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Vintage Ebay lampshade

Buying vintage lampshades like this can be so cheap on Ebay - I think this one cost about £4.99, and it doesn't weigh much so postage was cheap too. Mine's on a dimmer switch and hangs over the dining table; feeling that you're being grilled by the Gestapo over a meal isn't good for the digestion.

People often don't pay much attention to lighting but it's so important - all the effort of making a room look lovely is wasted if it's then lit with a brutal overhead light. My mum was obsessed with lamps - the sitting room in my family home must have had about five; illuminating the room was a pain in the ass, but the resulting gentle, cosy glow was worth it.

Another great place for stylish old lampshades - though not as cheap - is The Peanut Vendor, one of my favourite online shops. Mark Parrish also has fantastic taste and a decent-sized vintage lighting section.

Get more tips on how to get lighting right.

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