The chandelier is the BEAST of interiors. When we walk into a room and gaze at that sparkling halo of unparalleled perfection (…what, you don’t call it that?), our eyeballs boing out of their sockets, our blood boils, and the tears in our eyes match the crystal drops of the chandelier’s festoon. At the very least, chandeliers can be overwhelming and make a powerful statement in the home. So, how do you tame the beast? And how to you ensure that your chandelier is worthy of a dream and NOT worthy of a place in the Addams family mansion? It’s simple. Learn everything you need to know by reading the Kuotes guide on chandeliers!
A (Very) Brief History of Chandeliers:
In the opinion of the Kuotes, you can’t be a great designer without a little knowledge on the origins of a piece. The earliest chandeliers, composed of candles, were built in medieval times for the wealthy; they had ring or crown designs, and they became popular in palaces and homes of the nobility. Jump to the 18th century and chandeliers were built by Bohemian and Venetian glassmakers who incorporated lead crystal into chandelier design. People were blown away (as we still are today) by the beauty of the light refracted from the facets and bevels of crystal prisms. Since then, a wide variety of chandeliers have cropped up… in fact, keep on reading and we’ll outline the styles of chandelier you’ll find today. It’s uncontested that the penchant for chandeliers continues in modern culture—grand chandeliers plummet into theater audiences and occupy the lyrics of 2014 summer pop songs.
How to Choose the Right Size Chandelier:
For those of you who follow us on Instagram, you’ll know we’ve had a couple of recent posts on this topic. The Kuotes decided that it’s time for a blog post on the issue so that you’ll always have a searchable reference guide when hanging chandeliers. For those of you who don’t follow us on Instagram…wait, WHAT? What are you doing? Stop reading this RIGHT NOW and go follow us on Instagram! Phew…glad that’s resolved. Close one. Now, back to hanging chandeliers:
For the Entryway or Foyer –
Height. First, let’s determine the chandelier height you’ll need. You’ll want to start by measuring the height of your room. As you may imagine, the higher the ceiling, the taller the chandelier. Then, you’ll have to do some math… I know. As a writer, math class brings back some miserable memories. But we promise to make the math manageable with our simple ratio: 2.5 inches in fixture height per 1 foot of room height. This means that for a standard eight-foot-high ceiling, you’ll want a chandelier with a fixture height of about 20 inches. Note: For some visually-light chandeliers, you can up the ratio to 3:1.
Diameter. The classic rule of thumb is that your chandelier diameter should be half of the room’s parameter treated as inches. Sound complicated? It’s not as confusing as it may sound. Just add together the length of the room with the width of the room. Use that sum, but treat the sum in inches. For people who work better with an example, imagine that your room is 10 ft by 14 ft. Add 10 plus 14 to get 24 total feet. So then, for this size room, you’ll need a chandelier with a diameter of 24 inches. Note: For some visually-heavy chandeliers, you can instead use the diagonal of the room (treated as inches) as the chandelier diameter. Just measure out the diagonal with a tape measure (or use the Pythagorean theorem, for any math wizzes out there).
For the Dining Room Table or Kitchen Island –
Height. Hang your chandelier so that its lowest point is 30-34 inches from the tabletop (we always suggest leaning toward the higher end of this margin).
Diameter. The diameter for a chandelier hung over a table should be one foot less than the width of the tabletop to avoid hitting heads. If you want to place two smaller chandeliers over a long table, choose a diameter that’s about one-third of the width of the table.
How to Choose a Chandelier Style:
Okay, you officially know how to choose the right size chandelier. But as you scroll through our wide collection of chandeliers, panic strikes again! With so many different types of chandeliers, how do you pick a chandelier that suits your design style? As always, the Kuotes has the answers.
The candle chandelier is the oldest and most classic chandelier style, stemming from the early medieval period. Candle chandeliers are often ornate, and they typically have scrolling arms and filigree. Although candle chandeliers now run on electricity, most candle chandeliers still feature bobeches (the drip pans beneath candles used to catch wax—and your vocab word for the day). Choose a candle chandelier to add formality or regency to a room.
The crystal chandelier emerged during the 18th century with the introduction of Murano and soda glass, which were light-weight and could be shaped into intricate designs and patterns. Crystal chandeliers can come at a high price point, but they offer a glamorous look that is sure to catch the eye. Choose a crystal chandelier to create romantic and dreamlike lighting in any room.
The drum chandelier was introduced into the lighting world during the 20th century. The drum chandelier resembles a pendant light with a material, usually a lampshade, encircling the entire light for warmer and more muted lighting.
The island chandelier is a contemporary invention. It escapes the famous circular shape of the chandelier and has an elongated form perfect for kitchen islands or long tables.
The miniature chandelier (or mini chandelier) is a petite version of the grand chandelier that makes a similar statement in a room without taking up the large amount of space associated with chandeliers. These babies are perfect for adding a chandelier to the bedroom, bathroom, nursery, or closet space.
The modern chandelier emerged during the Post-World War II era when furniture design was heavily influenced by the modernist movement. Modern chandeliers feature clean, straight lines that are unseen in any other chandelier style. These chandeliers rebel against the lavish designs of traditional chandeliers and offer very little detailing. Choose a modern chandelier to add a modern, unapologetic edge to your space.
The ring chandelier uses a ring (or hoop), usually made of metal, as support for the candles or arms. The ring chandelier is frequently associated with the Rustic Lodge style. You can just imagine it lighting up a large farm or barn house. Common motifs of ring chandeliers include branches, animal horns, plants, and distressed materials.
The shaded chandelier adds a sense of jazz and nuance to your space. The shades will add an element of appeal to any room in your home or office. These chandeliers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they range in style from classic to modern. Choose a shaded chandelier for your bedroom to create soft, romantic lighting.
The tiered chandelier can come in multiple styles, from modern to rustic. For each tier a chandelier has, the fixture becomes larger and has more and more presence in a space. Choose a tiered chandelier for its wow factor, whether from a high ceiling home entryway or a grand hotel lobby.
Additional Tips for Placing Your Chandelier: