Long, long, ago – throughout the dark ages, medieval homes were lit by fires in open cooking pits.
When candles (“chandelles”) were invented, they were incredibly expensive and reserved for the wealthiest class. It wasn’t until the 14th century that the first “chandelier” was created – a crude wooden cross with spikes at each end to skewer a candle. It didn’t take long for the artistry of chandeliers to evolve, utilizing complex patterns of cut glass suspended from ever-expanding architectures of bronze and steel to light ornate castle entrances, bedrooms, and dining halls. Chandeliers soon became a statement of status, with wealthy landowners competing for exclusive rights to the best craftsmen of the day to create works of art that served not only to illuminate, but as the topic of conversation at evening events.
No wonder, then, that chandeliers are still highly regarded. Today, a well-designed and perfectly placed chandelier can achieve much the same effect – but you must adhere to a few simple guidelines (see below).
Today’s chandeliers range from traditional styles to the most modern and eclectic designs. Home owners are also using chandeliers in rooms other than just the dining room or foyer, for instance, the bedroom, bathroom – and even walk-in closets. Since there are so many sizes, it’s possible to put a chandelier in almost any location – and new LED designs mean you might never have to change the bulb.
Stop by our showroom to talk to our lighting experts about chandeliers – they will advise you on placement, technical information and can work within any budget.
1. In the dining room, choose a chandelier that is 12″ narrower than the smallest dimension of the dining table. If your table is 48″ x 72″, then the recommended width of the fixture is approximately 36″. The chandelier should hang approximately 30″ above the tabletop in an 8′ ceiling. For each additional foot of ceiling height, add one inch. In a 10′ ceiling, the chandelier should hang approximately 32″ above the table. Most people hang a chandelier too high above the table.
2. Look for metal finishes that support the overall style of your room, i.e., brass, polished silver, crystal or glass, gold, or wood. A chandelier is the center of focus and you want it to be outstanding – but not stand out like a sore thumb.
3. For traditional style chandeliers, a ceiling medallion makes a perfect companion piece. They come in all sizes and styles, adding elegance to any room.
4. A dimmer allows you to change the mood of a room with the touch of a button.