Shopping for a chandelier can be confusing - there's so much to know. Are brass and crystal chandeliers still in style? Will a chandelier work in a mid-century dining room? What size chandelier should you buy? We asked our lighting experts about the trends for 2020, and the technical stuff too. Read on for tips on chandelier shopping - and get the right style and size chandelier for your room.
Crystal Chandeliers - Out Of Style or On Trend?
Traditional crystal chandeliers are still popular in today's dining rooms, living rooms, and formal entry areas. A crystal chandelier makes a dramatic statement in any room with high ceilings, lighting up the full volume of the space.
Chandeliers were invented to hold large numbers of candles in large spaces like dining rooms and ballrooms. Sparkling crystals magnified the candlelight, and a design icon was born. When candles were replaced with gas and electric, people still loved the warm glow of a chandelier.
Some modern chandelier designs still use crystals to evoke that welcoming ambiance.
Where Can You Use A Chandelier?
Anywhere you like! We're so accustomed to boring, builder-grade ceiling fixtures that we forget to be creative with lighting. If the size and style of a chandelier works with your decor, it'll look great in the room.
'Clients ask me all the time if there's any rule against hanging a chandelier in their bedroom, master bath or closet - I tell them to go for it, their grandparents certainly did!' - Designer Kerry Ann Dame
Chandeliers are 2020's hottest lighting trend, replacing ceiling fixtures in living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens. Any spot that has the ceiling height to accommodate a chandelier is fair game. We love seeing a chandelier make a statement in a master bath, hallway or closet. Mini-chandeliers fit easily into small spaces with lower ceilings.
Chandelier Shopping - How To Find Your Style
So, how do you choose the right chandelier for your home? First, consider the interior design of your space. Do you decorate around a theme, like Farmhouse or Mid-Century design? Or perhaps your style is more eclectic and Bohemian, which means anything you love is going to look great.
Next, think about whether you want a light fixture that acts as a focal point, or quietly blends in. If you're a Boho-type who prefers a Minimalist style, shop for a chandelier that has an eclectic design and clean, simple lines.
Do you love the ornate sparkle of a crystal pendant chandelier but don't want vintage brass? A black finish adds a modern edge to a traditional design.
If scrolled metalwork is too traditional, keep the crystals but look for a cleaner silhouette. A chrome finish and pierced drum shade give this crystal chandelier its unique Modern Glam style - it's feminine, modern and a bit edgy:
Perhaps you love mid-century interiors, but still want a light fixture that sparkles with glamour. A prism chandelier's Hollywood Regency vibe is the perfect solution:
For mid-century modern rooms, look for clean lines and vintage-inspired finishes. We love the black and brass-gold combination on this understated globe chandelier:
Mixing rustic and modern finishes is a great way to add a modern edge to a traditional space. With its wood staves and chrome frame, this chandelier adds polish to a farmhouse kitchen or a neutral-toned bedroom. The vertical silhouette would be perfect in a stairwell too.
Rustic chandeliers can blend beautifully with many styles of interior design. Distressed wood accents and silver-gray finishes are found in French Country, Scandinavian and Coastal interiors. For a romantic touch, look for a chandelier with elegant lines and rustic details, like this one with wooden beads:
Antler chandeliers are another rustic lighting classic, and affordable reproductions make them easy to find. But you don't have to live in a farmhouse or cabin to want an antler chandelier. Antler lighting has a world-traveler vibe that adds a quirky touch to Bohemian rooms.
Once you've decided what style to look for when chandelier shopping, it's time to figure out what size chandelier you need.
What Chandelier Size Do You Need?
To choose the right size chandelier for your room, you'll need to measure the space and note some important things:
- Size of the room - length and width
- Number of bulbs needed for enough light
- Is the chandelier over a table, a seating area, or an open area?
- Will you see it from a stairway or landing?
How Many Light Bulbs Does A Chandelier Need?
Bedrooms, closets and other small spaces will get plenty of illumination from a 4-bulb light fixture. For dining rooms, living rooms and kitchens, it's important to have bright lighting. Consider the size of the room, and whether there are other lamps or spot fixtures. A chandelier for an average 12 x 12 room should have at least five bulbs, and larger rooms will need more.
How Low Over A Table Should I Hang A Chandelier?
If your chandelier will hang over a dining room or kitchen table, the bottom of the light fixture must end 32' to 36' above the dining table surface. Measure from the top of the table to the ceiling and subtract a number from 32' to 36', and that's the available space for your chandelier.
If your dining room ceiling height is ten feet or more, you'll have space for a chandelier that's over four feet tall. Check out our handy Dining Room Chandelier guide to learn more.
How High Should You Hang A Chandelier?
In bedrooms, hallways, living rooms and kitchens, chandeliers must be seven feet above the floor to safely walk under them. Your electrician can shorten the chain to hang a chandelier closer to the ceiling. If it's going over a bed, it may hang a little lower - just make sure you won't bump into it.
Chandelier Height For A Tall Foyer Or Stairwell
In a double-height foyer, the chandelier should hang above the first floor - ten feet off the ground is a good rule of thumb. If you'll be looking down on the chandelier from a landing, look for a style that's attractive from above too. A tall, narrow design can really make a statement as you climb the stairs.
Do I Need A Special Chandelier Electrical Box?
If you have a home with up-to-date wiring, your existing junction box should be fine '-they're required to support up to fifty pounds. A junction box that's designed for a ceiling fan will support at least seventy pounds. While you're shopping, check the specifications on the product listing for a chandelier's weight. Your electrician can confirm whether you should install a heavy-duty junction box.
So now, you're the expert - it's time to shop for a chandelier!