality domestic resource online while saving up to 25%. This is dramatically extending the design palette while cutting out the middleman and speeding delivery.

Custom On Demand

MWM blends color and textural palettes that range from bold, stunning, and edgy, to soft, tranquil, and serene, while seeking to be clear, fresh, and on point. As such, the firm implements a wide range of vintage lamps and other finds, custom gilded hand-embroidered wallpaper, as well as timeless well-made furniture in all shapes and sizes.

According to Warner Rothblum, because of all the design factors involved, custom shades are often necessary to improve the aesthetics of any room with a lamp. While she

has also worked with local retailers to make custom lampshades for various projects, it was also relatively slow and costly.

As an alternative, she turned to Jack of All Shades, an Alabama based resource for custom hardback lampshades for 30 years that specializes in online sales to the interior design and decorator industry.

The company offers a wide range of hardback lampshade options, which run the gamut in shape (round, square, oval, rectangle, drums, pendant, and half round or square); in size (from small chandelier type to 72” oversized); and in color (with a palette of over 130). It also offers a number of fabrics (linen, silk, burlap, weave, poly cotton, faux leather, leather laced or washable/easy to clean) as well as lampshade fitter types.

“What we like about the custom shades is that we can specify all the details and get exactly what we want,” says Warner Rothblum. “We can specify the fabric, the height, the top and bottom measurement, even details like trim and edges, so the lamp and room look their best.”

According to Warner Rothblum, MWM typically buys 12-15 lampshades per project, about 99% of which are custom. She says that customizing the shades provides both geographic and seasonal flexibility.

“Certain parts of the country are more formal and may want a silk shade, and other parts are more casual so would prefer linen,” she says. “Seasonally, if we are doing a summer home in Santa Barbara, we may want lighter colored linen; if doing a winter home on the East Coast, we may want a shade with a heavier fabric.”

Warner Rothblum appreciates how Jack of All Shades allows MWM’s interior designers to use their own fabrics and materials in custom shades whenever design coordination is important.

“Sometimes we want to use a specific fabric pattern on a shade or a very specific color, so being able to use our own material is really helpful,” says Warner Rothblum.

On a recent whole home remodel, for example, Warner Rothblum says that the ability to use MWM’s own fabric, a caramel-ivory patterned linen; with an English barrel shade helped the dining room feel cohesive.

“If we had done a simple white silk shade, the lamp would have felt more formal,” says Warner Rothblum. “Because we did a fun pattern on the shade, it made the lamp feel more edgy and chic. It is actually one of the client’s favorite things in the whole house. They loved the shades in the dining room.”

Because design details can seem less important, but also make a difference, MWM’s interior designers also specify shades with a rolled edge when the occasion calls for it. A special handmade “rolled edge” eliminates the need for trim. Instead of traditional 1/2” trim, the fabric forms the finished edge of the shades for a clean look that is becoming a trend in venues aiming for a modern vibe.

Compared to purchasing custom lampshades at retail prices, where available from local shops, Warner Rothblum says that buying online direct from the source also offers significant savings.

“We have saved up to 25% over retail buying direct from Jack of All Shades,” says Warner Rothblum.

She says that ordering online is actually easy.

“We typically select all the options we want from the website,” says Warner Rothblum. “If there are any additional details we need to specify, we talk with them directly.”

When Modern Drama, a Chicago, IL based supplier of rare and iconic furnishings for mid-century interiors, required custom lampshades to accompany restored lamps, owner Ryan Bennett tired of waiting for local shops to finish the work.

“Previously, I bought custom shades from local retailers, but it took up to six weeks for them to be delivered and the price was too high,” says Bennett.

Since ordering custom lampshades online, Bennett says that his turnaround and pricing has dramatically improved.

“To meet the deadlines of clients, who are largely interior designers and decorators, Jack of All Shades typically ships out custom shades in a matter of days so they can arrive within a week,” says Bennett. “On top of this we are saving about 25% off retail pricing.”

Bennett notes that the online supplier customizes shades “to pretty much any shape or size we need” including great mid century lamps, abstract sculptural form lamps, and even sculpted lamps with female nude statuary originally sourced from Europe.

As such, the online supplier is also a good solution for interior design professionals looking to duplicate or match existing lampshades that have been damaged and need to be replaced.

In order to ensure that the shades work properly with every lamp, the lampshade company offers a complete range of fitting types. This includes: spider and washer with harp, the most common type of fitting for table and floor lampshades; uno, usually found on smaller U.S. table lamps; euro, a European style fitting used with smaller table lamps; and clip-on, often used with accent lamps and chandeliers or Edison bulbs.

“In the interior design and decorating industry, customizing shades online just makes sense today because they can be quickly made to whatever form, fabric, or shape you want at lower cost,” concludes Bennett.

For more info, call 866-231-JACK (5225); email customerservice@jackofallshades.com; visit www.jackofallshades.com; write to Jack of All Shades at 521 Baltimore Ave., Albertville, Alabama 35950.