Testing: Make your own lampshade at Copper and Silk

While big statement pieces can define a room, when it comes to making the whole thing work, the devil is in the detail. Finishing touches, such as cushions, candles, accessories and so on, make a good design great. And sometimes, I’m just as guilty at overlooking them.

Take lamps for example. If they come with a shade, fab. But a while ago I bought one from Laura Ashley without, figuring I would pick up a shade that suited. In the meantime, I popped one on from a light upstairs… and that was more than a year ago. It’s never looked quite right – a little too short and with the energy-saving bulb poking out the top, it looks like it’s wearing a hand-me-down it’s already outgrown.

Badly dressed lamp

Badly dressed lamp

What it needed was something with rich colour – striking without overpowering. I couldn’t overlook it any longer.

I came across handcrafted lampshade company Copper & Silk and knew that bespoke was probably the way forward, given that I had something specific in mind. Its ‘shade builder’ allows you to specify exactly what you want. Pick a shape, size and fabric, plus a fitting and just click buy. It’s that easy. All the shades are shown as simple line drawings, too, so it’s easier to picture what you’re purchasing.

Time to give it a go. First, I chose a shape, opting for the Byron after asking a little advice from one of the experts at Copper & Silk. It’s taller than my current shade, so should hide that lightbulb nicely.

LampshadesNext, the choice between pleated and not. I chose without, the lamp being quite ornate to start with. Size was easy – anything bigger than the dinky one I already had! I picked 12 inches and for the fabric to be a delicious-looking Claret Douppion silk with gold PVC inside.

Finally, a base gimbal fitting and I was done! What surprised me is that adding luxurious materials such as silk didn’t really add that much to my order when often extras push the price up hugely.

Now all I needed to do was wait…

A couple of weeks later, my postman showed up with this beauty:

The fab finished lamp!

The stylish finished lamp!

Quite a difference I think you’ll agree. Just right for cosy winter evenings…

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