The foyer is, at once, one of the most important and one of the most overlooked areas in a home. It's not hard to see how a small, transient space might escape notice. But even in homes with grand entryways, this pass-through space often lacks both style and substance.
It deserves better treatment, though, because the foyer greets you when you come home and welcomes guests when they arrive. The foyer really should set the tone for the rest of your home.
And good lighting is one of the best ways to make sure your foyer makes a positive first impression. A foyer chandelier lights up the entryway with sophisticated style, but it can be tricky to hang it at the right height.
Rules of Thumb
In most rooms, chandeliers should hang so the bottom sits about 7 feet above the floor, but this rule doesn't always apply in the foyer. While you should never go lower than 7 feet from the ground, you should sometimes hang it higher. For instance, in a two-story foyer, the bottom of the fixture should hang at the level of the second floor. In one-story foyers with ceilings higher than 12 feet, you should leave at least 7 feet 6 inches from the bottom of the chandelier to the floor. Remember too that a foyer chandelier should hang in the center of the room.
Since chandeliers look smaller the higher they go, you might want to add a couple of inches to the diameter of the fixture if it's positioned quite high.
Normally you would base the width of the foyer chandelier on the overall dimensions of the room. Add the width and the length of the room in feet and then convert the answer to inches. The answer in inches indicates a good width for the chandelier.
It also makes sense that the higher the ceiling, the taller the foyer chandelier should be to look balanced.
A common rule of thumb is to allow 2.5 to 3 inches for each additional foot of ceiling height. So given that a room with an 8-foot ceiling should have a fixture about 20 to 24 inches high, a 10-foot ceiling needs a fixture with about 25 to 30 inches of height.
Guidelines to Follow
The foyer chandelier style should match the overall feel of your home. Sparkly crystals may look out of place in a Western lodge-style home, while a sleek metal piece could be the perfect preview to modern decor. Remember, though, that while these guidelines can lead you to success, like all guidelines, they may not always apply. Assess how the piece looks in your space and feel free to play with the height and proportions. Depending on the chandelier size, you might want to hang it a bit higher or a bit lower. Ultimately you must be the one to decide what looks best in your home.