Chandeliers & Hanging Light Fixtures
How to Choose a Chandelier
A chandelier is the perfect statement piece for any room. Whether you're looking for a more modern design or a classic look, we have the perfect light fixture for you. Choose from different designs to shed exactly the light you want on your impeccable style. Chandeliers should be the focal point of your ceiling, and our elegantly crafted models are sure to draw the eye upwards whenever anyone walks into the room.
Chandeliers bring beauty and drama to your home while adding valuable overhead lighting to your space. Chandeliers are no longer exclusive to dining rooms and hallways. You can add the elegant fixtures to a bedroom, sitting room or bathroom to show off your inner designer. Since there are so many styles, sizes and shapes to choose from, you can get a piece that's as subtle or as flashy as you want.
Here are some points of consideration to help you navigate your options:
- Room, Purpose & Lighting Need – study the room, placement in that room and how you use the space, plus think about how much and what type of light is needed.
- Size & Scale – look at the size of your room, the type of furnishings in the room and what furnishings the chandelier will hang above and beside.
- Height – the distance of the chandelier from the ceiling, the floor and furnishings it hangs above as well as the height of the fixture itself.
- Style, Shape & Finish – what type of chandelier are you drawn to and what works with your current room decor?
Where to Use Chandeliers
Entryways and dining rooms are the most common places to hang a chandelier, but don’t let that limit you, chandeliers are being used throughout the home to provide ambient lighting, make a statement or create a mood. A unique chandelier can be a bold accent piece in a room that adds to the ambiance and style of a space. With the variety of styles and finishes available, bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms have all become popular places to install these beautiful decor accessories, not to mention reading nooks, alcoves and kitchens.
Size & Scale
You'll want to look for a chandelier that's proportionate in size to the place you plan to hang it. For example, you'll need a much smaller chandelier to hang over a vanity, while a larger piece will fill out the space in a vaulted foyer. Also, consider the room's size and ceiling height. If it sits above walkways, you should leave about seven feet between the floor and the bottom of your chandelier for clearance. If you install one over a dining table, island, vanity or counter, the bottom should be about 30 – 36 inches above the tabletop.
When determining the size and scale of a chandelier for your room, a rule of thumb is to add the length and width of the room in feet and choose a chandelier that is about that same diameter in inches.
For instance, if your room is 12 feet by 14 feet then you would be looking for a chandelier that is about 26” wide. Some ranges include:
- Small rooms (up to 10’ x 10’) ~ 17” – 20” in diameter
- Medium room (from 11’ x 11’ to 14’ x 14’) ~ 22” - 28” in diameter
- Large room (over 14’ x 14’) ~ 28” – 48” in diameter
You will also want to consider the chandelier scale in relation to the other furnishings in the room. If your chandelier will hang above a dining table, the width of the chandelier should fall between two-thirds to three-quarters of the width of the dining table.
And make adjustments based on the style and stature of the piece you are looking at. Heavy and/or complex chandeliers have a larger visual impact and look larger than their measurements while delicate and simple designs have a smaller impact.
There are two factors involved with height: the height of the chandelier itself and the height that you hang your chandelier.
In general, the height of your chandelier in inches should be about 2 1/2 - 3 times the height of your room in feet. For instance, if you have 10-foot ceilings then you should look for a chandelier that is 25 - 30 inches tall.
How high to hang a chandelier:
- Above a table: 30-34 inches
- In open walking spaces (entryway, hallway, etc.): 7 feet or more above the floor
- In a bedroom, 30-34 inches over a dresser or nightstand, 7 feet from the floor over a bed or open area
- In a bathroom: at least 3 feet from a tub or 8 feet high if above the tub
When hanging your chandelier, always want to take into account people’s movement through the space and whether it will be over a table, counter or other fixed furnishings. Typically when mounted above a dining table, a chandelier should be about 30 - 36 inches above the surface of the table.
This leaves adequate room for movement below and helps ensure that you won’t bump your head when getting up from or leaning across the table. If you are tall or may have reason to relocate the table frequently you may need more clearance so hang the lamp on the high end or even a few inches higher.
When mounted in an entryway, hallway, living room or anywhere people walk, the bottom of the chandelier should be at least 7 feet above the floor for easy clearance.
Style & Material
Style and material go hand-in-hand when decorating with chandeliers. Pieces made from crystal offer a traditional look and can be very ornate or simple depending on what you prefer. Tiffany-style chandeliers are made from multiple pieces of colored glass fashioned into geometric patterns. They also fit well in classically designed rooms. Finally, chandeliers made from metal or those with few embellishments give off modern allure.
Shape & Finish
Chandeliers can be found in any decor style from traditional to modern. Whether you are looking for an elegant addition or a rustic accent, finishes can make all of the difference. Crystal or gold can provide a formal look; iron can provide an old-world or industrial aesthetic.
Polished chrome is popular in modern pieces. Frosted glass can soften and filter the light while providing a transitional or contemporary vibe.
Popular shapes are varied and continually evolving. Many shapes and styles can be mixed to create exceptional pieces. Here are some commonly found chandelier shapes:
Candelabra — elegant and often traditional in design, these chandeliers have a branched style base that showcases multiple candle style lights.
Shaded — whether traditional or contemporary, shaded chandeliers feature frosted glass cups or fabric shades that surround each individual light.
Center bowl — providing indirect and ambient light, center bowl chandeliers feature a translucent or opaque bowl that contains the lights. The bowl lets filtered light through and stronger light is projected up to the ceiling.
Drum — often offering a streamlined or minimal aesthetic, drum chandeliers have one large shade that surrounds all of the lights.
Crystal — glass crystals reflect light and send sparkles throughout the room. Some crystal chandeliers are completely covered in crystals and others have just a few.
Sputnik — named after the satellite that launched the Atomic Age and featuring distinctly mid-century modern styling, Sputnik chandeliers are composed of multiple arms that each extends to support an individual, uncovered bulb.
Mini — smaller in stature, petite proportioned mini chandeliers work well in bathrooms or in pairs flanking a room fixture to provide balance and symmetry.
Empire — this traditional chandelier is nearly always made of crystal and is defined by its shape. The top portion is a cone shape and below it is a bowl or inverted bell shape. The light is a series of crystals or small lights.
Waterfall — this contemporary style contains glass or crystals that appear to drip down from the top.
Cage — The lights are surrounded by an open cage, often of metal. When the cage is circular it can be referred to as a globe chandelier.
Chandeliers offer both utility and style. With the proper maintenance, they're a one-time purchase that's easy to fit into your budget. However, you may have to buy replacement shades, beads, crystals, or lightbulbs from time to time.
Now that you know the guidelines, don’t be bound by rules. If you want to make a bold dramatic statement, play with scale or style. Consider all factors together, for instance, a slightly larger scale a delicate candelabra chandelier still won’t overwhelm the space.
A more substantial crystal chandelier may feel too heavy in a streamlined modern space if you go too big but will work well in a formal room with other pieces that also have a weighty impact.