What Makes A Good Chandelier?

Chandeliers are one type of light fixture that can take some time to find when you’re looking to buy just the right one. However, when you do it right, they can elevate your home and give you a whole new focal point for the space, as well as a conversation piece. But what makes a “good” chandelier? What kind of features should you be looking for? We’ve got everything that you need to know here.

Contemporary Dining Room, Orange County

Photo by Aria Design Inc

Why Choose a Chandelier For Your Space?

Selecting the right light fixture can always prove to be a little bit of a challenge. Especially today, when there’s more selection than ever before and what was once reserved for the elite (i.e. chandeliers) are now able to be placed in just about every room in every home if the mood strikes you right.

Chandeliers are often best used in spaces where people want to make a statement. They’re found in rooms designed for gathering and the rooms that you want to show off from a distance. Often, you’ll find chandeliers in living rooms and formal dining rooms. Of course, if you choose wisely, you could technically put a chandelier in just about any room that you’d like—and that’s part of the attraction.

Shop all light fixtures

With a chandelier, you’re making a thoughtful choice and creating art in your space in addition to having the lighting that you need. There are so many different designs today that you can create a sculpture that is dramatic, or simple, and that gets noticed. There are no rules here, either, because it’s about creating the space that you want.

Of course, if you want to make the most of this decision, there are some things that you’ll want to keep in mind.

Related: The Top Bathroom Design Trends For 2022

18 Light Elegante Chandelier

18 Light Elegante Chandelier

Chandelier Features and Considerations

When choosing a chandelier, there’s more to consider than just its size. That’s a large part of the decision, and we’ll discuss that on its own in a minute. First, though, let’s look at everything else to consider when you are thinking of adding a chandelier.

  • How high are your ceilings? Do you need to choose a style that is easy to reach or keep clean? Sometimes, people overlook this critical detail, but it’s important to keep in mind.
  • Consider the different finishes and styles that are available. If you want a more traditional, elegant design, there are plenty to choose from. However, there are also plenty of designs in the modern, rustic, and contemporary collections out there today.
  • How much lighting does the fixture actually put out and what kind of bulbs does it use? No matter how pretty a chandelier might be, nothing is pretty about having to go to five stores to find the right light bulbs when you have one go out. Make sure not to forget the practical factors.
  • Color, finish, and other features are next on your list. This is more about your personal preference and with the selection today, you’ll have plenty to choose from. If you want to, use sites like Houzz and Pinterest to find inspiration for chandeliers that you can use when selecting your own.
Alenya 6 Light Sheer Fabric Shades Chandelier

Alenya 6 Light Sheer Fabric Shades Chandelier

How to Choose the Right Size Chandelier?

If you are looking to get the perfect-sized chandelier for your space, there is a good rule of thumb that most pros suggest: measure the width of the room plus the length of the room (in feet), and use that number for the diameter of your chandelier.

For example, in a 10 foot by 12 foot room, your diameter would be 22. Then, you swap out the feet for inches, and you’ll be in the market for a 22 inch chandelier.

Related: 10 Tricks To Create A Spa-Like Bathroom

shop all light fixtures

Of course, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but a starting point for people who aren’t sure how to properly size their new fixture. If you’re putting a chandelier above a seating area or table, measure the space over the table and use that diameter instead. For example, if you have a room that’s 15 x 20 feet, but your light is centered over an area that measures about six feet by seven or eight feet, you could easily get a light that’s around 14-15 inches in diameter and it would be more than enough for the space.

As for the vertical dimension, that depends on your space. How high are your ceilings? Take the height of your room and multiply it by 2.5 to 3, and you’ll get a good number that you can use for the vertical proportions. Just remember that you’re turning the result into inches. For example, if you’ve got 10-foot ceilings, you’d want a light that was 20-35 inches in length.

Vetraio 9 Light Oil Rubbed Bronze Chandelier

Vetraio 9 Light Oil Rubbed Bronze Chandelier

Where Can You Put a Chandelier?

While most people are used to seeing these light fixtures in dining rooms and formal living rooms, some styles can fit just about any space. A lot of people like the modern chandelier over their kitchen island, for example, or perhaps want a small-but-stately fixture for the bedroom. Essentially, as long as you measure appropriately, you can place a chandelier just about anywhere you want.

Make sure that vertical space concerns won’t come into play, both in terms of having fixtures too low and in the case of that ultra-high ceiling where you might never be able to reach the fixture for proper cleaning. After all, there are some practical factors to consider here.

Related: Small Bathroom Lighting Tips: Make Any Space Shine With The Right Lighting

5 Light Mini Chandelier in Rustic Finish

5 Light Mini Chandelier in Rustic Finish

Choose Your New Chandelier Today

If you want to get a piece that is unlike anything else, custom-made chandeliers and one-of-a-kind styles are available. There are fixtures made of just about every material that you can imagine and in every shape, size, and finish you could think of. And if you can’t find exactly what you want, you can often customize the features on the basic models that are out there on the market today.

While some people think that you can’t just put a chandelier anywhere, the fact of the matter is that you absolutely can. Not only that, but you can create a unique space in any room in your home when you use these tips to help you pick the best types of light fixtures. If that’s a decorative chandelier, this list will keep you on track.

Related: Tips For Upgrading To A Luxury Master Bath

shop all light fixtures
6 Light Pot Rack Wrought Iron Chandelier

6 Light Pot Rack Wrought Iron Chandelier

My name is Julia Ritzenthaler, Founder and President of Unique Vanities, started in 2005. I started this business as an extension of our residential remodeling business, which focused on the design and build of custom cabinetry and architectural trim. I also worked as a financial advisor for 10 years at Ameriprise Financial, helping clients make sound money decisions, including budgeting for home improvement expenses. This expertise led me to start Unique Vanities, which offers a handpicked selection of high quality bathroom vanities, sinks, mirrors and more. You can find me most days sitting in Starbucks, my second office, or in my car driving my daughter across Dallas to gymnastics training.