If you’ve ever been confused about the proper way to determine the dimensions for a chandelier in your home, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, this is a topic that comes up regularly with our customers here at Laura Lee Designs.
Fortunately, we’re here to help! We’ve outlined a few tips that we’ve found to be extremely helpful to our customers.
There are two important measurements to figure out before you go about looking for a chandelier. The first is to find the chandelier width that will compliment your room and the second is to determine the proper chandelier height for your ceiling.
In order to determine the width of a chandelier, you’ll need to first find the height and width of the room. You will then add the width and the height of the room together. For example if your room is 10’ x 20’, you will add those two numbers together (10 + 20 = 30). Based off this calculation, a chandelier with a 30” diameter will be the best fit.
Know your ceiling height! In order to determine the height of a chandelier, you’ll need to measure from the point where you are looking to hang the fixture (also referred to as the “point of installation) to the floor. You’ll then take that measurement and multiply it by 3”. For example, if you have a 10 foot ceiling and you multiply that by 3”, you will get 30 — which means that you are looking for a fixture with a 30” height. If you’re walking under the chandelier, typically the fixture should be 7ft off the floor. If its going over a table generally it should be 3ft above the table.
A Second Opinion
There is a second way that some individuals use to determine the proper chandelier sizes. This option calculates the chandelier size based solely on the width of the room.
For this calculation, you’ll need to take the width of the room and figure in a 2” proportion for every foot. For example, if you have a 12-foot-wide room, your calculation would take that number and multiply it by 2”—giving you a suggested chandelier size of 24”.
This calculation tends to be a little less rigid and allows you to approximate the diameter by a few inches.
First impressions are everything. And you can really set the tone in your house with a beautifully decorated foyer. Chandeliers make a perfect fit for your homes when there are at least 3 feet of space available.
To begin, you’ll need to add the length and the width of your space together (exactly how we outlined in The Basics section above). As a reminder, if your room is 16’ by 14’, you will add those two numbers together. You will then take that number (in this case 30) and use that as the base diameter (now represented in inches, thus giving you 30”) for your fixture.
Please keep in mind that other factors such as the height of the ceiling may influence the proper size.
There are some who recommend that the fixture be at least one foot shorter than the length of the table, but we recommend (just to be safe) that you select a chandelier equal to one-half the width of the table. Obviously, the general appearance of the chandelier needs to be taken into account, but this rule will at least help you narrow down your search as you look at different lighting fixtures.
But how low should a chandelier be hung over a dining table?
As a general rule, there should be 30" - 36″ between the bottom of the chandelier and the top of the table. The key thing to keep in mind here is that the chandelier should provide light for the table, but not at the cost of blocking anyone’s line of sight when they are sitting at a table.
If you are looking to put chandelier or pendant over a bathtub, we suggest measuring the height from the ceiling to floor and then measuring the space between the top of the tub and the bottom of the fixture.
There should be at least 7-8 feet of clearance for your fixture. If you bathroom is small and doesn’t fit this standard, we highly recommend that you consider using a smaller fixture.
Of course, hanging a fixture directly over a tub is just one way to decorate your bathroom.
In fact, the most common set up for a bathroom is to install your fixture at least 3 feet away from your tub.
Our general rule of thumb: sconces should be placed on a wall 60″ from the floor. If the fixtures can be viewed from above (say, a stairway or under a balcony), perhaps cover the top with a shade or diffuser to avoid any glaring problems.
MAJOR TIP: Bring Pictures
It might seem like an obvious one, but you’d be amazed how many times customers forget to bring photos when they come in to visit us in the showroom or when they send an email. Not only does your designer get a better idea of the space you are working with, but it can also help your designer identify potential problems that might come up in the future.
Just make sure that you bring a set of photos that show the best perspective on the size of the room you’re concentrating on. We hope that helps you start your journey to finding the perfect fixture to bring out the very best of your home.