As you explore whether a traditional or modern design chandelier fits your décor and lighting needs, always remember that chandeliers can be placed in nearly every room in the house.
Chandelier Size and Placement
The first things to consider when purchasing a chandelier are the size of the room and the size of the chandelier. Chandeliers range in size from 17 inches to more than 48 inches in diameter and can have varying numbers of lights. Mini chandeliers are growing in popularity and are a great way to add style to small areas, such as a powder room. For traditional locations, like a dining room, look for medium-size chandeliers. Medium-size chandeliers can also serve as focal point lighting for the bedroom, living room or kitchen. Reserve large chandeliers for grand entryways or a large formal dining room. If your dining room table is extra-long, consider hanging two medium chandeliers instead of one large one.
Most chandeliers come with an adjustable rod or chain so you can adjust the hanging height as needed. When hanging a chandelier, be sure it doesn’t block the view of people seated in the room. You’ll also want to ensure it doesn’t hang so low that people bump into it.
Chandelier Styles and Finishes
Once you’ve determined the right chandelier size for your space, you can search for your desired style, theme and finish. Style is the most common characteristic to consider when shopping for hanging lights. Pick a style you like and that works with the rest of your décor.
- Traditional: Traditional hardware has an ornate and classic look. Traditional fixtures are detailed, have many embellishments and can include styles such as farmhouse, antique and rustic.
- Contemporary: Contemporary or modern hanging lights are simple and understated, with clean lines and a sharp, minimalist appearance.
- Transitional: By combining traditional and modern characteristics, transitional style allows you to mix elements for a personalized look.
- Eclectic: If you’re seeking a more informal and fun style, these unique fixtures allow for the most personalization.
And within each style, there are various themes you can choose from:
Shades and Accessories
Another way to personalize the look of your chandelier is with a lamp shade or medallions.
Shades: Chandelier shades typically come in glass or fabric. Glass shades provide brighter light, while fabric shades provide more diffused light. Popular chandelier shades include:
- Seeded glass
- Etched glass
- Rain glass
- Frosted glass
- Tiffany-style glass
Chandelier Accessories: To add extra flair, mount a decorative ceiling medallion to give the chandelier a polished look.
Types of Chandeliers
Besides being decorative, the main role of a chandelier is to provide ambient, or overall, lighting. With all the different types available, it’s easy to find one to fit your space. Use chandeliers in the bathroom, bedroom, dining room, foyer, kitchen, living room or master bedroom closet.
- Shaded Chandeliers
Shaded chandeliers are the most common type of chandelier and typically have glass or fabric shades.
- Tiered Chandeliers
Tiered chandeliers command a strong presence. A two-tier chandelier can add elegance to a dining room, whereas a chandelier with three or more tiers works well for a grand entryway.
- Antler Chandeliers
Antler chandeliers are a rustic option that can lend a woodsy feel to any room, such as a living room in a cabin. White or silver antler chandeliers can create a look that’s sleek and modern.
- Candle Chandeliers
Candle chandeliers are lighting fixtures styled to look as if they hold candles. Many outdoor candelabras are designed to hold real candles.
- Crystal Chandeliers
Crystal chandeliers are often what people imagine when thinking of chandeliers. They can be quite ornate, but they don’t always have to be. Some crystal chandeliers have a small number of crystals combined with lamp shades for an elegant look. Paired with the right décor, they can add just the right amount of sparkle to a room.
- Drum Chandeliers
Drum chandeliers can include a drum lamp shade, but they don’t have to. Some styles incorporate a cylindrical shape for an updated, modern look.
- Wagon Wheel Chandeliers
Wagon wheel chandeliers add a modern farmhouse touch to any dining room. This simple chandelier has electric candles or other bulb styles around the edge of the wheel.
- Globe Chandeliers
Globe chandeliers incorporate round bulbs or a circular cage around the actual lamp. These cages come in many finishes, including wood and various metals.
- Mini Chandeliers
Mini chandeliers work well in small spaces like powder rooms and closets.
- Beaded Chandeliers
Beaded chandeliers are a fun option. They can be fancy or casual depending on the materials used. A chandelier with beaded shells can complement a nautical theme.
- Reversible Chandeliers
Reversible chandeliers have adjustable arms. Direct the arms upward for ambient lighting and downward for task lighting.
If you find a chandelier you like and you also need other light fixtures, check to see if it’s part of a collection. Lighting collections offer fixtures in the same style and finish for many areas of the home.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for step-by-step directions, warnings, and safety and caution information. If in doubt, consult a qualified electrician.
Don’t forget light bulbs. Color temperature, lumens and wattage all play a part in your room’s quality of light. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescents (CFLs) help lower energy costs. Both have a lower wattage but provide the same light output as higher-wattage incandescent bulbs. LEDs are also cool to the touch. In general, look for a warm, white color temperature for living rooms and bedrooms, a bright white color temperature for kitchens and workspaces, and a daylight color temperature for reading nooks and studies.