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Lamp Shade Guide: Shabby chic's one thing. Shabby lampshades that the Fire Department has condemned are another. But suppose your linen, cotton, bamboo or fringed lampshade isn't falling apart. How do you know when you need replacement lampshades? You may need to replace the lampshade simply because it doesn't flatter the lamp base. You wouldn't pair a square, mission-style base with a fringed curvy Victorian fringed shade. Rectangular shades look better with square bases.
You may also need replacement lampshades if you painted your den jungle colors. A frilly pink lampshade will clash with the Tarzan theme. Glass lamp shades, rattan/bamboo lampshades, or even better, leopard print lampshades--yes, even chandelier lamp shades that Siegfried and Roy would like--welcome you to the jungle. Fabric lampshades do experience wear and tear from heat, dusting, and handling. Too-hot light bulbs too close to the shade can cause the fabric to crumble.
Not So Shady Tip: Be sure that there is at least three inches of space between the lampshade and the light bulb. If you're a fan of vintage decor, a slightly shabby lampshade creates a 1950s effect when you turn on the light. Light passing through slightly tarnished, dusty lampshades creates a charming veneer of advanced age. So when people say about your lampshade, "Not too shabby," you can either reply, "Thank you" or "I can do better."