Live Brighter

Ideas and Inspiration

Feb 18, 2016

Lighting Tips

How-to choose and size your chandelier

One of the easiest ways to dress up your space and update the style is by changing your chandelier. Before you run out the door in search of the perfect chandelier, make sure you know the dimensions of your space. An appropriately sized chandelier should serve as a beautifying focal point that fits seamlessly into your overall design scheme.

Sea Gull Carondelet ChandelierFeatured: Sea Gull Carondelet Chandelier

Learn how-to find and select the right sized chandelier for your home by following a few simple steps.

Identify Your Size

The size of your room will determine the size of the chandelier needed. If the fixture is too big, it will overpower your space; if it is too small, it will look out of place.

Murray Feiss Dewitt ChandelierFeatured: Murray Feiss Dewitt Chandelier

Dining Room Basics:

For a room without furniture: Add the length and width of your room in feet, and then convert that number to inches. For example, a room that is 12 feet by 14 feet (12 + 14 = 26) would require a chandelier this is approximately 26 inches wide.

For a room with furniture: If you already have a dining room table in the space, the width of your chandelier should be about a foot smaller than the width of your table. This will leave a 6-inch clearance from the outer edge of the chandelier to the table’s edge.

The bottom of your chandelier should rest at least 30-34 inches above the tabletop. Adjust according to personal preference, fixture style and ceiling height. It is okay to hang your chandelier a bit higher in dining rooms with cathedral ceilings.

Chandelier height should be about three inches for each foot of ceiling height, so for a room with a standard 8-foot ceiling (3 x 8 = 24), choose a chandelier with an approximate height of 24 inches.

Golden Lighting Athena ChandelierFeatured: Golden Lighting Athena Chandelier

Foyer Basics:

In a one-story foyer or in rooms with standard 8-foot ceilings, a chandelier should hang no less than 7 feet from the floor.

In a two-story foyer or in rooms with higher ceilings, the chandelier should hang approximately 8 to 10 feet from the floor.

If you have a picture window above your front door, select a chandelier that will fill this space and center accordingly.

Define Your Style

Once you’ve identified the appropriate size chandelier needed for your space, you’ll need to determine your style. Look around your home to identify your favorite elements. Do you prefer traditional crystal or streamlined contemporary, mid-century modern or robust rustic? Choose a chandelier that will carry the theme and complement the finishes and textures that are most prominent in your home.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match finishes and styles throughout your home. Pairing a contemporary chandelier with a rustic barn table adds dimension and interest to your space – just don’t overdo it!

Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches

Add-ons: A ceiling medallion, chandelier shades, or decorative chain and cord cover, may add elegance and a custom-tailored look to your chandelier.

Bulbs: Try LED nostalgic bulbs with a modern industrial design or clear spherical bulbs to contemporize a traditional chandelier. Where you have a choice between frosted or clear, choose the bulb that goes best with the fixture finish.  

Switches and Controls: Easily set the mood by adding switches and controls to your home. Be sure your chandelier bulbs are dimmable and that you have the correct size light sources.

Always include dimming controls with your chandelier.

One more, but very important factor in selecting your dining room chandelier: Pay attention to the weight of the fixture!

Be sure to employ a qualified electrician and follow National Electrical codes when installing chandeliers. Fixtures weighing 50 pounds or more must be secured to the home’s permanent structure.

Looking for installation tips or how to identify your style? Read these posts here and here.