How to Pick the Diameter of Your Chandelier

When selecting a pendant for many areas, one general rule of thumb can provide you with an honest guide selecting a size:

Width of space (in feet) + length of space (in feet) = diameter/width of pendant (in inches).

So, as an instance, if your space is fourteen feet long by ten feet wide, a twenty four-inch diameter pendant would look proportionate (14 feet + ten feet = 24 feet, that you change to inches).

This is a typical rule that helps you retain the size of your pendant in proportion to the dimensions of the area. To me, this rule is best used as a beginning and not as a tough and quick rule, however it positively helps set a minimum size.

If your lightweight are targeted on a {seating area|seating|seats|seating space|room|way|elbow room} and not the whole room, use the approximate length and breadth dimensions of that space rather than the whole house. differently to calculate this is often to feature the length the sunshine are from the 2 nearest walls then double it to induce your approximate pendant diameter in inches.

For example, if the middle of your room is seven feet from one wall and eight feet from the opposite, then seven feet + eight feet = fifteen feet; fifteen feet x two = thirty feet, that you change to inches. therefore a 30-inch-diameter fixture would be an honest work.

How to Pick the Vertical Dimensions of Your Chandelier

Now that you simply have the breadth and diameter of the fixture, you’ll need to decide on the vertical dimensions of the fixture (not the peak on top of the bottom simply nevertheless, however the particular top-to-bottom size of the unit itself).

To choose the vertical dimension of a pendant, the classic rule is to require the area height (in feet) and multiple it by two.5 to three to urge a decent vary (in inches) for the vertical proportions of the sunshine.

So if your space has Associate in Nursing 8-foot ceiling, this may mean your pendant ought to be roughly twenty to twenty four inches prime to bottom. (8 feet x two.5 = twenty feet; eight feet x three = twenty four feet. Convert to inches to urge twenty to twenty four inches.)

For a 10-foot ceiling, twenty five to thirty inches are going to be a stronger proportional match. (10 feet x two.5 = twenty five feet; ten feet x three = thirty feet. Convert to inches to urge a variety of twenty five to thirty inches). and therefore the taller the area, the additional you’ll err on the high aspect of that formula.

As for the peak you suspend the pendant on top of the ground, you’ll need to travel a minimum of half-dozen feet half-dozen inches in order that no one is probably going to bump their head. a customary of seven feet on top of the ground works for many areas with a ceiling beyond eight feet.

If you are doing the mathematics, however, with a customary 8-foot ceiling, you can not match a 20- to 24-inch light-weight at this height to follow the previous rule. For this reason, and since such a lot of fashionable chandeliers don’t use a similar styles of shapes as ancient chandeliers, i might say you’ll safely throw the two.5- to 3-times height rule out and focus totally on the breadth if your scenario demands it.

For areas with terribly tall ceilings, suspend the sunshine at eight feet on top of the ground (plus an extra foot if the area is taller than twelve feet). you’ll additionally look to lights that persevere tiers to fill the peak well whereas additionally landing low enough to assist build the area below feel additional intimate.

In Associate in Nursing access with a additional normal-height ceiling, confine mind that a light-weight fixture can have to be compelled to avoid the door swing. Centering a light-weight on the entry vestibule is stunning, however you will need to decide on a petite pendant or a flush-mount rather than a real pendant to avoid any collisions.

Dining Rooms

A chandelier over a dining table has some special considerations. First, it should be low enough to create an intimate atmosphere but still not in anyone’s way. Hanging it with the bottom 30 to 34 inches above the table is a good rule. And make sure it doesn’t extend wider than the table — at least not any portions that are low enough for someone to bump their head.

Lengthwise, a chandelier will ideally be one-half to two-thirds of the length of your table to create a nice balance of proportions.

If you’re using a modern style of chandelier in a thin linear or branching shape, choose one two-thirds to four-fifths the length of the table so it doesn’t look too small to hold its own.

RELATED: Browse Stunning Contemporary Chandeliers

For a round dining table, choose a round or square fixture one-half to two-thirds the width of the table all the way around. If the light is too wide it will likely make the table look small and awkward, and if it’s rectangular the pieces will likely look disconnected.

For a small round table (say, a 48-inch table in a breakfast nook) a light can be more on the petite side without looking off, so feel free to choose something smaller and keep the look a little lighter if you prefer.

Dramatic Versus Demure

Keep in mind when sizing a light that size isn’t the only issue; you should also consider the other decor in the room. For a room with rich wallpaper or other busy patterns, a chandelier with intricate detailing will look appropriate.

In a more subdued space with lots of white walls or neutrals, a simpler, smaller light fixture will be more fitting.

Exaggerated Scale

The rules and tips I’ve listed up to this point are great for choosing a fixture that follows classic proportions. However, a recent lighting trend has been to buck these classic proportions and choose oversize fixtures instead to make a calculated statement through the sheer drama of large scale.

Hanging light fixtures make for a natural focal point already, due to their central position in the space and the simple fact that they emit light, so it makes sense to play up their size a bit if you really want them to make people say “wow.”

Of course, the scale of a light must still make sense for the space it is in, but throwing caution to the wind and choosing a somewhat larger fixture instead of playing it safe can lead to eye-catching results.

This is especially true for simple modern fixtures in minimalist silhouettes, such as a light that blurs the line between a chandelier and a large pendant.

Airy Minimalism

Taking a different approach from overscale lights, another huge trend we’re seeing is airy lighting that may technically be large in diameter but includes a great deal of negative space for a breezy, open vibe.

Sometimes the best way to make people listen is to whisper, and sometimes the best way to make a visual statement is by using a fixture that is so minimal or airy that you can’t help but notice. Lighting like this is made all the more accessible by the continuing evolution of LED technology, which allows for continuous curves and other streamlined silhouettes that could never be re-created by a traditional bulb.

Lights in this trend are almost more empty space than actual light, which allows them to be installed in a large size without appearing heavy or interrupting a room. This is especially important in breezy spaces with lots of bright white and windows, creating a peaceful atmosphere.

Muted Gold

While warm-toned metallics continue to be a huge trend, what we’re seeing work best in many homes is a softer form of gold that isn’t so “blingy” and is a bit more demure. “Softer” can mean various things, from an antiqued finish to a subtle brass tone that isn’t as boldly yellow as true gold. Either way, the hue of the metal is kept subtle so as not to appear gaudy or flashy, opting for a more timeless sophistication.

Also popular are fixtures with thin elements of golden metallics, so the material is present but not overwhelming. This works especially well in spaces that pick up a similar metal tone elsewhere, such as in small accessories, frames or even fun, trendy golden cutlery.

Sculptural Appeal

You can use a basic light fixture to illuminate an artistic element in your home, or you can let a light fixture be the piece of art. Light fixtures that appear like a sculptural installation are trendy right now but also timeless, like any great art.

Lights that draw inspiration from natural forms like oversize leaves are especially popular because they carry associations with classical architecture and exotic destinations, bringing a worldly appeal to the room.

An engaging sculptural shape can be a great way to add some extra oomph to a fixture without upping the scale, which is good in tighter rooms where a very large fixture would be impractical (such as under a low ceiling, in a tighter powder room).

RELATED: Midcentury Modern Style Basics 101

Surprising Texture

When you imagine a light fixture, your first thought might be something made of glass and metal, or with a typical fabric shade. However, lights and shades can be made out of many materials, so consider using a light fixture as an opportunity to add a new and inviting texture to a room.

Lights in tactile, organic materials can completely change the atmosphere of a room. Whether you want to play against the hard surfaces in a modern space or already have a lot of engaging texture at hand, it usually can’t hurt to add a little more to your palette. And a chandelier is an unexpected place to do so.


Besides bringing texture to a space, a great light fixture can also bring a dose of color. And they don’t have to be limited entirely to neutral hues. Like a rug, a great colorful chandelier can bring an accent hue into the center of a room in an unexpected way that shows a lot of personality.

Keep in mind that a light fixture isn’t as easy to switch out as an accent paint color on the walls, so choosing a safe-bet hue like a dreamy blue is a good long-term choice.

Old With New

Mixing old with new is far from a new idea, but it grows stronger as a trend every day. More than ever before, people are exposed to many different decor styles through the internet and blogs, and they want their own homes to have a little bit of everything.

A traditional light can bring a great sense of richness and gravitas to a modern home, but the opposite combination can be just as beautiful. A contemporary or midcentury style of light combined with traditional furnishings gives the room a little bit of edge and brings it into the present in just the right way.