12 Chandelier Do's and Don'ts for Decorating

Everything You Need to Know About Decorating With Chandeliers

capiz chandelier in a modern home
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Lighting is one of the key elements in any well-designed space. How we light a space relates directly to how we see it, so time spent deciding on how to put light in a room and where to place it is never time wasted. But lighting is more than a functional requirement of a space. It can also be a strong design element all on its own. Overhead pendant lights, stylish table lamps, and large standing lights are just a few of the options.

The right lighting can be the perfect finishing touch for the style you want in any space, from rustic to mid-century to ultra modern. But for a chic and timeless look, you can't beat classics like the chandelier.

Chandeliers are a great addition to just about any room. Not only do they provide excellent light from the best possible place, but as a design element, they can steal the show or just add another layer to a beautifully designed space. Still, as great as chandeliers are, they can present a few challenges. Knowing what size is best and how high to hang them can be tricky. But all it takes is a few simple tips to make finding the right chandelier easy. Check out these chandelier do's and don'ts for all the info you need to know about decorating with these gorgeous light fixtures.​

  • DO make sure your chandelier is the right size. A good rule of thumb is to add the dimensions of the room together in feet and then convert the answer to inches. The answer in inches should equal the diameter of the fixture. So if your room measures 10' x 15' the diameter of the fixture should be about 25".
  • DON'T necessarily follow the above rule in dining rooms. Take the size of the table into account. The diameter of a dining room fixture should be about one-half to two-thirds the width of the table or about a foot less than the width of the table at it's widest point. (In many cases these measurements will be the same).​
  • DO go bigger rather smaller in a dining room. If the fixture seems too large hang it a bit closer to the ceiling so it doesn't feel so overwhelming.​​
  • DON'T let it be closer than four feet from any wall if you can help it. Really it shouldn't be closer than 48 inches to any piece of furniture such as a cabinet or sideboard. This isn't always possible in small spaces but it's a good rule to keep in mind.
  • DO hang a dining room chandelier between 30" and 36" from the tabletop. It's best to hang chandeliers low enough so they light up the desired area, but not so low that anyone will hit their head.
  • DON'T hang overly ornate chandeliers too close to the table. Since heavy-looking fixtures take up a lot of visual space it's okay to break the rules and hang them a few inches higher than the normal standard.
  • DO hang entryway chandeliers about 7' from the floor in a single story foyer (any lower and tall people might hit their heads).
  • DON'T hang a fixture so that it hangs below the second floor in a two-story entryway.
  • DON'T limit yourself to just one chandelier in a very large room. Instead, opt for two slightly smaller fixtures.
  • DO use chandeliers in a variety of rooms. They look great in bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and even home offices.
  • DON'T be afraid to experiment with styles. Sometimes a modern chandelier can look great in a room full of antiques, and a vintage piece can look terrific in a contemporary room.
  • DO install dimmer switches on every chandelier in your home. They're terrific for creating ambiance and offering a more flattering light.