Customize your lampshades

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- Designers use a simple strategy for energizing a room or giving it a visual lift – change out the lampshades. New lampshades on your table lamps and floor lamps are like giving yourself a new Kate Spade or Michael Kors handbag. And you know what that does for your wardrobe!

The trend right now is to do custom lampshades. It’s only a bit more expensive than buying a shade off-the-shelf in a retail store and there are places locally that make tailoring a lampshade to your decor an easy and pleasant experience. And the result is that you’ll have something unique and customized to your home. A custom lampshade generally runs a minimum of 30% more than for one mass produced. And the price can easily escalate depending upon what fabric you choose. But even if your fabric choice is pricey, you don’t need a lot of it for a shade.

If you wander into Indigo West at 1515 Main Street in Sarasota, the shop (beautiful accessories with a seaside theme), the owner, Melanie Denicourt, will show you custom fabrics that she stocks. Bring your table lamp base with you or take a photo of the lamp with your phone so that Melanie can see the shape and size that would be right for your existing lamp. The other option is to buy new lamps in the store and the pick out custom fabrics for the shades. The popular lampshade right now is the drum shade. It’s simple, sophisticated and seems to work with most lamps and most design styles.

If you decide to have custom lampshades made for your home, be sure to order a few toss pillows in the same fabric. It will add to the continuity of your refreshed room. Designer custom lampshades used to be just for wealthy people who hired a designer to redo their room or whole house. But now, homeowners have access to sources that encourage them to customize with accessories that made a design statement that is unique to their dwelling. Take a walk through your house. Do your lampshades need a facelift?

Marsha Fottler regularly contributes to local, regional and national publications with articles on residential, commercial and restaurant design as well as food.