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Published: Thursday, 6/30/2005

Lampshades are going retro and kitschy


Paul Giese of Anderson s Lampshades remembers a time when his customers would ask for basic white, eggshell or parchment.

In the last five years, things have really changed, Giese says.

We ll say.

These days, you can find lampshades bedecked with beads, feathers and ruffles, stripes, prints and toile. There are bell-shaped and pleated lampshades, and Arts-and-Crafts and mission-style bases. Shades especially are hot, hot, hot. You can buy this bounty everywhere from specialty shops to Target.

While some customers remain hooked on brightly colored lampshades -- Dave Barkema, assistant manager at the Pottery Barn in St. Paul, Minn., says customers favor reds, greens and blues -- many others are toning down their palettes.

I d say in the last five years, there s been a real trend toward making rooms warmer and more inviting, rather than bright, says Michael Misewicz, owner of Michael s Lamp Studio in Minneapolis. There s a real trend toward the dark fabrics: gold and beige tones and taupes and tans. There s a certain age group that is looking for the more whimsical and trendy, with beads and fringes. That s for decorating small apartments. But people who are going to be decorating a home for a longer period want to go for a more traditional look.

But all age groups are going kitschy.

The retro look is very in, Misewicz says. That genre can include stately shades, such as an ivory shade draped in a black swag by Lakeshore, available at Misewicz s store, but it can also include funnier ones.

The 50s look is coming back, like lamps in the shapes of panthers and bullfighters, says Giese.

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