Once the mainstay of stately homes, the chandelier has shed its stuffy associations to become an accessible but sophisticated touch to almost any interior aesthetic. Whether it’s the classic candle shape or a more contemporary caged style, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure you find the right size for your dining room, and beyond. Lisa Collins of Mindy Brownes Interiors shares her guide to getting it right.
“Light is one of the most important factors when considering interiors and when done correctly, it can enhance the craftsmanship or structural features of a home. These focal points are where the brightest layer of light should be directed – for most rooms, it will be ceiling lighting. A chandelier will ensure the light is at a comfortable setting, this can be achieved by a dimming system.”
Our Sept/Oct cover star / Photograph: Greg Cox, Bureaux
When it comes to choosing the correct chandelier for your dining room, start with the numbers. “Choose a style with a diameter equal to one-half the width of your table. For example, if your table is 62 inches in diameter then choose a chandelier that is no more than 31 inches in diameter. It is best to go a bit smaller than a bit larger but sticking close to this will give you a balanced look.”
Leaving a clear space below the light to serve and move around is vital. “When hanging a chandelier the bottom of the fixture should be between 30 inches to 32 inches above the table.”
A traditional fixture in a modern scheme. Photograph: Warren Heathdo, Bureaux
To get the size right for the room, it’s back to the measuring tape. “Simply add the room dimensions together. For example, if your room is 12 feet by 16 feet, add 12 + 16 = 28. The right size chandelier for your room would be 28 inches in diameter.”
Traditionally, the chandelier complemented the style of the furnishings, but Lisa believes they offer a wonderful contrast to modern interiors. “I have one in my bathroom for that extra glamour against the cold, clean cut lines.” A quirky antler chandelier would provide an interesting foil to a classic scheme, while a shell or beaded style is a twist on the light’s ornate nature.
Traditional and modern mix, dressing room designed by LyonsKelly
Lisa cautions to consider bulbs carefully once you have settle on a style. “Bulbs can really make or break a beautiful statement ceiling light. Correct blubs avoid glare and light that bounces off other objects in a room.”
Main photograph: Ruth Maria Murphy