Light Conversation — Choosing a Chandelier

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How to add light to your historic home... 0

In my archiving, I ran across this article.  There is some good information here, for all types of homes.

Get to Know Our 8+4 Crystal Chandelier Series 0

One of our most popular chandeliers is the 8+4 Medium with Swarovski trimmings.  Equally beautifully whether trimmed in Swarovski Strass or Swarovski Spectra, it looks lovely in just about any setting.

  

It is ideal for what we call a "medium sized" dining room - a room that is 12' x 15' or 13' x 14'.  However, this is a very full chandelier with abundant trimmings, so it looks a bit larger than its 26" diameter and can enhance even a larger space, including a foyer.

In an 8' ceiling, using 1' of chain, this chandelier will hang about 29" off the table which is a tiny bit closer than our guidelines indicate, but no one will be the wiser!  (One link of chain really looks like more because there will be a screw loop protruding from the canopy.  Don't be afraid of one link!)

In the photo above, you can see how well it works in an uncomplicated space.  It also fits a more decorative space.  

This truly is the perfect chandelier!  But, just in case you want a smaller, or larger, bit of 8+4 perfection, check out the 8+4 Small or the 8+4 EXL (the 8+4 Large was lost in history).  

All of our Swarovski trimmed sconces are a perfect fit for this chandelier.

 

What Size Chandelier is Best for a Bedroom 0

What Size Chandelier is Best for a Bedroom?

My best answer to the question above is any size.  Seriously.  I think you can use any size you want.

Proper sizing:  Room width + room length = chandelier width in inches... 10'x12' room takes a 22" wide chandelier. HOWEVER, in a bedroom, a chandelier is really an accent piece, so it is more about the decor.  And, the ceiling height.

Ceiling height is the first consideration in a bedroom.  You have to walk under the light, so standard height off the floor is 6 1/2 feet off the floor.  Most people aren't taller than that (and if they are, they are used to ducking).  If everyone in your house is short, good!  That leaves more room for a chandelier.  (Remember to account for ceiling hardware which can take up to 4" additional beyond the chandelier height.)

If you only have 8', you will do best to use a small chandelier, regardless of how large the room is. An 18" tall chandelier (maximum height for 8' ceiling) starts to look odd when it gets wider than 26".

If you are lucky, you will have tall ceilings and can use anything you want.  But, unless you live in a palace, you don't want a huge chandelier in your bedroom.  This is one room where less is more.

  

 

Right-sized vs. Wrong-sized Chandelier 0

When you WANT to break the rules!  

Thinking outside of the proper sized box when it comes to chandeliers.

Talking with a friend yesterday, I reminded her of the common method of finding the proper sized chandelier for any given room... room length + room width = approximately the width of the right chandelier (in inches).  a 12' x 10' room calls for a 22" wide chandelier.  

But, what if you want to be different.  Or what if the chandelier love of your life is too big (or small)?  As they say, it is all good.  It really is!  Ultimately, it is your room, and as long as your head doesn't hit the chandelier, you can do what you want. 

For example, I have a 26" wide chandelier in my dining room, a room that really calls for a 22" wide chandelier.  It is a small room, but I don't want a small chandelier - I own a chandelier store, for goodness sake!  Because the room is small, it only houses a table and the 6 chairs to the table, plus the over-sized chandelier.  I love it!

Conversely, a friend has an undersized chandelier in her dining room.  Her dining room calls for a 26" wide chandelier, and she opted to use the one that was original to her early 1950's home.  It is only 18" wide, but looks perfect with her small chairs and over-sized lamps.

Just wanted to pop in with a reminder that home decorating rules are meant to be broken!

 

To Shade or Not to Shade 0

Should you put clip-on shades on your chandelier or sconce?

There are many things to consider when deciding whether to add fabric shades to your fixtures.  I am addressing crystal fixtures specifically, but many of the same ideas can be applied to other types of lighting.

One of the greatest things about adding shades to crystal chandeliers is that it softens the light.  And, if the shades have white linings, the bulbs will reflect off that fabric and back into all the crystals.  It really is quite stunning.

 

You can see in the photos above how the chandelier itself is lit by the way the shades push the light from the bulbs down onto the chandelier arms and prisms.  

A few things to be aware of when purchasing:

1. Make sure that you are using a low wattage bulb - if using incandescent, between 15w and 40w, depending upon how big the shades are.  If the bulbs become too hot, they will discolor the shades, or even worse, they will cause a fire. Most LED bulbs don't get hot enough to be of concern.

2. Clip on shades will fit either a candelabra bulb or a regular A15 or A19 (household type).  Double check that you are purchasing the right type of shade. 

3. Look at the interior color of the shade.  We really like white interior for maximum brightness.

4. Most lighting fixtures will look best with a shade that has a bottom diameter of 4" to 6", depending upon how large the fixture is.  Most of what we sell in the showroom is 4" to 5" bottom diameter.

5. If purchasing shades for sconces, ensure that the bottom of the shade isn't too wide.  Measure the distance from the wall to the center of the socket.  Half the diameter of your shade should be smaller than the distance from the wall to the center of the socket.

If you think that the light from wall sconces is a bit excessive, shades, either traditional or contemporary styles, are a beautiful way to soften that light.  

From a decorating point of view, shades can be a way to change design perspectives of a fixture.  An elegant drum shade can make a traditional chandelier seem more modern, or a bell shade can make a straight line chandelier seem more classic.  In many cases, a shade can make a fancy chandelier just a bit less so.

Whether for practical reasons or aesthetic reasons, clip on shades can change the look of your lighting fixture.  

A couple of our favorite shade sellers:
Jubilee
WN Desherbinin

 

Shopping for your Crystal Chandelier with a Check List 0

Before shopping for a crystal chandelier, you should gather some information in order to make the best choice.

  • Budget?  You can spend just about any amount on a crystal chandelier, and the truth is, you get what you pay for.  Having said that, maybe you only need a cheaper chandelier "just for effect".  Or, if you are looking at our site and a few others, you are really looking to invest in heirloom quality. Either way, determining your budget first will help in your selection process.
  • Number of Lights?  How much light will you need?  It may be good to talk to a lighting professional for some guidance.  Keep in mind, you will want to have your chandelier on a dimmer.
  • Room Size?  You will want to measure the width and length of your room and make notes of any architecture features or furniture that make the room seem bigger or smaller.
  • Ceiling Height?  Very important!  You need to know how much room you have before a chandelier would hit your head.  
  • How will you transport?  
  • Can you assemble it if necessary, or will you need to have an electrician assemble your new purchase.  We always recommend that an electrician make your electrical connection. 
  • Where to shop?  Well, www.chandelier.com, of course!