When you think of a chandelier, you probably imagine a larger than life ornate piece like those found in Gone with the Wind or The Phantom of the Opera. Impressive as these are, few people in real life would call such settings home. So the question is: how do you incorporate a chandelier into a room in a way that brings out its décor without going too over the top or creating a look that seems dated?
Before choosing a chandelier, it’s important to consider how it will work in the space provided. Your chandelier should be a focal point but you also don’t want it to overwhelm the room and make it look gaudy or poorly placed. Even if you see the chandelier of your dreams at your favorite furniture store, you may need to pass on it if you can’t picture it in your foyer, living room or dining room setting.
Chandeliers are one of the few fine furnishings that are almost exclusively made of metal, ranging from nickel or pewter to bronze or gold trim. Because metals tend to draw the eye, it is important to use the same colors throughout your home. Use your curtain rod colors or drawer handles to help you match this key detail. While coordinating metals is important, you don’t necessarily have to choose a chandelier that matches the rest of your home. In fact, adding a modern chandelier with a bubble or sphere design to a more traditional home or vice versa can actually give your home a bit of character and make for an interesting talking point.
According to Design Expert Vern Yip, a chandelier should be viewed as a “floating piece of art”. Considered this way, a chandelier can be used just about anywhere. You can add one to your bedroom for a romantic touch of soft lighting or even turn your walk-in closet into your own personal boutique or dressing room. Remember that chandeliers are primarily accent pieces so be sure to include additional lighting like floor lamps or sconces in spaces where full lighting is needed.
Once you find the chandelier that is right for you, correctly placing it is essential. The general rule is that a chandelier should be at least four feet from any walls and if placed above a table, approximately 12 inches narrower than the table’s surface when centered above it. If you are working with a small space, a glass or thin-framed chandelier will help create the illusion of more space while drawing the eye. An extra-long kitchen island or dining room table will benefit from two or even three well placed, but small chandeliers hung overhead.
With the right chandelier or two, you can easily turn any room in your home into a picturesque movie scene. Just be sure to hire a professional to help you hang any especially heavy fixtures so you don’t find yourself picking up the broken pieces like some tragic movie heroine.