How to Pick a Chandelier

Despite what Sia may tell you, chandeliers are good for more than just swinging. In fact, swinging from a chandelier should probably be avoided. Regardless, chandeliers let you light up your room and make a dramatic design statement. Traditionally, chandeliers have been designed for elegance and more traditional designs, but that isn’t the case anymore. 

Today you can find a chandelier to fit almost any style. From rustic to modern to minimalist to downright gaudy, chandeliers know no bounds. This doesn't mean that you can waltz into  your local lighting shop and causally pick a chandelier for your dining room. For heaven’s sake, there are a few rules. 

  1. Keep everything in proportion- There are a few rules of thumb when picking the right size chandelier. It’s best to measure the size of the room your chandelier will be hanging in before you buy. Let’s say your room is 10 feet by 15 feet, add those together to get 25, change feet to inches, and that’s a rough number for the diameter of your chandelier (25 inches). You can use this formula for any size room, just plug in the dimensions of your room and follow the steps. 
  2. How’s it hanging?- The space between the bottom of the chandelier and the floor or table is critical. Generally, there should be at least seven feet between the floor and the bottom of the chandelier if people will be walking under the light. If you frequently entertain taller company you might consider more of a gap. When the chandelier hangs over a dining room table there should be around 30 inches between the bottom and the table. A chandelier should also have a diameter 12 inches less than the diameter of the dining room table. 
  3. Compliments are always nice- Chandeliers rarely go unnoticed, so make sure the one you pick fits with the rest of the decor’ in the room. If it doesn't, it will stand out like a pimple on picture day. Take stock of what you already have in the room and find a chandelier that naturally complements what you already have. 
  4. Go big- When in doubt, go big instead of small. People expect to see big chandeliers so they won’t be taken back if yours is a bit on the colossal side. However, if you have a dinky little light, the room will just look awkward.   

These rules, like most rules in design, are more like strong suggestions. The diameter doesn’t have to be exactly 12 inches smaller than your table, but it’s a good idea. Chandeliers will always make a statement, what’s your’s saying?