How To Size Your Chandelier
The sparkle and dazzle of a well-placed chandelier defines and enhances the mood of any room. A chandelier that is too large can easily overpower a room and its inhabitants; one that is too small becomes insignificant and decreases the perceived value of the entire space. By following a few interior design guidelines for choosing the correct size, you will maximize the impact of the fixture. Room size affects chandelier size, but the type of space also affects the size.
1. Measure the width and length of the room. Add these two numbers together and consider the resulting figure as inches rather than feet. This is the diameter of the chandelier that will best suit the room. Allow 2 to 3 inches of chandelier length per foot of wall height. For example a dining room with 10-foot ceilings, 16 feet wide and 18 feet long, can accommodate a chandelier 34 inches in diameter and 20 to 30 inches in length. This calculation is particularly well-suited to a chandelier hanging in the center of the room and over the major piece of furniture or focal point, as in a dining room.
2. Define the area in a large room of several conversation areas or functions with a table or area rug. Use half the table width as the diameter guideline for the chandelier over a focal point table. Use the length and width of the area rug added together and called inches as the chandelier diameter over a conversation area rug.
3. Calculate the diameter of multiple chandeliers over a focal point by dividing the diameter of the table by the number of hanging chandeliers plus 1. For example, a table 54 inches wide would be best partnered with two chandeliers 18 inches in diameter, hung 18 inches apart over the center of the table.
4. Choose a rectangular chandelier for a rectangular table that is in keeping with the proportions of the table. For example, for a table that is 54 inches wide and 72 inches long, the diameter should be 27 inches. Subtract 27 inches from the length of the table for the result of a length of 45 inches. The rectangular chandelier best proportioned to this table would be 27 inches wide and 45 inches long.
5. Consider that a stairwell has a perceived wall height of two stories and calculate the length of the chandelier accordingly. Two-story entries should be treated similarly.
6. Hang the chandelier so the bottom is no less than 30 inches from the table surface in a dining room and no less than 7 feet from the floor in a hallway or stairwell. These guidelines will affect the length of the piece, so adjust accordingly.