Seeing the Light at Illumé

Someone reminded me recently of the Charles Eames quote, “The details are not the details. They make the design.” It is so true and is one of the hallmark differences between good and great. As projects come to a close, sometimes final finishing touches can be lost, as interest wanes or budgets bulge. One detail that can be overlooked is the lampshade, but it is like the jewelry in the room, the final dressing detail.

Illumé lampshade store NYCPerhaps one reason it is an under appreciated asset is that it is difficult to find a good source. Well no longer. With the recent opening of Illumé in New York City, the search is over. Steps away from the D&D building, Ronald Scinto and Mark Candido have set the standard high with their new bespoke store and workroom. Open to both trade and retail, there is an enormous variety of stocked shades. They have discovered that many customers don’t have the patience to wait for custom and now clients can “walk out the door the same day with a lamp shade that’s beyond their expectations.”

The entrance of Illumé is more like a small salon with fabulous Terry O’Neill photographs and unique furnishings.

French sconce lampshades at IlluméOn an antiqued glass wall hang sconces with handcrafted shades, many made in Paris ateliers, because as Ron and Mark explained, they “bring romance to light!” A lampshade store they feel unlike any other, they make shades for stock, anticipating what people want, in styles, colors and sizes, based on their 14 years of experience. While their original Accessory Store in Stamford, CT, next to the Antique & Artisan Center, which they also started,  still exists, the duo wanted to do something more upscale and unique with their city space.

Best chandelier lampshadesFabrics are sourced from all the major houses and currently represent the rainbow of hues we are seeing both in interiors and fashion. Ron and Mark have been making colored shades for years and are thrilled that customers are finally moving beyond beige and taupe.

Handmade French lampshadesAll of the shades from Paris feature their signature hand tied knot as above. Ribbon overlay, organza over silk charmeuse, delicate couture hand sewn details – anything is possible including of course COM.

Handmade French lampshadesThe whole idea of selling ready made shades is so customers can see how they look made up and how they look lit. Instant gratification is a good thing. While you can find some ready made shades around, you certainly won’t be seeing these fabulous animal prints

Custom animal print lampshades Best lampshades in NYC

Or this beautifully crafted Fortuny shade ready to take home!

Designer lampshades NYC

Many customers come in thinking they know what they want, but end up going home with something more exciting and distinctive. When visiting the store, Mark and Ron recommend coming in with measurements of your lamp (overall height with and without shade) and a photo to facilitate selections. But who knows, you might fall in love with one of the many vintage lamps or examples from John Rosselli that they carry as well. And how fabulous are these high gloss hardback shades – which can be customized in any paint color?!

High gloss lacquer lampshades

Or in a matte finish with the inside in a contrasting color if desired. Here the paper shade is hand painted to look like tole – but it could be any combination!

Tole lampshadesBut this isn’t all – Illumé includes an alter ego, a workshop – from the beautiful side, we move to the more utilitarian, representing a bit of old New York, when things were handmade by people you knew – with an appreciation for the craft, the process, the one of a kind. With a separate entrance, the space is visible from the street.

Lighting repair shop  Illumé in NYCA little bit of a decorator’s hardware store mixed with a lighting repair shop, this side of Illumé is heaven for all of us who remember being entranced by childhood trips to the neighborhood hardware store.

Lighting hardware store NYCBut this is even better, including all the little extras you might need when decorating from picture hooks, plate hangers and candle covers to silk wires and vintage bulbs.

Vintage lightbulbs NYC

The workbenches came from an old factory in Bridgeport, CT. Here they do rewiring, repairs and create new lamp designs.

Designer lighting repair shop NYC

A visit to Illumé is most definitely an illuminating experience! Whether you’re in the market for new shades, need a repair or just a little inspiration, Ron and Mark will guide you to the light side with care and expertise!

30 thoughts on “Seeing the Light at Illumé

  1. I liked this very much. Beautifully crafted shades. Hmmm. and lots of hardware to go with them.
    Details are so important in lamps. Thank you for the tour.

  2. Good morning Stacey. What a gem of a place. Gorgeous shades. Brilliant of them to allow patrons to view their old-fashioned work space too.
    Xo Lisa

  3. I have been meaning to visit this shop Stacey. I swear by the Accessory Store. BTW, very best way to pick out a new lamp shade is to bring your lamp with you. Great preview.

  4. It so inspiring to see local shops brought into the spotlight.
    I especially loved the high gloss hardback shades and love the ability to customize!
    Great post Q as always,

  5. I agree 100% with Charles Eames! This post is full of stunning inspirations. Thank you, Q!
    Have a wonderful day!


    Luciane at

    PS: If you a minute, please drop by to enter my Giveaway! :-)

  6. Incredible find….so happy to know about Illume! I see soooo many shades that I would love to get….sometimes that’s the only update you need!

    Great research, as always!
    xo Elizabeth

  7. Ron and Mark,
    Looks amazing and the selection seems limitless. The little shades in those candy colors seem yummy. Can’t wait to visit the shop next time I’m in the city.

  8. I always love finding a good source. Thank you! The lampshades are gorgeous!!

    Thank you for your visit to my blog a few weeks ago! I’m so happy to meet you and follow your beautiful blog by email!

    All the best,

  9. I just recently visited this store and was overwhelmed by how stunningly chic the space was! The shades are simply divine and the owners/staff and all about good old fashioned customer service, which is very difficult to find these days. I also love the fact that not only do they re-wire lamps but will turn just about anything you want into a lamp!

  10. you have no idea how “enlightening” this post is stacey. every year i head to the gift markets hoping to find a company that crafts interesting shades, i am relentlessly disappointed. and……i detected the hob nail bulbs, something i have searched for for 3 years!
    thank you!!!

  11. Heard about your store on the Joan Hamburg radio show and look forward to coming in. Your website is beautiful

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