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The best modern lampshades for contemporary homes

Lampshades are often overlooked when it comes to interior design. It’s so easy to head to Homebase or B&Q and find one to do the job, but a lampshade is a great way to give a room a lift, both from a style perspective and a light perspective. Most rooms will have a central ceiling light and while it’s tempting to go out and purchase a safe, neutral drum, actually, this is your opportunity to make a statement, especially if the light is a pendant and hangs within viewpoint. 

Different lampshades deliver different ambiences. There are ones that completely enclose the bulb - these will often deliver a soft light, and create a warm, cosy mood in your lounge or chosen room. There are others that look like pieces of art, and are often sculpted out of wood. These ones don’t completely enclose the bulb but can deliver a brighter light that plays with shadow and lines on your walls, floor and ceiling. 

If you are a traditionalist, there are plenty of drums out there that offer that bit extra to the table. Whether it’s upping the size of the drum so it becomes more of a feature piece or playing with the interior colouring of the lampshade so it’s just as funky when you look up at it from above as it is when you look at it from a distance, there are plenty of modern lampshades out there that serve more than just a purpose. 

Our list of the best modern lampshades ventures towards alternative retailers, including Not On The High Street (opens in new tab), and Etsy (opens in new tab), which are platforms where independent designers can get their products out there on the market. Products on these platforms are often quirky and modernist in their design, and are definitely the place to go if you’re looking for something that bit different. If design quality is a serious consideration for you, then luxe design houses such as Tom Dixon and Tom Raffield will offer pieces that really stand out in terms of design and quality. But, don't worry, we feature some modern lampshades from familiar faces too in our round-up of the best modern lampshades.

1. Tom Dixon Melt pendant lightshade

A completely unique orb-like lampshade, made using modern techniques

Specifications

Best for: Something totally off piste
Dimensions: W50cmxD50cm
Material: Polycarbonate
Colour: Gold, copper, chrome

Reasons to buy

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Makes a statement
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Available in three different colours

Reasons to avoid

-
Too unique for some 

This incredibly modern lampshade looks like molten glass, giving it a completely unique shape. It’s also entirely unique in its colouring too, which should draw the eye of your guests, especially when the light from the bulb shines through. It’s the perfect statement piece for modern homes, and available in copper, gold and silver, can be matched with a range of interior styles. This modern lampshade is part of a wider collection from Tom Dixon, with various orb sizes available, giving you the option to create a theme or feature within your lounge or open spaces.  

2. Tom Raffield Skipper Pendant Light

A sculpture piece created using traditional steaming methods

Specifications

Best for: Hand crafted
Dimensions: H40cmxW62cmxD62cm
Material: Wood
Colour: Oak, walnut

Reasons to buy

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Uses natural material 
+
Completely handmade

Reasons to avoid

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Use with energy saving bulbs only 

Our first pick requires modern techniques to create its unique shape. This equally as unique modern lampshade from designer Tom Raffield uses a traditional steaming method to bend the wood into a curved ribbon-esque sculpture, creating a statement piece that’ll draw the eye of any guest in your home. Because the lampshade doesn’t completely cover the bulb, the light shining through creates playful shadows on the walls and ceiling, adding an additional artistic element to your room.  

3. Love Frankie Brushed Copper Lampshade With Coloured Linings

A traditional drum with a modern twist

Specifications

Best for: Flash of colour
Dimensions: Diameters between 25cm-70cm
Material: Flame retardant PVC
Colour: Copper exterior, mix of interior colours

Reasons to buy

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Choose from a range of lining colours
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Traditional and modern

Reasons to avoid

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 Lining colours are all bold 

If you can’t help being drawn towards a drum lampshade, this one offers up something a bit different without going too off-piste. The external appearance of the lampshade is very traditional, with a brushed copper effect adding warmth to a room. It’s the interior lining that brings the modern factor. With a range of bold colours to choose from, you can contrast the copper with the likes of aqua, hot pink and sunshine yellow, helping to bring the lampshade and your room to life. You can also choose from a range of sizes, so you could have a matching table light and ceiling light, if you wish.  

4. Baraboda Twisted Lasercut Wooden Lampshade No.2

An alternative wooden sculpture piece, made using modern lasercut methods

Specifications

Best for: Precision design
Dimensions: H39cmxD25cm
Material: MDF Laser cut
Colour: Wood

Reasons to buy

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Blends curves, twists and lines
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Creates interesting wall and ceiling patterns

Reasons to avoid

-
Too unique for some 

This lampshade is probably as complex to make as it is to look at but thanks to lasercut technology, the design can be programmed into a computer and automatically cut to shape, easing the pressure off the creation process. Because laser-cutting can leave a burnt edge on the wood, there’s the contrast of light and dark in the design of the lampshade itself, as well as in the way in which it casts shadows on walls, ceilings and floors. Because of its unique design, it won’t fail to draw the eye, and will certainly add depth to a neutral room.  

5. Grande Medium White/Gold Tapered Lampshade

A drum for adding a splash of contrast to minimalist interiors

Specifications

Best for: Minimalists
Dimensions: H19cmxD38cm
Material: Cotton, foil
Colour: White, gold interior

Reasons to buy

+
Lifts block coloured interiors
+
A range of other metallic colours available

Reasons to avoid

-
Don’t get it dirty 

This lampshade is similar to our 3rd pick in the sense that it uses the contrast of block colour and metallic to modernise the classic drum. This time, the colour is on the outside, and can pop out against block wall colours, to lift the interior design of a room. This modern lampshade can work well as a ceiling light or a table light, and with the option to switch up the metallic interior to either bronze or silver, there’s the opportunity to create a theme throughout your home.  

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Check out our guide to the best extending dining tables for inspiration on how to create a feature out of your dining area.