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The lampshade-maker that leaves others in the shade

On a mission to find the ideal shade

The lampshade-maker that leaves others in the shade

January 17 2011
Charlotte Abrahams

I first came across Peter Thwaites and Rebecca Aird of Rapture & Wright when I was hunting for wallpaper back in 2004 and have been a fan of their graphic take on floral fabrics and papers ever since. So when I inherited a rather lovely standard lamp base last November, I decided to ask them to make me a shade.

The lamp stands in a prominent corner of a deliberately spartan room, so I was looking for something quietly striking that would suit both the contemporary setting and the utterly traditional base. That’s not an easy brief, but the couple’s Tambour Silk in Gunmetal 2 (pictured) answered it perfectly: the large, scrolling flower-based print ticking both the striking and traditional boxes and Gunmetal 2’s brooding silvery tones turning it into something subtly chic and totally 21st century.

The rest of the process (which takes around four weeks) was simplicity itself. I sent Rapture & Wright the base dimensions and they fashioned an appropriately sized stretched fabric shade. I did have to wait several weeks as every single part of my shade, right down to its metal frame, was made by hand, but as soon as I saw the beauty of the seams, I realised that patience is indeed a virtue.

My shade (height, 43cm; width, 48cm) cost £223.

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