The best traditional lampshades

Light up a room in the most literal sense with our selection of the best traditional lampshades for country piles, period townhouses and other old world interiors

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There’s nothing that can set the mood of a room quite so quickly as its lighting, whether that’s bright and room-filling, soft and cosy, or contrasting and dramatic. In period properties or those with traditional room schemes, this becomes especially important, whether your aim is to minimise the intrusion of the modern but - let’s face it - pretty essential lightbulb, or cultivate a tone befitting of the grandest rooms. There’s where our pick of the best traditional lampshades comes in. 

While we’ve included an assortment of shades for table lamps, ceiling lights and floor lamps, many models can be adapted to the light of your choice with the clever application of sold-separately attachments. We've listed what kind each shade comes with, so just be sure to check the manufacturer’s website for advice on fittings and fixtures.

After that, it really is all down to choice. Neutrals in fabulously tactile or luxe fabrics such as silk are always a safe bet, and have a touch of luxury about them that’s hard to beat. If you’re decorating a country-style abode, however, and want to tread the line between period and progressive, a splash of colour is no bad thing: look for tried-and-tested Liberty patterns to wow your guests or painterly splashes of muted colour for a calming effect.

1. Modern Vintage Industrial Metal Bronze Glass Ceiling Lamp Shade

Feature lighting doesn't get much better than this

Best for: An antique look
Size: H23 x W16 x D16 cm
Colour: Bronze/black
Material: Glass, metal
Reasons to buy
+ Lovely bronze hardware + Glass shade makes a feature of the bulb 
Reasons to avoid
- No replacement glass shades available 

The best lighting doesn’t just shine a light on your favourite features, it becomes one of them. This gorgeous glass option is a perfect example, and as such is our best traditional lampshade of the bunch. With its exposed hardware as its standout feature, it would fit beautifully into any modern industrial scheme, but we really love it for its old-style bronze fittings and vintage-look glass shade, which give the whole thing an antique, almost steampunk feel, and a lovely warmth that’s right at home in traditional rooms. 

2. Home Collection Large Cream Tassel Lamp Shade

With trim and tassels, this elegant shade adds interest and texture to neutral spaces

Best for: Period homes
Size: H33 x W42.5cm
Colour: Cream
Material: Polyester and metal
Fitting: Reversible gimbal fitting
Reasons to buy
+ On-trend embellishments + Easy to match tone-on-tone effect 
Reasons to avoid
- May be a bit fussy for some tastes 

Equally at home in traditional period or even contemporary kitsch interiors — trust us, those tassels are everything right now — this embellished lamp shade is surprisingly easy to integrate, even for the nervous decorator. It boasts darling vintage features like a scalloped edge, textured trim and, again, those fabulous tassels, but when that’s all in serene antique cream it really ties the whole look together. For its sheer ease and effortless elegance, this lampshade gets our coveted top spot. 

3. Loxton Lighting Bistro Glass Bell Pendant Shade

A gorgeous leaded down-lighter with a designer look

Best for: That iconic Tiffany look
Size: H17 x W30 x D30 cm
Colour: Beige/orange
Material: Glass
Reasons to buy
+ Lovely antique look + Great value 
Reasons to avoid
- Some found it a little small 

Tiffany lamps are a traditional decorator’s dream, but unless you have a cool couple of million kicking around, it’s unlikely you’ll get your hands on an original. Luckily for us there are legions of imitators, and this is our favourite of them all right now for its gorgeous geometric design and fantastic value. With a choice of colourways, there’s something to suit most rooms, and as a smaller focused downlighter it would look perfect above a breakfast bar or in a grown-up games room.

4. Liberty Fabrics & John Lewis Caesar Lampshade

Get the beauty of Liberty for less with this standout shade

Best for: Iconic design
Size: H23 x W30 x D30cm
Colour: Yellow, blue
Material: 100% Cotton
Fitting: Reversible Gimble
Reasons to buy
+ Iconic Liberty fabric + Excellent value 
Reasons to avoid
- Doesn’t let loads of light through 

Dress your room to impress with the inclusion of instantly recognisable Liberty fabrics, now more accessible than ever thanks to a timely collab with John Lewis. In a stunning repeat pattern of peacock feathers, and a choice of on-trend mustard or muted blue, it’s a real statement shade that’ll pull the whole room together. For a designer touch, it’s not as pricey as you might think, making it not only a fashion-forward choice, but a great value one too. The only reservation reviewers had was that the darker blue shade doesn’t let a great deal of light through, so we recommend keeping it for cosy snugs and dens that don’t need task lighting. 

5. Endon Lighting Camilla Silk Square Lamp Shade

A royally elegant shade for stately period homes

Best for: Period homes
Size: H26 x W30.5 x D26cm
Colour: Cream/beige
Material: Silk
Fitting: Clip-on
Reasons to buy
+Luxurious silk construction+Elegant two-tone effect
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

According to happy reviewers, these silk lampshades really have to be seen in person to be believed. All were delighted with the quality, saying that the  shades looked and felt utterly luxurious, and added a discernible touch of elegance to neutral rooms. The traditional beveled, fluted shape of the shade is offset with two rich tones of beige and gold braided detailing for texture and interest - it would look gorgeous in a period sitting room or bedroom with almost any colour scheme you can think of, and for the budget-friendly price, that's a rare treat.

6. Harlequin Amilie Pleat Tapered Shade

The last word in sumptuous lighting with luxe fabric and a textured finish

Best for: Luxury
Size: H24 x W35, H25.5 x W40, H28.5 x W45, H31.5 x W50cm
Colour: Various
Material: Silk
Fitting: Duplex ring and spider
Reasons to buy
+ Luxurious and versatile + Made in Britain 
Reasons to avoid
- On the pricey side 

These pleated silk lampshades from John Lewis are the epitome of lighting luxury. Adding texture to a living room or bedroom is a surefire way to get things feeling extra cosy and put-together, and this shade does that beautifully with soft, tactile silk and neat, precise pleats to add depth. Adaptable to ceilings or floor lamps as well as table lamps, they’re endlessly versatile too, so personally we wouldn’t stop at one — the abundance of bright and neutral shades on offer mean you can get one for each room. 

7. John Lewis Crystal Easy-to-Fit Diffuser Shade

For gorgeous soft lighting, look no further than this glamorous shade

Best for: Soft lighting
Size: H18 x W32 x D32cm
Colour: Cream
Material: Iron, fabric and crystal
Fitting: Easyfit
Reasons to buy
+ Refracts light beautifully + Looks great on or off 
Reasons to avoid
- Can be a bit tricky to fit 

There’s little more befitting of a stately space, we think, than soft, diffused light, and this ceiling shade offers a simple and stylish way to achieve it. The exterior is a classic, neutral-toned tapered shade that looks lovely at all angles, but the real magic lies in the diffuser, a layer of faceted beads that attaches to the bottom of the shade and refracts the light into a cosy, warm white glow, which looks great whether the light is on or off. However you need to put a little elbow grease in to get that payoff — users reported loving the shade, but that assembly was a little tricky.

8. Windermere Glass Shade

A traditional panelled lampshade for refined spaces

Best for: A twist on the traditional
Size: H13.5 x W18cm
Colour: Brown
Material: Fabric
Fitting: Clip
Reasons to buy
+ Looks like silk + Modern take on a traditional shape 
Reasons to avoid
- May have trouble matching with dark wood 

With its traditional shape and unusual fabric, this Windermere shade walks a line between classic and contemporary. The slubby finish of the textured fabric gives the look of silk at a fraction of the cost, making this shade excellent value, especially if you’re looking for a couple to go either side of the bed, and the warm-toned brown hue is an interesting departure from the standard grey or cream that’s still neutral enough to match with ease.