"I came across this old shade and I’d like to have it restored”


We hear this quite often in our business and we are always anxious to see what they have.  Many amazing frames arrive here in  shapes and styles we have never seen before! Often we fall in love with the antique shape and are able to reproduce the frames for our "collection" of future shades to make. 


When restoring a shade we try to come as close to the design of the original as possible if that is what the client wants.  It’s great when we can save the trims and beads in order to reapply them. Fabrics can be a challenge, as they change often and disappear from the shelves, this applies to both colors and patterns. But we have been fortunate to come very close most of the time!  

We had one come to us with painted images on some of the panels. They were worn and a few torn beyond repair. We were able to reproduce them and recreated the same look as it must have had previously. The customer was amazed but bewildered as to how we mended them so they didn’t even show the tears and holes!  We were so glad that they were happy with the restored shade!  




But my favorites are the requests that are made by a grandchild (or great), with the intent of returning the shade to their still living grandparent. 

"This shade was on my grandmother’s lamp for as long as I can remember. I now have her lamp and would like to have the shade restored."  

Restoration becomes even more important to us then! 

A couple of years ago we were fortunate to be able to work with a woman that lived a hundred miles from us and she hand delivered the lampshade to us. It was her grandmothers shade that she really wanted it restored as close as possible to the original look. Fortunately there were actual fabric panels we were able to carefully remove and reuse. Some of the trims were still on the shade, and in good enough condition, to show us what to look for with the final touches.   


We were proud to show her the results when she made the trip back to pick it up after completion. 



Both she and her grandmother were excited and happy with the final product!


We are pleased that we include restoration or replication in our work. A wonderful old lamp looks even more spectacular when an original style shade adorns it. We LOVE the follow up emails, sometimes hand written thank you cards and pictures. Hearing the compliments from the client that the shade is back in its rightful place, on the lamp and in their home, and that it looks just like they remembered it from back in the day are some of our favorite things to hear.

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Shakespeare asked “What’s in a name?” We have also been asked "Wha'ts in a name?" concerning the names given to our lampshades. Some of them were given names by the frame makers we purchased them from when we first started our business and we decided to keep those. As we began working more with original antique frames and creating our own designs, we came up with our own selection of names! Some of them are old fashioned names from an earlier time, some are the names of our relatives, and some are named for the client that sent us the frame or their location like the “Kenosha”. Another shade in a similar style is the “Madison”, both Madison and Kenosha are cities in Wisconsin.


The “Boulderado” was a style chosen by the interior designer for the Boulderado Hotel in Boulder, Colorado. An Adaptation of the small pieces on this frame led to the creation of the “Aspen” shade.



Some Names reflect something about the lines of the shade. We have decided to name this restoration project “Evangeline”. Evangeline is a derivation of the Latin word “evangelium” meaning ‘gospel’ from the Greek “euangelion” (good tidings). The name was brought to life by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his 1847 epic poem “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie”. This shade was brought to us to restore it to its former glory.


“Ambrosia, food of the gods”, one of our favorite pieces we have made and truly a work of art.



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We have several stories we find humorous from our early days in this business. One of these occurred while we went on a selling trip in the days before the internet and selling online was possible. We would carry our inventory of finished lampshades in our van and travel through towns and cities looking for shops that seemed like they might like our style and product.

  Kelly would carry a few shades into the store so the owner could see our work. This often was a long process as they wanted to see all of our shades before making a purchase. One such trip took place on a rather warm Ohio day. We stopped in a shop and after bringing in a few shades we spent some time talking with the lady in charge, getting an idea of colors and style she might like to see. Finally, after a quite lengthy conversation (she was having some difficulty in making a decision),  I turned to Kelly and suggested that we get Judy, one of our shades, out of the van. Many of our shades have names like this because it makes it easier for us to instantly know which shade we are referring.

It took a bit of explaining on our part to assure the panic stricken shop owner that we hadn’t left a child, JUDY, in the vehicle all this time while trying to make a sale. After calming down, and a good laugh, we found her the perfect shade!


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