A chandelier is perhaps one of the most eye-catching light fittings available and is a perfect statement piece. They are available in a wide range of styles covering everything from modern to traditional and will complement virtually any style of décor.
How to Choose a Chandelier
If you are shopping for a chandelier it pays to have done some homework first as there are a number of important factors to consider. The room size, the height of the ceiling, where the chandelier will be fitted, the design and the materials it’s made from will all play a role in your decision making.
Our guide below will guide you through the important questions and help you make the perfect chandelier purchase for your home.
The Right Size for the Room?
Picking a chandelier that fits the proportions of the room into which it will be placed is perhaps the most important task. A large chandelier in a small room will look out of place. A small chandelier placed in a big room will simply look lost.
If you don’t already know your room dimensions then it’s time to grab the tape measure and get measuring. As a general rule of thumb rooms measuring 10 by 10 feet or smaller work well with chandeliers that have diameter of 20 inches or less. A 12 by 12 room can take a chandelier of between 25 to 27 inches in diameter and a 14 by 14 feet room can accommodate up to 36 inches.
If you are installing a chandelier then generally you will need a relatively high ceiling otherwise you may find yourself walking around the light fitting rather than under it. You are ideally looking for the bottom of the chandelier to be 20 to 25 inches above the top of an average size persons head. The one time when this doesn’t apply is when placing a chandelier over a dining table. In this situation the ideal distance between table top and the bottom of the light fitting is approximately 30 inches.
Styles of Chandelier
There are lots of different chandelier styles. Some offer very contemporary, modern features whilst others are far more traditional. The frame of the chandelier play a big part in the design and you will find a range of materials used in their construction. The most commonly used material is metal which is then covered with either gold, silver or a chrome finish. Wood, plastic, glass and ceramic are all also used and all offer different options and design features.
Some of the most common styles of chandelier are;
Crystal Chandeliers – Perhaps the image that springs into people’s mind first when you mention chandeliers. This style can date its history back several hundred years and first became popular in a decorative sense in 17th century France where they were used as status symbols. Still very popular today, they can form a truly stunning centrepiece. They are are also very effective at refracting light which practically makes them ideal for larger rooms.
Candle Chandeliers – The very first chandeliers were two simple pieces of wood, connected in the middle to form a cross. A candle was placed on each end of the cross and they were used to light large rooms such as churches. Today’s candle chandeliers have moved on a little technologically but the basic style is still very popular.
Beaded or Shell Chandeliers – A close relation to crystal chandeliers but a little less formal. This style uses beads or shells instead of lead crystal which generally makes them much lighter and also cheaper to buy.
Mini Chandeliers – As the name suggests these are small chandeliers and this covers most chandeliers, regardless of style, that are smaller in size. They are growing in popularity as they can be used around the home in almost any room.
People often think that cleaning a chandelier will be a long and labour intensive process. Generally however, a simple duster or feather duster will keep you light fitting looking good. Depending on the materials that the chandelier is made from there may be special cleaning substances available for the occasional deep clean. The manufacturer will include any special cleaning requirements the product may have in their instructions under care and maintenance section.