Someone once said that pendant lighting is like earrings for the home. When everything is painted and dressed with your furniture and possessions, it’s time for the finishing touches. With that in mind, Mad About The House brings you lampshades. Not just for ceilings but for tables and tasklights too.



Rachel makes lampshades from wood veneer. Image by

Rachel has a passion for mid century modern design which shows in these gorgeous wooden veneer lampshades. Handmade and lined with silk, the pattern is etched on to allow the light to shine gently through. Pictured is Twiggy but you might like Carnaby or Biba. Look out for her new range of wallpaper coming soon. She will also be exhibiting at New Designers One Year on in July.



Zoe mixes traditional fabrics in unexpected ways to create a modern look

Zoe is inspired by old heirlooms and vintage fabrics which she mixes up to give her pieces a modern twist. It’s sort of Punk Victorian if you like. The clashing colours are both quintessentially British but very modern at the same time. Everything is made in Britain and often handstitched by Zoe herself. If you like traditional with a twist, she’s your woman.


It’s natural, it’s monochrome and you could have had dinner out of it too

Atelier Home & Garden is a fabulous boutique store with a treasure trove of everything from gorgeous handbags and clothes to beautiful products for the home. Since this is about lampshades we will content ourselves with showing you this as an appetite-whetter, but go and look at everything else, you won’t be disappointed. Their top-secret but A-lists clients aren’t.


Made from crisp 1960s cotton with a gold bobble trim

After years of lugging treasured bits of vintage material around in suitcases, Mel finally decided to make use of them after too many visits to junk shops gazing sadly at all the neglected pieces of furniture. The pendant lampshades are new to her range and she also has a fabulous selection of standard lamps, table lamps (and chairs) too.


regular readers will be familiar with Deryn’s lovely lamps

Deryn’s gorgeous textiles are made in her log cabin at the bottom of her garden and she has an arrangement with a local company for their end of line shades which she then covers in her own gorgeous colours and styles. They’re called Uplifted, I think one of these would totally lift your spirits when you came into the room.



Inspired by the streets the designer was driven round as a child

One of a series of lampshades made from a layer of material over and original handcut paper cutting so that the colour of the paper shows through very softly. The designer, Mrs Macindoe, recalls being driven around in the back of her parents’ car as a small child and seeing the towns whizz by. Birmingham, Harlow, Harrogate, Wells. Southwell, Solihull too. Contact Mrs Macindoe for different sizes and colours.




A soft light will give a lovely sepia glow to these old photographs

The Shady Lady makes all sorts of lampshades in vintage fabrics or fabrics of your own choosing but I rather like this one with vintage photographs, which will give off a lovely sepia glow when lit. She will make any shape you want and any fabric you want. What would be really cool would be to get your local photo printer to put some of your own pictures onto a piece of fabric (they do it for T-shirts all the time) and then send it to her to make into a lampshade.



By Tom Dixon

The clean white lines suit a contemporary interior

And now for something completely modern. Tom Dixon just makes fabulous light fittings. This is very plain and simple but the gold interior really adds a little zing to the proceedings. And, in case you didn’t know, reflected gold light is terribly flattering to the skin darling. It works in the same principle as candlelight.


This will finish off any room in style

With a hint of recognition towards Louis Poulsen’s iconic light, this is made from three separately blown pieces of glass and can be made to order in any colour combination you wish. Esther Paterson, who is based in the Midlands and is committed to working with local craftsman, launched her first collection in Design Week at Tent London in 2010. Her lights are now sold in Liberty’s and used in both Jamie Oliver restaurants and the Fifth Floor Cafe at Harvey Nicks.



Also comes in bright pink

I rather love the illustrations on this lampshade. It also comes in fuchsia and would be lovely in a little girl’s room – makes a change from all those fairies. In addition to this, the company has made a London shade with a rather interesting touch which you will discover for yourself if you visit their site.



Anyone for crochet?

A former knitwear designer, Melanie turned to furniture four years ago. She takes the frame and crochets over the top of it to create these highly unusual, and fabulous, pieces. I totally want this lamp, particularly as, in black it looks even more modern and surprising than in the brightly coloured version. But she also does chairs and cushions too. If crochet’s not your thing, have a look at Anya for a white knitted version. If I had the money I would buy one of each and put them at either end of the sofa.


Tags : contemporarycuriousaDeryn Relphlampshadesone-offpendantRachel PowellretroshadyladylampshadesstandardtableTom Dixonvintage
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. I make lampshades professionally and I really adored reading this article.
    It is good to know that somebody understands the effect and importance of lighting. A shade can dress a lamp.

    Best Regards

  2. Tom Dixon for me all the way, though I do like a spot of Rachel Powell….

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