Monday, January 14, 2008

Chandeliers on my mind

Thank you to the Washington Post for including this post in your Blog Watch on January 17, 2008!

I have a ceiling fan in the family room. Yes, I know that most people immediately remove the ceiling fans from their homes, but this one has stayed. It doesn't really bother me, even though I never use it. What bothers me is that the room is so dim that I can't even read in the room, even in the day (there is a screened porch off of my family room, which filters the light). I know that indirect light is fashionable, but it does not work in this room. Three lamps and a reading light do not help matters. I need overhead lighting. I do not really want a ceiling fan with lights, since I really would prefer to have a chandelier.

A picture from an Atlanta real estate listing. A very large and tall chandelier, but the ceiling looks like it is a bit vaulted in the middle.

This chandelier looks like it is low, but because it over the ottoman, and not in a path of traffic, it works.

So, I am going to get a reasonably priced chandelier that I like, and that can stay with the house when we sell in a few years. In my ideal world, I would be buying a gorgeous chandelier from Julie Neill Lighting, or a lovely Niermann Weeks chandelier. In my next home, this is what I will be doing. Both of these companies make unique, hand-crafted lighting that is incredibly beautiful. However, I know that if I buy one of these for my family room, I will never want to part with it, and the buyer of my home will feel the same way (because the buyer of my home is going to have great taste, of course).

I like this chandelier (below), and it is very reasonably priced. It reminds me of the NiermannWeeks Italian chandelier, but much less expensive! This chandelier is 27" wide by 33" high in the small size, and 31" wide by 36" high for the large size.

I am concerned that this might be a bit tall for a family room that has a ceiling of 9 1/2 feet high. The chandelier will be partially, but not entirely, over a coffee table; the chandelier will be centered on the room, but the coffee table is centered on the armoire (which is not centered on the wall because there is a door to the left of the armoire).

This is a family room from an Atlanta real estate listing. The ceilings are higher than mine, but you can see how this chandelier is not quite centered over the coffee table because the entertainment center is not quite centered on the wall.

I also really like this turned wood chandelier from Julie Neill Designs (below). The dimensions are 27"h, 26" wide, but it can be custom made to any specification. The height might be better for the room, although the width might be a little small for the room.

The Mollie chandelier, Julie Neill Designs

This one is quite nice too (below), not as nice as the custom Mollie because this one is mass produced and not custom made, but it looks good in person. The dimensions are 41" wide, 29" high.
The small Mansion chandelier (above), found in just about every home furnishings store in Atlanta!

I did some of research on recommended heights and widths for chandeliers in non-dining room spaces. One source had a calculation based on the size of a room: add the length and width of the room (in feet), and use this number translated as inches to get a good proportion for the width of the chandelier. My family room is 16' x 18.5', which means that a 34.5" wide is a good proportion for the room. However, given that the room focus is off center, and there is quite a bit of furniture (armoire, chest, sofa, chair and a half, coffee table, two side chairs and a skirted table), I think the smaller size chandelier might work fine.

But what about the height? If the chandelier is 33" high, and allowing room for one link and the hookup (4"), this leaves 77", which is 6'5". Is this enough? Some sources say it must be at least 7 feet off the ground, but only 5 1/2 feet if it is over a table.

Should I just look for a different chandelier that is not so high?

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  1. Okay #1 that chandelier is lovely.

    #2 thank you for validating me- I have been telling my husband for months that our ceiling fans have to go- they're all ugly and chandeliers are so much nicer. Now at least I can show him that I am not the only crazy woman who wants to be rid of the ceiling fans.

    #3 as a Realtor, I can tell you your concerns over the selling your house should not keep you from buying the chandeliers of your dreams. You can write into the contract any fixtures that you don't want included in the sale- that way you can buy what you want and take it with you.

    In fact, the average buyer will not realize what the chandelier added. They will see the effects of the chandelier, but when you insist that it goes with you, they probably won't mind (even though it may have been what helped them to fall in love with the house).

    Of course if it's an impossibly fashionable buyer such as yourself, then you may have to fight her for it, but really is there anyone as fashionable as yourself?

  2. Mrs Branham, I love your style! Your sweet comment made my day! I admit, I am often WAY too influenced by thoughts of resale. I hate that about myself. It makes me feel like a visitor in my own home!

    Maybe I will consider the turned wood chandelier that I had my eye on....I may edit my post.

  3. Mrs. B, you inspired me to edit my post, so I put two other chandeliers in there. For anyone who reads these comments, I only had one chandelier posted when Mrs. Branham commented.

  4. I love how fresh the cream, lime and orange look together in that second photo! And the first chandelier is my favourite. :)

  5. Thanks, Phoenix! I love this one too, and it is SO reasonable if you know where to buy it. It even has matching sconces! Some people don't like to match the sconces to the chandelier, but it doesn't bother me!

  6. I vote for # 1!
    Love your blog and just began my own--hope you'll visit!

  7. The third chandelier is gorgeous! It's fancy but I can picture it in a comfortable family home.

  8. I love chandeliers!I buy the cheapest I can find and redo them myself (some are on my blog)! When you install it, make sure to put a dimmer on it. It is so easy with endless results. Good luck. Post your room, before and after, if you'd like. We'd love to see it!

  9. Thanks for the chandelier buying guide! I may be in the market for one soon too.

  10. I am a chandelier junkie and have to use restraint to not have them in every single room! I agree with Jen, whichever you choose make sure you put it on a dimmer....it will add instant romance to the room :o)

  11. YES! Use what you love always. I have been known to REMOVE fixtures BEFORE putting a house up for sale just to ensure I get to keep my favorites! I hate the tug over wars over the chandeliers at closing. They can be so dangerous. You could put an eye out with some of those.


  12. Your banner looks great! Very sophisticated and pretty.

  13. Sarah,

    Congrats on your Washington Post mention!

  14. love that you posted bayou contessa's lighting-
    gorgeous lights!

  15. Wow - the Washington Post pick is cool! Surprising, considering that this is not one of my more impressive posts (although, love the chandeliers that I highlighted).

    Thanks for letting me know!

  16. Dear THings - thank you so much for teh tip on the correct proportion of the chandelier to room ratio.

    its really hard to know, non?

    I'm one for if I love it - get the one you like rather than one you're not so flash on but fits just so

    Also my personally feeling is big is better than too small - at least its making a statement!

    Have a great weekend!

  17. Great new header and congratulations on your mention in The Washington Post!

  18. I've considered removing the ceiling fan in the master bedroom. In our climate, even with AC, we need fans. That is what has caused me to hesitate. I'd love to have a chandelier in our room. We're working on a little makeover. Perhaps I'll rethink the ceiling fan issue.


  19. You mentioned how affordable the Neirmann Weeks knockoff is.....what is the source please?
    I have always loved that expensive chandelier!!!

  20. Thank you for all of the lovely comments, everyone!

    The reasonably priced chandelier (if you do a bit of searching online for good prices) is by Currey & Company. They make such beautiful lighting.

  21. People who immediately remove ceiling fans either don't live in Arizona, or don't mind spending 4 figures each month on their A/C bill out here! I dislike overhead lights in a lot of spaces, but we have a ceiling fan (sans lights) in just about every living space. You find ceiling fans in homes of every price point here in the desert.

    That said, I absolutely adore that light fixture in the Atlanta house...that circular one that is off-center.

    I also agree that resale should not impact which chandelier you buy. If it was me and it was a super special chandelier, I wouldn't sell it with my home anyhow. With your taste, your home is going to be gorgeous no matter what you choose!

  22. #1 There is an excellent website at www.LargeLighting.com that only specializes in large decorative lighting (mostly higher-end) that is 48" or more (also do custom lighting).

    #2 Got the following lighting industry "rule of thumb" for sizing chandeliers from them as well:

    Chandelier Sizing Guidelines:

    For chandelier diameter:
    Add the length and width of the room together (in feet) to get a starting diameter (although for 2-story foyers/great rooms - usually should go about 12" wider since the chandelier looks smaller when hung higher). Example: for a Great Room measuring 30 ft x 21 ft - a minimum diameter for a chandelier would be 30+21 = 51 inches diameter up to 63" diameter.

    For chandeliers over dining tables, you must also take into consideration the width of the table (since you don't want people bumping their heads when they stand up). A rule of thumb is to take 1/2 the width of the table for a chandelier diameter as well as considering the room size using the rule above.

    For chandelier height:
    > Foyer / Great Room (two/three story spaces) : Hang so that the bottom of the chandelier is between 9' to 11' above the floor (or personal taste depending upon configuration of space) with the remaining distance for the fixture and chain.

    > One-story spaces (eg. bedrooms / library / gallery / baths): Hang bottom of chandelier at least 7' above the floor.

    > Kitchen island: Hang around 6.5' to 7' above the floor.

    > Dining area: Hang the chandelier around 32" to 36" above a table (though some people go higher which doesn't look as good - depends on personal taste).

    Hope this helps!!

  23. I agree with Amber, ceiling fans are very energy saving in Arkansas also. There are some very nice &
    elegant looking ceiling fans available. We just replaced 2 fans
    in our den with 2 remote fans with
    dark wood & amber double lights, we
    have gotten many compliments on them & we just love them. However,
    I do believe an elegant chandelier
    belongs over the dining room table.


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