How to Choose the Right Size for Your Chandelier


Lifestyle Production Group for House of One

A chandelier is more than just a utilitarian light fixture. "Chandeliers are the jewelry of a room," designer Georgia Zikas states. "They add instant shine and impact into your room and can be as versatile or as stately as you want it to be." While there are many different styles of chandeliers on the market, you will want to carefully evaluate your space before making a purchase. The size of your chandelier ultimately comes down to where it is being placed and the other furniture present in a room. Read on for designer approved tips on selecting a chandelier for the dining room, as well as other key spaces within the house.

Tips for Choosing Chandelier Size in Dining Rooms

The diameter of a dining room chandelier should be about one-half to two-thirds the width of the table over which it will be hanging.

However, most designers are not opposed to bending the rules just a bit. "I don’t have a strict requirement on chandelier sizing," notes Mary Patton of Mary Patton Design. "In fact, I generally prefer intentionally larger chandeliers."

Kim Coombs of KBCO Design adds that choosing a chandelier for a given room doesn't simply come down to measurements. "When selecting chandeliers, I consider other important factors that will enhance the aesthetic of the space," she notes. "For example, 'Do I want this fixture to be the focal point of the room?' and, 'Will it be the main lighting source, or is it to create a mood in the space?'" In a dining room with a long, rectangular table, there are a couple of routes one can go, according to Coombs. "A long, expansive chandelier is an option, as are multiple hanging fixtures to elongate the space," she states. "Using chandeliers or dropped pendants create interest, soft lighting effects, and intimacy, while recessed lighting or ceiling mounts can not give the same effect."

The dining table you own will influence the fixture design that you wish to purchase. According to designer Shoshanna Shapiro of Sho and Co, if you have a rectangular dining table, you will want to opt for rectangular fixtures, two pendants, or a round chandelier. If you have a round table, a square or round fixture works best, and if you have a square table, you'll also want to select something round.

Keep height top of mind when installing your chandelier, too, urges Michael Cox, founder at foley & cox. "Make sure the drop from the ceiling allows proper clearance above the table for uninterrupted dinner conversation and never restricts seasonal centerpieces."


Laurey Glenn for Mel Bean Interiors

Tips for Foyers and Other Space

Oversized light fixtures are becoming popular all throughout the home, Shapiro comments. But, she notes, you should ensure that your ceiling is at least nine feet when going big. "The higher the ceiling, the bigger the fixture can be," Shapiro notes. "With high ceilings, you want to use a taller fixture. Scale is everything when it comes to lighting."

And just as in the dining room, you'll want to play to the furniture pieces at hand. "The style of your fixture should coordinate with furnishings selected for the space and reflect your personality," notes Judy Pickett of Design Lines Signature. "When selecting lighting, don’t forget to consider the shapes present in the room ... as well as the scale of the room."

At the same time, some designers prefer going a different route and are looking for the opportunity to juxtapose different design styles within one larger space. "Be bold and unexpected—consider intentional contrast to the rest of the elements of the room," Cox advises. "A sleek, modern fixture can infuse sexy energy into a traditional room and a vintage fixture adds patina to a minimal, contemporary space."

In the Bedroom

If you wish to install a chandelier in your bedroom, you'll also want to pay close attention to ceiling height. And placement is key. "Your fixture in the bedroom should not hang directly over the bed if you can help it but rather centered with the overall room," Shapiro notes. Of course, in smaller bedrooms, a bed may live directly in the middle of the space regardless.

chandelier in bedroom

Molly Culver for Mary Patton Design