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We’re Loving: Hubbardton Forge Cityscape Pendant

Hubbardton Forge City Scape Pendant

We’ve been featuring several whimsical, organic lighting fixtures as of late, but today we’re mixing things up. Hubbardton Forge is a local New England lighting manufacturer who crafts the upmost chic and sturdy lighting fixtures. A recent favorite is the Cityscape Pendant, featured above (with the skyline of Boston!).

Metallic-adorned lighting is a hot trend right now, and this fixture features polished aluminum rods with a glowing edge-lit LED guide plate. The mix of light and shadow is so majestic, and we think the Cityscape Pendant is perfect for an urban space.


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How to Light Your Artwork

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Visual Comfort Art Light

Many people come into the store looking for a way to light a new piece of prized artwork. If you’re investing in a beautiful piece of art, then you should show it off! Before you start your search, make sure you understand the qualities of your artwork. For example, is your painting oil or acrylic? Oils are a little harder to light because of the spectral highlights when harsh light hits the paint, so being armed with this information would allow you to make a more informed lighting decision.

Below are a few types of lights to consider for your art:

– Picture light – These hang over a painting or can be affixed to a frame. These are generally about 3’’ in diameter.
– Slimline picture light – This is a mini version of the above – about 1’’ in diameter, and can fit smaller pieces or draw attention to a distinctive part of the artwork.
– Mantel lights – These can be put in front of the artwork sitting on a mantel, and light the artwork from bottom to top.
– Track lighting – This is a very modern approach to lighting your artwork, and allows a lot of flexibility. Track lighting can light an entire wall and accent many pieces.

The other thing to keep in mind is the type of light you will use. Incandescent produce a warm color that amplified yellows and reds. Halogen lights can cast a very pure light however they can generate a lot of heat, so use with caution around your paintings. Fluorescent lights give off a very high level of UV rays and can distort artwork, so this is not recommended.

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Lampshade Gallery

What is a lampshade gallery? A gallery is an aesthetic element added to the bottom of a lampshade that conforms to the shape of the lampshade bottom, is typically an inch in height, and is set off with a piped wire separating it visually from the body of the lampshade.  The gallery may be covered in the same fabric as the body of the lampshade or, the gallery may be treated with a complementary trim.

Many lampshade styles are available with a gallery.  Some of the most popular styles include coolies, drums, hexs and octagons and bells.

The coolie with gallery is an excellent lampshade for one of our many round ceramic lamps.

Image 1 gallery

The drum with a scallop top and bottom is also designed with a gallery.  Occasionally we see lamps in the store dating back to the 1950s dressed with this type of lampshade – not surprisingly, these shades are often in need of a replacement, and if our customer wants the same style of lampshade, we can provide it!

Galleries can added to hexagonal and octagonal shades.   In the case of these shades, the gallery adds a degree of formality to the lampshades.


A particularly fun silk lampshade style with a gallery is the S-Curve with a scallop bottom, shown below.  We have used the S-Curve lampshade with a variety of Victorian style table and floor lamps.

Image 3 gallery

One of our more unique shading opportunities came when one of customers brought in a large 1950’s style “New Orleans” lamp complete with gilded iron and lots of “baubles”; the lamp and its new shade are destined for a hair salon in western Massachusetts.  Our customer loves bright color, and we worked with her to fashion a pair of J-Bell lampshades with a scallop bottom and a gallery…. Oh, and we added a crown!  The lampshades were tailored in grape chintz with black fringe!

Image 6 Round Top J-Bell with Scallop Bottom with Gallery

Lampshades made with a gallery are not for every lamp; but the gallery can add a unique touch to a special lamp of yours!


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Hexagonal Lampshades

Click here to look at our wide selection of hexagonal lampshades.

IMG_2040Another general category of lampshade styles is the six sided, hexagon lampshade.  While lamps with an hexagonal element are not the most common in the store, nevertheless, when either the base or the lamp itself offers a hexagon, we like to work with it.  Our thinking is that by doing so, the end result is not only a lamp whose shade “looks like it belongs” to the lamp, but also, the hexagon offers more interest than a simple round empire or coolie lampshade.

We use the straight-sided hex in variety of shading situations – from floor lamps to table lamps!  One of our favorite hex lampshades are those we make with nautical charts.  We generally have these shades in stock, and they are often used to shade our collectible lamps.


But we also offer the service of crafting the shade to fit a water location of your choice – from Maine to Florida, Washington state to California, as well as international waters, coastal and island – the Caribbean, to the Mediterranean, to the Pacific Islands and everywhere in between!

Another favorite New England type of hexagonal lampshades are those with floral prints.  Many of our customers choose these for their floor bridge lamps.


We also see a lot of wrought iron downbridge lamps – those where the tubing bends down and the socket is installed “upside down”.  In this case, the lampshade requires a “uno” fitter wherein the threading on the uno fitter twists onto the threads on the bottom / top of the socket.  Many of our customers have enjoyed a nautical chart shade for their downbridge floor lamps.

Another style of hexagonal lampshades that have a variety of uses in our replacement shading service are the “hex bells”.  The most traditional type of hex bell is a silk shade, and it complements this nautical motif lamp that we make in the store beautifully!


One of my favorite, somewhat more whimsical lampshades is the tall hex bell lampshade.  We ordered one to display in the store, made from a plum dupioni fabric, and shown here on the Simon Pearce Pomfret lamp.  This tall, thin blown glass is a perfect foil for the tall hex bell lampshade.

Image 5 Tall Hex Bell with Pomfret Lamp

Not all lamps can carry a hexagonal lampshade.  But when the lamp offers the opportunity for a hex lampshade….. take it!!


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Rectangle Lampshades

Click here to learn more about our rectangle lampshades.

We don’t see as many lamps which feature a rectangular shape, but when one comes into the store, we are ready!  There are many variations on the rectangle – some traditional, and others more contemporary, clean lines.  The key feature of the rectangle is the greater width versus the depth of the lampshade.  Typically, the width (side to side) is greater than the depth of the shade (front to back).

If there is a “standard” rectangle, it would be the rectangle shade shown with our Live Oak Lamp.  This particular rectangle shade is made from a coarse burlap fabric.

The rectangle drum lampshade is also an increasingly popular style of rectangle.  The drum rectangle is the perfect lampshade for the Currey natural wood “Structure Lamp”.

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Further, we have used a rectangle drum frame to create a nautical shade.  This particular lampshade in this blog post was especially fun because the charts we used to create the lampshade were from four different cities.  When our customers met, they lived in San Francisco and New York.  After they married, they raised their children in London and Boston!

We enjoy having lamps in the store that offer angular shapes – squares, rectangles and hexes, for example.  One of the more popular smaller table lamps we often display in the store is the rectangle box lamp, which offers a cut corner rectangle bell lampshade.

A variation of the cut corner rectangle bell lampshade is the cut corner rectangle bell lampshade with a “gallery”.  Another East Enterprise lamp – the small box accent lamp – is offered with the cut corner rectangle bell with a gallery.

Image 5 LPDBQL088A

One of the new Hubbardton Forge product introductions is the Cavaletti family – floor and table lamps.  Offered in a variety of finishes, these beautifully designed lamps are shown with the new and contemporary Retro Rectangle Drum style.

One of the wonderful things about lighting from Currey and Company is the wide variation in lamp designs.  For example, the Secret Table Lamp is a traditionally styled lamp, complete with an inverted corner rectangle bell lampshade.

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Whereas the Bellwether Table Lamp offers a much more contemporary design.  Complementing the simple lines of the lamp, is a rectangle coolie lampshade.

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And, finally the Parrot Lamp is a bit whimsical, designed with a “shabby chic” edge and topped with a nicely trimmed silk rectangle bell lampshade.

Image 9 6792ParrotCL

One of my favorite rectangle lampshades is the rectangle pyramid, shown here and nicely complementing this rectangular jade lamp designed by East Enterprise. So many wonderful elegant and fun rectangle lampshades!

Image 10 LJ0810CG

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Fillable Glass Lamps

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Fillable lamps

Clear glass vases are used frequently in interior décor to add a personalized touch to a room. Adding whole oranges or lemons to a vase is a very common way to liven up a dining room or kitchen, and during the holidays you can even add red and green ornaments to create instant living room décor.

Fillable lamps2

This same idea can be executed with a fillable glass lamp. There are several different sizes and shapes to consider – from elongated cylinders to a gourd jar – and of course there are an infinite number of possibilities for what you can put inside these glass beauties.

Below are five ideas to get you started:

  1. College “Survival” Kit – This is perhaps the most timely idea as some of our customers are sending their kids away to their first year of college. A great farewell gift for your kids – or a close family member or friend – is to add quintessential college “must-haves” to a fillable glass lamp. Currently we have one lamp on display containing aspirin, Red Bull, pens, pencils and other goodies. A college-bound kid will be able to use the lamp for the dorm and also use the other essentials throughout the year.
  2. Memories from the Beach – We often collect sand and shells from vacations and seldom incorporate these memories into our home décor. These fillable lamps are a great way to showcase your beach finds and this sand-and-shell-filled lamp can be a great addition to a beach house or nautical-inspired room.
  3. Seasonal Décor – With the change of seasons it’s always a great idea to change the mood of a home. With fillable lamps, you can switch out the fill of the lamp with the start of each new season or holiday. Mini pumpkins or a bouquet of orange, red and yellow leaves can be great for the fall. For the holidays, fill the inside of the lamp with ornaments or even pinecones and red berries. For the spring dried flowers can add a fresh look to the living room. And as mentioned above, sand and shells are the way to go for the summertime.
  4. Baby Shower Gift Set – One great idea I saw recently was using these lamps to create a personalized baby shower gift. You can buy small items off the registry to put inside a fillable lamp, or even stuff each lamp with a few newborn outfits. The new parents will be able to use the lamp for the nursery and the clothes for when the newborn arrives!
  5. A Gift for the Newlyweds – A wedding is the start of many bottles of a wine a couple will share with each other over the course of their lifetimes. By gifting a fillable lamp to a newlywed, they can start to collect the corks from bottles of wine they share with friends and family over the years. Over time this lamp will fill and it will represent the many memories they’ve shared. We’ve seen couples write the date on the cork noting when the bottle was enjoyed, and this only adds to great joy of collecting these corks in this fashion.
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Square Lampshades

Click here to look at our wide selection of square lampshades.

As I share with our customers, most lamps are round, and to be “true” to the style and shape of the lamp, we are most often drawn to some form of a round lampshade.  I really enjoy the opportunity to work with customers wanting to find a new shade for a lamp that offers a “non-round” dimension!  One of the more useful categories of lampshades is the Square Lampshade.  And, as you will see, there are many different types of square shades – some more formal, some less formal, some more traditional and others that offer a straighter, more contemporary line.

One type of square lampshade that I frequently consider using in the store is the “Fancy Square” lampshade.  It is a silk lampshade – meaning it is built on a frame, and it offers both square and round components.  I find the fancy square lampshade particularly appropriate for square temple jars, as pictured below, but also for urn lamps mounted on square bases, or oil lamps with square bases or any other lamp bases with both round and square details.

Image 1 Fancy Square Shade and Square Temple Jar Lamp

The “Deep Square” lampshade is essentially a square “drum” – meaning the top and bottom diameters are either the same, or within an inch of one another.  Lauren Huyett of Lauren Huyett Interior Design chose deep square lampshades for a pair of glass table lamps flanking a couch in her family room.

Image 2 63_Huyett Family Room

The “Cut Corner Square” and its close relation, the “Cut Corner Square Bell” are two very popular lampshades; we have a hard time keeping them in stock!  The cut corner square bell works very well on this blue and white lamp – the curve of the shade reflecting the curve in the lamp base.

Image 3 MG Pleated Cut Corner Square

One of the interesting things that we can do with a cut corner square shade is to apply a different treatment to the smaller corner panels. In this photo, you can see that the corner panels have a pleat treatment.  Sometimes we change the type of fabric, or color of the fabric.  The differences make for an interesting shade.

Image 4 146_Blue and White Square Temple Jar]

The “Cube Bell” is a fun and playful design.  With identical top and bottom dimensions, the belled shape reminds us of the old fashioned corset – but with a current twist!

Image 5 Cube Bell - Silk

The “Square Pyramid” is one of my favorite styles of lampshades.  We use the square pyramid for our nautical chart shades.  The four large panels, provide a great venue to display a fairly large area covered by the chart.

Image 6 8_CLS-29

A modification of the square pyramid is the “Square Coolie.”  The two key differences between a square pyramid and the square coolie is the size of the opening at the top and the height.  The square pyramid has a relatively larger open area at the top of the shade as compared to the square coolie, and the square coolie is shorter.  We often use the square coolie shades on the liquor bottles we make into lamps and sell in the store.

Image 7Belvidere Lamp

And, this Hubbardton Forge wrought iron floor lamp is a fabulous foil for a large square coolie lampshade  in the terra micro suede fabric!

Image 8 28_238224-CP-03-173

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What is an Oval Lampshade?

Click here to learn more about our selection of oval lampshades.

The oval lampshade has a closed ovular form where the width of the lampshade is greater than the depth (back to front) of the lampshade.   We use oval lampshades in two different situations.  The first is when the base of the lamp has an oval shape – I often select a shade whose shape reflects the shape of the lamp base.  The second situation in which I will fit an oval shade to a lamp is when the lamp is going into a tight space; perhaps in an entry way where the depth of the table and the space is limited, or a lamp for the top of a roll top desk, or when the lamp is going into a corner.

Oval lampshades come in a variety of “flavors”.  We carry “drum” ovals – those oval lampshades whose top and bottom diameters are nearly the same.  The Regina Andrews Oval Crystal Segmented lamp below is a good example of the oval drum lampshade.

Image 1 crystal-segmented-ovals-lmp-405-607[1]

Another favorite type of oval lampshade is an oval bell lampshade.  The oval bell lampshade is a traditional type of lampshade, as you will see on this lamp from Wildwood.

Image 2 9292_LP-VV-RM_1660-(PRI_VNGT_MST_CUS_CDI_sRGB_5x7_500pw_72ppi_120'1'3)

We see a lot of desk lamps in the store in need of new shades.  I have a particular fondness for the combination of black and brass.  This small, traditional “Twin Candle Desk Lamp” from Wildwood looks fabulous with a short, black oval lampshade.

Image 3 517_LP-AA-PBM_BA_517X-(PRI_VNGT_MST_CUS_CDI_sRGB_5x7_500pw_72ppi_120'1'3)

Another traditional oval lampshade style is the inverted corner oval.  The inverted corner oval is only available as a silk lampshade – built on a frame – and is a perfect accompaniment to this Chinese style lamp from East Enterprise.

Image 4

One more contemporary style oval lampshades is the “race-track” oval.  The race-track oval has a much wider diameter at the bottom than at the top – typically about 3-1; it can also be a relatively short lampshade.

Image 5 Oval Race Track Lampshade

Remember, each Friday we will talk about a different lampshade topic. Further, if you have questions or ideas – we would love to hear about them and address them in our next posting!


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Cylinder Lampshades

Click here to learn more about our cylinder lampshades.

So, what is a cylinder lampshade??  Very simply, it is a very tall / very long drum lampshade!   We talked about drum lampshades last week, and how they have made a big splash and re-entry into our interior décor’s in the last 5 years. While the resurgence of the cylinder has not been as significant, we still see many lamps in the store that, when fitted with a cylinder, look absolutely smashing!

To get a better sense of the difference between the drum and the cylinder, consider that a “standard” 14” drum (remember the 14” is the bottom diameter of the shade) has the following measurements:  top – 12”; bottom – 14”; and side length – 12”.  The same 14” cylinder lampshade measures:  top – 13”; bottom – 14”; and side length – 16” or about 30 longer than the drum.  The pictures of the drum and the cylinder lampshades give you some sense of the difference.

Photo 2 Drum (1)

So, when does a cylinder style lampshade really work on a lamp?  Working with the many customers coming into our store for replacement lampshades, we often have a request for cylinder lampshades on original Stiffel brass lamps, on large porcelain lamps, and on “50’s style – retro” lamps.

Photo 4 - retro style Currey 6386

Photo 3 Tamasco

We find that the standard, round cylinder style lampshade work well, but there are also a few variations on the cylinder theme that can be fun for the right lamp.  The cylinder with the top and bottom scallops trimmed in gimp is a nice option for some of the large, crystal lamps we see in the store, and the long, “fancy octagon” is a very attractive alternative to the very round cylinder; the bottom out-scallop adds just a hint of variation that can be very pleasing!

Photo 6 Fancy Octagon - Silk-2


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Drum Lampshades

Drum lampshades are one of the most traditional types of lampshades, extremely popular from the early twentieth century through the 1980s when the fell out of favor.  Today, however, the drum lampshade is experiencing a resurgence in popularity, and the category has expanded to include some current and fun additions.

The drum lampshade may also be referred to as “barrel” shade; the term is derived from the fact that the top and bottom dimensions of the lampshade are nearly the same.   It almost always surprises our customers to learn that there is typically an inch – sometimes 2” of difference between the top and the bottom measurements of the shade.  Were they the same diameter, the shade would actually appear larger at the top than the bottom…. It is an optical illusion!  Drum lamp shades are extremely useful since they not only diffuse light outward by means of the shade material, they also reflect light both downward and upward where it can diffuse off the ceiling.

Drum lampshades are available in either hardback or silk / soft shade styles.  We typically think of the silk drums as being a bit more formal than the hardback drums.  One of the newer drum styles offered by our manufacturers is the “retro drum”.   The retro drum is most often a hardback shade, it is typically about 50 – 60{a1c489d805f42c109613598de3dedd7be9492f169ae9a206a24fa6f7d5bede28} of the height of the traditional drum lampshade, and, in its most contemporary form, the bottom and the top of the lampshade has a rolled edge instead of the more standard trim.  The retro drum can give an “edge” to a traditional styled lamp……

Photo 2 Alternative Currey 6059

Another newer drum style is the “corset drum lampshade; its form synonymous with its name.  The corset drum must be built on a frame – hence it is available as a silk or soft shade only.  I often use the corset drum when I want a softer form “retro” look, and am willing to be a little whimsical.  The results can be stunning!

Photo 4 4190_PepperJack_2[1]

One of the most popular and current lighting design trends is the use of the drum shade as a pendant.  We offer “standard” as well as custom made drum pendant lampshades – complete with a one, two or three socket lighting fixture attached to the ceiling via an adjustable height rod.

Photo 6 - maybe

Whatever your need – from the traditional drum to the inverted drum pendant, we can work with you to size your shade to the intended light fixture or space, and to select the best fabric – one of our choices, or your own fabric.

Photo 6 1_Red_1[1]

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Let’s Talk about Lampshade Luminance

Today the subject is “Lampshade Luminance”… what is lampshade luminance? Very simply, luminance can be thought of as one’s perception of brightness. It usually refers to the amount of light that reaches the eye of the observer.

Historically a lampshade was regarded as a functional necessity to cover the glare from a light source – most often from a table or floor lamp. Today, while lampshades continue to perform a functional need, they have evolved to an art form in their own right – different shapes, fabrics – from silk, to linen, to paper – to wood and metal, often including additional decorative elements.

Lampshades fall along a continuum of translucent (relative) to opaque.  The translucent shade may be either a hardback shade or a silk shade.  The translucent shade lets the light through with a gentle diffusion.  There are many types of translucency.  For example, silk is more translucent than coated papers or parchment.  The inner surface of a translucent lampshade should be white or off-white for the highest “luminocity”.

Light colored shade

There are two types of opaque lampshades – fully and semi-opaque.  The fully opaque shade lets no light through the sides, but rather casts it upward and downward in a focal glow.  One of the most efficient opaque lampshades is the metal “pharmacy” type of shade; the opaque metal causes all of the light to focus in one direction. These types of lampshades are typically excellent for task work – reading, writing, sewing, drawing or other close work.

Wildwood Floor Pharmacy Lamp

One type of semi-opaque lampshade permits a small amount of light to come through its surface while casting the majority of the light through the top and bottom of the lampshade – these are most often made of an opaque paper – often black with a gold lining or any color with a white, opaque lining.  The outer surface of an opaque lampshade can be any color, while the inner surface can be white, gold or silver.

Chapman Lighting Tall Brass Candlestick Lamp with Black Opaque Shade

Another type of semi-opaque lampshades are those constructed of a fiber / fabric – but in a dark color – reds, blacks, blues – the list goes on.  While light will emit from the top and the bottom of the shade, a vast amount of the lumens produced by the light source will be absorbed by the shade fabric.

Hubbardton Forge Table Lamp in Black Wrought Iron with Copper and a Terra Suede Lampshade

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What is a Lampshade Fitter?

A fitter is the mechanism by which the lampshade “attaches” to the lamp.  The four most common types of fitters for a lampshade are the washer, the clip, the Uno, and the Chimney:


The washer fitter is the most common lampshade fitter in the US.  It is used with a harp and finial and will work on a variety of lamps including table lamps, floor lamps and swing-arm bridge lamps.  The washer is designed to fit on top of a harp.  A harp consists of two wires that fit around the lamp socket and nest in a “harp saddle.”  The harp saddle is mounted directly below the light socket.    Once the harp is in place, the shade is mounted on top of the post, and then held in position by the finial.  Some floor lamps are designed with a reflective, white IES bowl.  The shade sits on top of the globe, held in place by crimps or notches in the wire to keep it from sliding on the bowl.  And, finally, some table lamps (most particularly those designed with twin sockets) have a vertical rod coming up from the middle of the lamp.  The washer fitter is designed to fit over the rod, once again held in place by a finial.

The standard bulb clip is designed to snap onto the standard incandescent light bulb (called an Edison Clip).  It is used primarily on smaller table lamps – generally those 8”, 9” and 10” shades.  The candelabra bulb clip (called a Flame Clip)  fits chandeliers and wall sconces.  The clip-on shade is made in either a full round or half round shape.  The latter type is often used on wall bracket lamps and is referred to as a “shield.” Keep in mind that any shade with a washer fitter can also be modified to use a clip fitter.

Uno fitters are 1” rings with inner threads which screw onto the end of a “uno” socket of the floor or table lamp.  The uno socket varies from a standard socket only in that it has threads at the end – used to hold the uno shade fitter in place.  The uno lampshades are used for bridge lamps in which the bulb hangs downward.

The chimney fitters are specific to lamps which hold a hurricane – a glass shade used on many oil lamps – both original oil and “electrified” oil lamps.

Remember, each Friday we will talk about a different lampshade topic. Further, if you have questions or ideas – we would love to hear about them and address them in our next posting!