Choosing the Perfect Chandelier

We think a new chandelier can completely transform a dining room.  Feel like your decorating is stuck in a rut?   Shake things up with a stylish new fixture to bring some sparkle to your home.  Here are some great tips from HGTV’s Karl Lohnes on selecting the right size and style chandelier for your dining room.

Choose the right size for your room.Lohnes uses a simple equation: Measure the width of your room. The chandelier should be two inches in diameter for every foot of width. A 12-foot wide dining room, then, would work best with a chandelier that’s 24 inches in diameter; a 10-foot wide space would call for a chandelier approximately 18 to 24 inches in diameter. Other experts offer a similar formula: Add the dimensions of the room together, and that number in inches is the width of the chandelier that best fits the room. So a 10-by-12 foot room would call for a 22-inch wide chandelier.

Victorian Carved ChandelierConsider too, the chandelier’s style in selecting the right size. For example, “if a chandelier is extremely ornate, even if it’s smaller than what you might imagine, it can work in a large room,” says Cheryl Katz, co-author of Chandeliers(Rockport, 2001), and co-owner of Boston-based design company C&J Katz Studio. The ornate features give it a different kind of weight.

For eating areas, consider the size and shape of your table in picking the right chandelier.The chandelier should be approximately one-third the width of the table, says Lohnes. So a 5-foot round dining table would call for a chandelier with a diameter of 20 inches. Oval or rectangular tables can take a slightly wider chandelier, such as a pendant style with two or more pendants. A round chandelier, the most classic shape, is terrific with a round table.

Hang the chandelier so that the bottom of the chandelier is roughly 30 inches from the top of the table. “That ensures that the chandelier doesn’t encroach on your view of your dining companions, and it gives you space to fit a vase of flowers or another tall centerpiece,” Lohnes says. “Most people hang chandeliers way too high.” Also, be sure that the chandelier is centered over the table and not in the middle of the room. If you’ve got a hutch or sideboard against one wall, as most people do, your table will likely be pulled out slightly from the exact center of the room, and everything will look off-kilter if the chandelier hangs exactly dead center.

Think about how much light you need for your space. The chandelier is usually only one part of the lighting. In a dining room, pot lights in the ceiling or track lights can add extra wattage if you use the space for projects and homework as well as candlelit dinners. Perimeter lighting, such as sconces or buffet lamps, can add even more illumination. In most cases, it’s best to put your chandelier on a dimmer switch, so you can change the intensity of the lighting for various uses.

Visit our website to see our full line of chandeliers ranging from the simple to the ornate.  Have any questions? Our seasoned staff will help you choose.

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