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How to Select the Best Chandelier for Your Home

How to Select the Best Chandelier for Your Home
Tags: Interior Lighting

Chandelier lighting fixtures are popular choices for good reason. Like most light fixtures, chandeliers have multiple roles to play throughout your home. Yes, they provide light, which is functional. How you choose to use them to provide light not only illuminates your home, it sets an atmosphere. Also attributing to that atmosphere is the decorative role your fixture plays. Chandeliers range from simple to elaborate, elegant, and decorative. So, how do you choose the right one when there are so many factors to consider? Let us help you start narrowing down what you are looking for in a chandelier.

Defining a Role for Your Chandelier

Chandeliers are often considered general lighting fixtures, casting ambient light around your space. However, chandeliers can also be used as accent lighting fixtures. As ambient lighting, your chandelier’s main function is to act as a substitute for natural lighting when there is none or not enough. However, if your room already has a source of ambient light, such as recessed ceiling lights or a ceiling fixture, you may instead be relying more on your chandelier to provide accent or “mood” lighting. With the help of dimmer switches, you could even utilize a chandelier for both a source of ambient and accent lighting, depending on which level your dimmer is set. All of this begs the question: Which room are you looking to incorporate a chandelier?

Selecting a Room for your Chandelier

Dining Room

Dining rooms are one of the most common places in the house to hang a chandelier. Ideally, a chandelier in your dining room would be on a dimmer switch, giving you the option to provide more or less illumination depending on the situation in which you find yourself. Overall lighting and mood lighting, your dining room chandelier should be able to do it all.

Besides the size of the room, when choosing a dining room chandelier you’ll want to consider the size and shape of your table, as your fixture will likely be hung directly above it. In this circumstance, chandeliers should be approximately a third to a half of the width of the table, assuming that your table is round or square. Go slightly bigger if you have an oval or rectangular shaped table, unless the chandelier you choose is more ornate. The more elaborate the chandelier, the more optical attention it will draw. While you want to embrace your fixture as the piece of art it is, you don’t want it to overwhelm your space.

In a dining room, you’ll also be hanging the chandelier lower than you would in any other room. It should be hung roughly 30 inches above your table, so consider the amount of space you have to fill between your ceiling and the bottom of the chandelier. If you have vaulted or cathedral ceilings, it may warrant a larger fixture. Keep in mind, if you have a room that large or with that high of ceilings, a chandelier is likely not going to be your sole source of light.

Living Room

Chandeliers can bring drama to a living room like no other light fixture can. When choosing a living room chandelier, keep in mind that it will be a focal point of the room. Form matters as much as function. Your chandelier will set the tone in this room, so make sure the fixture you choose represents the atmosphere you are trying to create.

Besides the aesthetic aspect of your chandelier, it’s important to choose the right size fixture. Doing so requires considering both the size of the room and the height of the ceiling. Starting with the size of your room: take the length and width of the room in feet and add them together. The total number will represent the diameter of an appropriately sized chandelier, if you change the feet to inches. For instance, if you have a room that is 8 feet by 10 feet, you will be looking for a chandelier that has a diameter of 18 inches. However, this assumes that you have standard height ceilings.

With standard ceilings, you’re looking to hang your chandelier so the bottom of the fixture is approximately 84 inches from the floor. For ceilings that are higher than nine feet, you’ll want to add three inches for every foot over nine feet. If you are hanging your chandelier higher due to loftier ceilings, consider upsizing your fixture, especially if it is to be your primary source of ambient light. If used as accent lighting, a smaller fixture may be more appropriate.

Foyer

Foyer chandeliers can create a new guest’s first impression of your home. You want it to accurately reflect and set the tone of your household.

Since foyers range from quite small to quite large and tall, the size of your foyer will be one of the biggest determining factors in selecting your chandelier. As a guest’s first impression is on the table, don’t be afraid to go big and bold in a foyer. A fixture that’s too large is better than a fixture that is too small in this room. However, make sure that your fixture does not present a hazard to anyone trying to actually walk into your home. You don’t want any bruised heads as they walk into the bottom of your chandelier!

While you will use a similar formula for sizing and hanging a chandelier as you would for your living room (see above), always opt to hang your chandelier a little higher - or even choose a semi-flush mounted chandelier - if low ceilings and bumped heads are a concern. If you have the opposite situation and your foyer opens up to the second floor of your home, then you will want to hang the chandelier so that it is level with the second story. In case of the latter situation, select a taller or multi-tiered fixture to fill the space. Remember bigger is better in this case.

Bedroom

Many people often overlook chandeliers as a lighting option for the bedroom. However, bedroom chandeliers can create an elegant and romantic ambience that’s perfect for a bedroom or boudoir. Consider hanging a chandelier in the middle of the room as your main source of ambient lighting, or position a smaller fixture above your bedside nightstand as accent lighting.

When hanging a chandelier at the center of your room, follow similar guidelines to selecting a size and hanging height as you would in a living room or foyer. If positioning above your nightstand, select a smaller fixture and hang it so that the bottom of the chandelier hovers approximately 35 inches above the table top.

Other Rooms in Which You May Want to Install a Chandelier

While the foyer, dining room, and living room are the most common areas to hang a chandelier, if your space is the right height, almost any room can be elevated by the addition of a chandelier - even a bathroom or hallway!

Choosing a Chandelier Style

From simple to lavish, chandeliers come in every style. While trendy styles may be tempting, we often advise our customers to invest in a fixture that will stand the test of time. This includes choosing a chandelier made out of high-quality materials and manufactured by expert craftsmen. It also means selecting a style that will be timeless and work with your home for years to come.

Consider Your Home’s Architecture

While you may update your home’s decor after several years, it’s more unlikely that you will alter your home’s architecture. Selecting fixtures that work with the architecture of your house is almost akin to adding an extension of your house rather than just swapping out your decor. When your lighting fixture looks like it was made for your house, it will never go out of style.

American Craftsman

Homes built in the early 1900’s were heavily influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement that began in Europe and made its way over to the United States. Many different architectural styles were spawned from the Arts & Crafts movement, but most featured the use of natural materials and quality craftsmanship. If your home is an Arts & Crafts, Bungalow, Mission, Prairie-style or even mid-century or late-century American Craftsman or Ranch home, a craftsman style chandelier might be just what you need to tie your home together. Lighting fixtures for these homes will feature simple forms with clean lines and be built with impeccable craftsmanship.

Tudor Revival

Tudor-style homes were built frequently throughout America in the early 20th century, but they were inspired by the popular architectural style in England in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Romantic and a little whimsical, you can picture these houses being right at home in the English countryside. They often feature stucco walls with decorative timbering, brick or stone, and steeply pitched roofs. The style is distinctly Tudor, and as such, a tudor-style chandelier which features high-quality metalwork would be most appropriate in these homes.

French Country

While their architects share a preference for natural materials and relaxed neutral colors like the builders of Tudor and Craftsman homes, French Country-style homes have a very distinct effortless-but-luxurious air about them. While exposed architectural features, such as wood beams, give the homes a more rustic feel, the tall windows and rounded archways make these homes feel grandiose - yet still comfortable. When choosing lighting a chandelier for a French Country-style home, opt for French Country or Provence style chandeliers, that is to say a look of lived-in vintage with a touch of elegant luxury.

Rustic

Adirondack-style and Northwoods architecture borrowed elements from the Arts & Craft movement, European Cottage style, and even American log cabins. This style is uniquely rustic with a stately touch. It’s no wonder it coincided with the National Parks Movement in America. To fit in these homes, rustic chandeliers should be made of simple design and have an earthy feel while being meticulously crafted out of exquisite, natural materials.

Traditional

Traditional-style homes can be hard to define because they often use a mix of architectural styles (Colonial Revival, Saltbox, Federal-style, etc). This mix-and-match approach to architecture can be a blessing to decorate, as the homeowner can choose which elements of their home to emphasize and which to downplay fairly easily. Whichever traditional chandelier you choose will likely look fabulous in your home, as long as you focus on size, proportion and hanging height.

Modern

Simple, clean lines and minimalistic forms define Modern homes. Large windows suggest the desire to relate the interior of the home to the natural environment on the other side of the windowpane. Natural light tends to be very important in the design of Modern homes. As such, modern chandeliers are not very ornamental. Instead, you will revel in the beauty of their simplicity. 

Make Your Chandelier Your Own

Even though your home was likely shaped by the style of architecture in which it was built, it is still uniquely your own. Therefore, any lighting fixture in which you are investing should also be uniquely your own. That is why we offer the ability to choose your metal finishes, mounting options, glass panels, shades, and more. That way you are guaranteed to have a chandelier that fits you and your home perfectly, so you can be happy with it for many years to come.

If you are still having a hard time deciding which chandelier is best for your space, our seasoned team of lighting experts are well versed in helping you choose the style, size, placement, and how to hang your new chandelier. Contact us with whatever questions you may have!

 

Jun 30, 2021

Amy Joslin

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
I have an older fixture no longer produced by Brass Light Gallery. Angie and the team were extremely helpful in identifying and producing the replacement (lost) parts to get my fixture up and functioning again. They did this all remotely and shipped the parts promptly. Highly recommend!
May 14, 2021

Will Heelan

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
Brass Light Gallery is such an amazing resource: they can build your lighting dream. Angela in the sales room was just the best: listened carefully to what we were trying to accomplish and guided us through the process. She was a delight to work with and she persisted until she found EXACTLY what we were looking for: three sconces to match my Brass Light Gallery pendants from 20 years ago! We are so pleased!
Mar 17, 2021

Cathy Lindberg

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
I loved Janel who assisted me. She was professional and friendly and super competent. Love my fixture! Perfect....and Made in the USA!
Feb 22, 2021

Trevor Santarius

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
Always a fantastic experience with Brass Light Gallery. Their customer service goes above and beyond and their products are of the highest quality. It is great to support true artisans that create timeless and beautiful light fixtures that are made to last multiple generations. While certainly on the high end price-wise, their fixtures are well worth the investment.
Jan 22, 2021

JR R

Top rated Jeweler in Milwaukee 5 stars on Google
AMAZING!!! Breathtaking! Simply beautiful!! We are beyond impressed with the quality of these lovely fixtures and beyond impressed with the sales help from Janel. Janel was outstanding to work with! She took the time to understand that we wanted to modernize our 25 year old home with updated lighting. She asked about style, dimensions, pictures and layout information and helped us pick out coordinated fixtures for all rooms. Honest, very helpful but no pressure felt. We ordered 14 beautifully modern fixtures for the main level of our home. We live in MN and the lights came very well packaged and cared for. Our local electrician found installation easy and intuitive and commented many times on how high quality these fixtures were. "very well made, very very nice"!!! Am already planning the next lights we would like to update. We will definitely be ordering from brass light gallery again. HIGHLY recommend using this amazing company! Thank you Janel!!
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