A New Life With A Pair of Shades!

All it takes is a new set of shades!

Remember these thrifted Mid-Century lamps from about a month ago?

Thrifted MCM Brass & Walnut Lamps

Don’t you just love their mismatched shades!

At first I had a hard time finding replacements, so the lamps sat on my buffet looking sad and half dressed, like this.

MCM Lamps on Buffet

Minus the ambiance and mood setting of the glaring overhead lights, of course!

When I finally came across a few options I thought might work, I tried these ones first. A sandy linen with threads of metallic gold and silver running through.

1 - Linen, Gold & Silver Metallic Shades - 11Tx13Bx9H

I liked these shades, but didn’t love them. Somehow they seemed too small, and just a little bit meh.

So then I tried these black drums.

Black Drum Shades 14Tx15Bx10H

I looove black shades, and really wanted these to be ‘the ones’. But somehow they weren’t working, even though the size was definitely much better than the first shades.

So then I tried the same shade in a warm white instead.

Warm White Shades 14Tx15Bx10H

And this one seemed to work better. To be sure, we lived with them for a few days just as is, and each day they grew on all of us a little more. I toyed  with adding some gold trim… even bought the trim. But somehow the lamps just wanted simplicity.

So we decided these shades were indeed ‘the ones’, as is, and removed the cellophane wrap. The brass of the lamps was buffed, and each walnut base was waxed.

Here’s a look at our thrifted lamps now!

MCM Brass & Wood Lamps

We are happy with they way the shades worked out, and love the glow our new lamps cast. The room feels warm, and our buffet a little more loved!

A few tips when finding replacement lamp shades:

  • Take your lamp with you to the store – I didn’t with these lamps, but it’s a lot easier to eliminate the shades that are all wrong if you do! 
  • For vintage lamps, research what their original shades might have looked like – even if you ultimately don’t like the style of the original shade, at least you can change it up with intention.
  • General rule of thumb for shade size diameter is no more than, no less than 2″ the height of the lamp base – that’s the measurement from the bottom of the lamp to where the electrical socket sits. Click here for more information.
  • Live with the shade for a bit. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You’ll know if it’s right for you by the way you react when you round the corner and see it!
  • Make sure you know the return policy – if you can’t return or exchange the shade, don’t buy it. Shades are tricky, and look a lot different in context. Even if a shade looks great on your lamp in the store, it might not look great when you get it home.

From a thrifted find to a pair of lamps we’re totally loving in our home! And one more small ‘to do’ I can  check off the list. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Photographs by Sheila Zeller

11 Replies to “A New Life With A Pair of Shades!”

    1. Thank you, Danielle! I’m so impatient, that trying to find the shades was driving me crazy. I was so happy to come across these ones, and we’re still loving them, so I think in the end we picked the right ones! 🙂

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