Hanging a chandelier is a fool proof way to add pizazz to any room inside your home, regardless of the design you choose. There is an undeniable charm to its structure, mesmerizing anyone who sees it. Fortunately, chandeliers now come in a wider range of prices, making them accessible to more homeowners. But, despite the availability of budget friendly chandeliers, many of us are still not comfortable buying them; so we fall back on the more familiar lighting fixtures, such as flush mounts and ceiling fans.
Basically, there are three things you need to make sure of when buying a chandelier. First, it should have the right finish and style that matches the rest of your home’s interior design. Second, it should be of the right scale relative to the size of the room where it will be hung. And third, it should have the right function, so it gives off the proper amount of light to your space.
Here’s a roundup of chandelier do’s and don’ts so you can choose the best chandelier for your home like a pro:
1. Make sure that your chandelier is the right size. A good rule of thumb is to sum up the dimensions of the room in feet then convert this figure to inches to determine the diameter of your chandelier. So, for example, if your room is 15 feet long and 10 feet wide, the diameter of your chandelier should be about 25 inches.
2. Go bigger not smaller in a dining room. If the chandelier seems too large, hang it a little closer to the ceiling so it does not feel so overwhelming.
3. Hang your chandelier low enough but not too low. Your light fixture should hang low enough so that it adequately illuminates the desired area, but not too low to avoid getting hit in the head as you pass by it.
4. Hang a dining room chandelier about 30 inches to 36 inches from the tabletop.
5. For a single story foyer, hang your chandelier about 7 feet from the floor. This is the safe height for hanging your fixture, so that no one hits their heads as they enter your home.
6. Install dimmer switches on your chandelier. Dimmers are great for creating ambiance and controlling the level of illumination for a more flattering light.
1. Don’t follow #1 under Chandelier Do’s when choosing a chandelier for your dining room. Instead, measure the width of the dining table to determine the diameter of the fixture. Your chandelier should be about one half to two thirds the width of the dining table.
2. Don’t hang the chandelier less than four feet from any wall. It should also not be hung closer than 48 inches to any piece of furniture like a cabinet or sideboard. This may not be possible in small spaces, but it is a good rule to keep in mind.
3. Don’t hang overly elaborate chandeliers too close to the table. Heavy-looking light fixtures do take up a lot of visual space, so if you are hanging them above a table, it is fine to break the rules and hang them a few inches higher than the standard.
4. Don’t hang the chandelier below the second floor in a two-storey entryway.
5. Don’t limit yourself to just one chandelier if you have a very large space. Depending on the room’s size, install two or more slightly smaller fixtures.
6. Don’t hesitate to experiment with styles. You can add a modern chandelier in a room with an old world feel and the fixture will still look great, while a traditional fixture can be a charming piece in a contemporary room.
Now that you are equipped with the basics in chandeliers, go ahead and start planning for your next lighting project!
Joan Silver is a known lighting expert from Capitol Lighting (1800lighting.com) and a fan of all things “lighting”. She currently provides customers and designers with robust information on their lighting needs.