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Chandelier Buying Guide


Chandeliers are very powerful pieces of home décor and deserve a great deal of consideration before purchasing. Whether placed in the foyer, living room, dining room or elsewhere, a chandelier will go a long way in defining the mood and style of the space.

Chandelier Size

Some chandeliers whisper and others shout, but they all do it rather loudly, especially if they're large and ornate. The right chandelier size will depend on the size of the room and the purpose of the light. 

Chandeliers come in a range of sizes that span from around 20 inches to more than 48 inches in diameter, and they can have any number of lights. Large chandeliers are best suited for foyers and spacious rooms, while smaller chandeliers may be used over tables in dining rooms or to add more character to living rooms.

A popular rule of thumb when choosing chandelier size is to first measure the ceiling height. A properly sized chandelier will have 3 inches of height for every foot of space. For example, an area with a 15-foot ceiling will look well-lit and adorned with a 45-inch-tall chandelier when hung at the ideal height.

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Chandelier Hanging

An average ceiling in an average room is 8 feet from the floor. Smaller chandeliers are often recommended for rooms with these dimensions. If you’re hanging a chandelier over a table in such a room, the chandelier should be modestly sized and hang 30 inches above the table surface.

A chandelier should never be hung less than 7 feet from the floor in an open space and should usually be placed even higher in areas with high ceilings. This will lend a sense of proportion to the fixture when compared with its surroundings as well as ensure the best lighting for the room.

Hanging a chandelier isn't always easy, and large pieces may need additional support in the ceiling or even a chandelier hoist. Consult with a professional if you feel the job requires special attention.

Style and Finish

Most people imagine elaborate crystal fixtures when they think of chandeliers. There are designs that can fit and flatter any household in an amazing array of styles and configurations. Chandeliers are no longer reserved for formal spaces. Contemporary and transitional pieces easily bridge the gaps between casual, chic and sophisticated style.

Crystal and silver-colored metals are still a very popular chandelier combination. More contemporary styles have broadened the options in that category. Fixtures in bronze, steel and hand-forged iron, with varying finishes, are also common. The right style, color and number of lights are going to depend on what you want your new chandelier to say about you, the room and your home.

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