Quality lamp shades are difficult to find… unless you come to The Lamp Shade Place, aka Finishing Touch, in Walnut Creek. Our knowledgeable salespeople will help you navigate our huge selection of quality lamp shades. Please bring your lamp for proper fitting.
You have just arrived at "the lampshade place", A place where you can hopefully learn the ins and outs of finding just the right replacement lampshade for your lamp. Most folks have never replaced a lampshade. When it comes time to do so, everyone seems to have a different idea as to how to go about it. If you are fortunate to have a store that sells lampshades in your community, you might think the way to go about it is to bring your old lampshade or measurements, and may even think you will know when you see it. When you get to the store, you are more than likely to discover the store can't match your old shade style and/or the measurements of it every which way. This is because, in most cases there are so few standard sizes and/or shapes. The shade that originally came with your lamp was selected by the lamp manufacturer. When it comes time to replace it, one sort of has to accept the fact a new shade may be different either in size or shape. Most lamps can use different sizes and shapes. It's just like buying different style clothes. You can wear different clothes that make you look different, but still very nice.
So then, what is the way to go about it? The bottom line is one needs to bring their lamp to the store. This is because there are so many variables as to size, shape, style, and how the shade connects to the lamp. When you have the lamp with you the necessary adaptions and/or adjustments, when needed, can be made on your lamp. Mainly this involves the raising and lowering shades to get them to the proper proportionate position on the lamp. In most cases, adjustments are necessary. If you are fortunate enough to have a knowledgeable sales person waiting on you, they should be able to make those adjustments as needed and can also help you dress your lamp. An added advantage is, by having your lamp with you, will allow you to see for yourself what other shade styles, shapes, and sizes that can give the lamp a new and exciting look. Most lamps can take different types of shades. One is not limited to the style that came with the lamp. Some folks think their lamp can only look nice with the shade style the lamps came with. Every store that sells lampshades is aware of what has been described above (that they are not most likely going to be able to match a customer's old shade, new or old). To make the point, I don't know of one lampshade store that doesn't ask a customer to bring their lamp for proper fitting in their advertising.
There are some folks that would like to use the color of their lampshade to match or compliment other colors in their room. It has been found in most cases by doing so, (matching the shade color to a drape or bedspread, as an example) it unintentionally takes away from the appearance of the lamp, sometimes even killing the look of the lamp. It is for that reason that it is suggested that one dress the lamp for the lamp. So when looking at the lamp, the shade and lamp look "one" instead of one's eyes being drawn to the lamp or shade first. It is our opinion that if a shade can be selected that does look like it belongs on the lamp, and the lamp is already working in the room it is used in, the choice of the shade will be more than fine. Of course, it's personal. Some folks like for the lampshade to become the focus of the lamp.
Today, quality lampshades are difficult to find. Fewer and fewer retailers care to stock lampshades and have qualified sales people to wait on customers. In fact, in Northern California, where we are located, there are but a handful of stores that carry any lampshades. Suprisingly, in most of those few stores, lampshades are a sideline business and to get or to have a knowledgeable shade salesperson wait on you is almost impossible. There are but maybe two or three retailers in our sales area that treat the lampshade business seriously. So, added to all the variables as described, to even find a stocking lampshade dealer is no easy task. It is amazing that so few folks look in the yellow pages. Many folks think there is no place to buy shades, mainly because they don't find them in stores that they think would have them.
Lastly, the internet for lampshades. Great place to hopefully find a retailer to visit. In our opinion, lampshades are not an "off the shelf" purchase. Many times what you think will work on your lamp, doesn't and vice-versa. So, with all the variables that have been mentioned, we think one really leaves themselves open to all kinds of problems, such as a shade purchased on line not fitting properly on their lamp.
My name is Mort Janko, the owner and "Shademaster" of the Finishing Touch, located in Walnut Creek,CA, 30 miles from San Francisco. I have been in the wholesale and retail business for over 50 years, mainly specializing in home accessories, such as lamps, pictures, mirrors, and gift items. I have represented many high end, high quality manufacturers. I always wanted to have my own store, so when the opportunity presented itself, I opened a small store in Walnut Creek and filled it with all the merchandise I was familiar with from my wholesale experience. The selection was of those items I had found to be good sellers, and were the ones I suggested to buyers to buy. Most of my retail accounts were department stores and high end accessory and furniture stores. I suggested retail prices and methods of display to the buyers. When I finally opened up my store, I found out, to my amazement, that I knew nothing about the retail business. I knew all about the merchandise, but not how to run a retail store. So, everything I learned from that point was learned the very hard way. Many mistakes were made.
We never sold much of any one type of product and almost went out of business several times trying different types of merchandise. Nothing seemed to work until we tried a few replacement lampshades. The moment the shades arrived they flew right out of the store. I thought, hmmm, maybe we ought to give the shades a little more space. So, to make a long story short, the shades ended up pretty much taking up the whole store. They then became to be our main business, and we have now grown over the years and have become extremely knowledgeable.