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Choosing the Right Size Chandelier

May 22, 2008 | by Wendy Weinert

Most people in the market for chandeliers have a specific location in mind for their special lighting. Dining rooms, music rooms, and two-story entryways are all standard locations for chandeliers. But a chandelier can bring opulence to most any room as long as it is sized right for its location.

Crystal chandeliers or their tiffany inspired cousins are the most decorative and probably the first chandelier style that comes to mind. They radiate warm lighting and flick tiny prismatic jewels of light throughout the room. These granddaddies of hanging lamps are beautiful, but they will probably overwhelm most décors. If you have a grand marble foyer, by all means, hang a splendid chandelier. If you live in an apartment, condominium, or small house, still hang an eye-catching chandelier; just downsize it!

Hanging lights and chandeliers offer the benefit of bringing light down into a room. This is easier on the eyes and creates more warmth than utilizing overhead lighting. Recessed lighting is best used to spotlight an item or a workspace, not for overall lighting. In addition, recessed lighting can make a high ceiling gap above the room. Hanging lights can still highlight your high ceilings and they will not leave the room’s inhabitants feeling that they are being spotlighted in an otherwise dark chasm.

Whether you are lighting a rich marble entryway or the tiny entrance to your apartment, you can use decorative hanging lamps. The trick is to keep your chandelier size scaled comparatively to your room and to your other furnishings.

  • Two-story condos with loft-style bedrooms can accommodate a tall but narrow chandelier.
  • A dining room that is long and has a low ceiling can benefit from a short, oblong chandelier or by a series of smaller hanging lights.
  • Even an otherwise modest bathroom can be dressed up by replacing standard vanity lights with small chandeliers on either side of the mirror.

You are also not restricted to a crystal chandelier. Chandeliers are made of many different materials, and come in many different designs including sleek, modern, rustic, freeform, ornate, and formal. Visit a lighting gallery to begin finding the right chandelier for you. Take pictures of your rooms and favorite items in those rooms with you to help find your style. Also, take room dimensions so you can consider what chandelier size is approriate for you.

In general, a chandelier in a dining room should hang no lower than thirty inches above the top of your dining table and should be no wider that a foot narrower than the widest part of the table. Hanging lights in other rooms should allow for plenty of headroom unless they are over a similar working or eating area.

Chandeliers are lovely lighting options that will add style and ambiance to most any home. With their growing popularity, you should be able to find a chandelier to fit your style and your room.

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