Tips for Choosing a Chandelier

Installing a chandelier in your home is an investment as well as a personal style expression. The choices are staggering, but there are some principles that will make choosing a chandelier simpler.

First, consider the overall style of your home and choose a chandelier that complements that style. For instance, in a casual home, a formal crystal chandelier will look out of character, while a simpler chandelier will look appropriate. Another point to consider is the age of your home. Choose a chandelier in a style similar to the ones used at the time your house was built. This will help to create a classic look that won't look outdated in five years.

Will it Fit?

Remember, too, that when hanging a heavy chandelier, your ceiling might need to be reinforced to bear the weight. In fact, the size is an important consideration. As a general rule of thumb, double the number of feet the room is wide, and convert that number to inches to find the right diameter of chandelier to choose.

For example, if the room is 12 feet wide, the chandelier should be no larger in diameter than 24 inches. For a rectangular area, you can add the length and the width in feet, convert the number into inches and use that as a general rule. In other words, a room that is 14 ft. by 12 ft. would call for a 26 inch wide chandelier.

Consider the height of the ceiling, too, and what the chandelier will hang above. In the dining room, for instance, a chandelier above the dining table should be about 1/3 of the width of the table and hang about 30 inches above the surface of the table.

The room will look more balanced if the chandelier hangs directly above the table and not necessarily in the exact center of the room. A dimmer switch is always a good idea for a chandelier. If more lighting is needed, install track lights or wall sconces, preferably in a matching style to the chandlier.

Cleaning that chandelier can be a challenge, depending on how ornate it is. If it is a crystal chandelier, here is a method to get it sparkling clean. Spray a microfiber cleaning cloth with glass cleaner, and have another on hand that is dry. Wipe each crystal first with the damp cloth, then polish it with the dry one.

Since this is such a tedious project, particularly if you are standing on a step stool to do it, try to remember to dust the chandelier each time you clean in the room. A long handled feather duster makes a good choice for routine maintenence of a chandelier.