Small Change, Big Impact: Swapping Out A Lamp Shade

Lorri Dyner discusses the considerable impression a minor change–like simply changing a lamp shade–can have on a room.

I recently stumbled across a page I had ripped out of a Real Simple magazine almost 5 years ago:

Magazine inset

The basic gist is that you can change the look of your lamp (and as a result, your entire room!) by just swapping out a lamp shade.

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I love this idea – it’s the epitome of “small change, big impact”!

I had forgotten about this Real Simple feature but apparently it stuck somewhere in my brain, because one of the first things I did when I decorated my living room was to swap out my traditional lamp shades for a modern drum shade.

Traditional vs modern lamp shade

Okay, some of you might prefer the traditional, almost Asian feel of the shade on the left.  I get it!  Style really is subjective!

But I personally love the one on the right–a straight-up drum shade always reads “on-trend” which can really bring a room up a notch.  (I purchased this particular drum shade from Lamps Plus, by the way, and it was only $40!)

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What do you think?

I encourage you to look around your own home and see if there aren’t some old lamps that could use a refresh.  My living room is completely different (and much more “design forward”) thanks to that $40 shade!

Interior shot with lamps


Lorri Dyner is an interior designer and blogger who believes in the power of “decorating for the rest of us.” Using clever, accessible, and affordable ideas, she brings us insider tips and tricks that make our living spaces feel pulled together. Lorri resides in Westchester with her husband and two small children. Visit her at

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