Chandelier In The Living Room, or nah?!

March 12, 2020

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Now that a lot of the major renovations are nearly behind us on the main floor (nearly!), I am turning my attention to furnishings and decor. It’s true–for the most part I haven’t made ANY of those decisions yet because I was so preoccupied making major decisions. (Although we did get this skirted sofa from Arhaus and this Blue Velvet one from Lulu & Georgia!) But the next decision I’m trying to make is: Is this room ready for a chandelier?? I think so?
We haven’t chosen one yet because we wanted to wait to see how the arched window and the fireplace finished up and really feel the new space before making a decision. Psst–This is a great example of designing in phases!
      The arch window is such a focal point, and so is the fireplace, so we’re not looking for something that’s TOO much of a statement piece. But isn’t the purpose of good lighting to enhance a space?
     There was an antler chandelier hanging in this room when we bought the house last year. It’s not right for our current design, but in another setting (maybe a future cabin!), and maybe painted white, it would be beautiful. I’m so glad this chandelier was hanging when we arrived because it gave me a good idea of the scale this room needs. The OG chandelier was too small for this room: The vaulted ceiling is 16 feet, and the fireplace is 87 inches wide. The chandelier needs to hang low enough AND wide enough to fit the scale of the room.
     There’s a rule of thumb that says that a room can handle 2.5 inches in fixture height for every one foot of room height, which means that this room could handle at least a 40-inch-long chandelier. Another rule suggests adding the dimensions of the room together (in this case, 17′ x 19′) and converting this to inches (36) to determine to diameter of the chandelier. To me, that seems to small for this room!
     We mocked up what this room might look like with a 30″, a 40″, and a 50″ chandelier diameter. These aren’t technical drawings (the photo is not taken exactly at eye level), but they’re helping us to envision the scale.
     As for the style, there are a lot of modern elements in this room already, so I’m leaning more traditional on the chandelier. We had two big wagon wheel chandeliers in the cabin, and I’d love to try another fresh style. Below, we rounded up lots of styles and sizes. Do you have a favorite?

25-39″ Chandeliers

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

40-49″ Chandeliers

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28

50″+ Chandeliers

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8


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What do you think?

  1. Teresa J Leonard says:

    I agree, your chandelier needs to be big. I personally like 50 plus inches number 7!
    Your living room is spectacular!

  2. Roz says:

    Don’t put a chandelier in the living room

  3. Marianne Hotz says:

    Also, what is the color of the trim paint?

  4. Marianne Hotz says:

    Who makes the blue sofa? and what is the fabric?

  5. Penny Houle says:

    I love #8 in the 40-49″ group. My only concern is whether it’s large enough. But I think the accent color, the dark metal, and the more classic shape is really nice for your space. #24 in that same group would be my fall back. Whatever you do, I think you should lean traditional, unless it’s a really unusual piece. I just don’t think you want to go too modern in there. High ceilings like that can benefit from some warmth, and if you’re trying to create an urban cottage effect, it’s even more important. And traditional/rustic pieces can do that. You also don’t want to go too small. I like some in the first group but I just think they’re too small for space. In the last, 50″ group, I like #7 a lot. It’s only 41.5″ wide, but it still has a substantial presence and the shape is good and it has that traditional, urban cottage feel, imo.

  6. lourdes says:

    The room looks stunning so far.

    A thousand times “yes” to a chandelier. I would go with a 50 inch.

  7. Ashley says:

    It’s all so beautiful but my vote is nay!

  8. Kate says:

    #24 in the 40-49” category ???????????????? You picked some incredible options! But I think this would look so beautiful in your space!! And it’s not too busy, so it wouldn’t detract from the focal points ????

    Can’t wait to see what you choose!!

  9. Franki Parde says:

    I’d “embelish” that ” white antler idea…original is so…fun. franki

  10. JL says:

    I definitely agree with the less-is-more argument others have made in the comments. However, as I look at the room, scale is the most important factor. With the ceilings so high and the window so huge, the furniture looks almost miniature. The addition and placement of a chandelier(s) can help bring more intimacy to the room. When looking back at your cabin, what I loved was the placement of the two chandeliers. Not sure how your ceiling is wired, but you may consider replicating the same by placing two “medium-sized” chandeliers maybe halfway down either side of the center beam (with the arms at the second tier of windows) so that both lights sort of “frame” the big window. Try mocking it up and see what you think. It will be beautiful whatever you decide! (I’m still drooling over those linen shades in the dining room).

    While looking at other chandeliers, I ran across this one to add to your list…although, it may work best in your entryway.

  11. Go big or go home! Lots of air in between slim bits of the fixture, but a large lit area.

  12. Rebekah says:

    I like 24 in the 40+. It kinda mimics your arch feels in the opposite direction. Also, it is minimal enough to not distract from the either the window or the fireplace. I also think it would be less maintenance to clean!

  13. Andrea says:

    My picks: #8 from the 40″ section, #25 from the 40″ section, or #5 from the 50″ section. The last one is showcased in the new show ‘Lincoln Rhymes Bone Collector’.

  14. Jordan says:

    Your content is always so inspiring and thoughtful. Thank you for showing us the power of patience, change, and progress. If the recessed lighting doesn’t feel warm or bright enough on its own, then I say bring on the chandelier (or maybe a fun fan/light combo)! You really can’t go wrong – your space is so beautiful.

    I am also trying to update the lighting in my home and find myself struggling to commit due to fear of cleaning and maintenance. My current lighting has lots of glass components, and keeping them streak and dust-free is a chore. Would love to hear any maintenance tips you have for keeping things like intricate chandeliers in tip-top shape as you continue on your renovation journey.

  15. Gaylene Knowles says:

    I think something large /antique Maybe French with Chrystals and black/ oil rubbed bronze base.
    As I think this room needs some juxtaposition since the room is contemporary. Just sayin

  16. Judith says:

    Upon seeing the whole room, I immediately thought something slim, asymmetric, possibly (matte) gold-toned would be amazing in there.
    And you have two that fit the bill: #2 of the mid-sized chandeliers, and #1 of the large ones. The latter especially would be amazing, I think.

    What’s very much not my jam are the many-tiered, round, made-for-a-castle sort of chandeliers. But I might be totally wrong, and I’m sure whatever you pick will look great :)

  17. 50”+ I choice 4 & 6 being you’re wanting to add a more traditional look to your more modern space. Everything looks amazing BTW ????

  18. Christina says:

    I like the less-is-more of #s 5 and 28 of the 40″. Those windows and your fireplace…and the floor next door are begging for center stage. I think it will be too heavy if you go with much more bulk than the bare minimum. But I sure with you could find it in a 50″

  19. Loz says:

    It looks so beautiful. Amazing job!! Seriously, it’s layers and cozy and you haven’t even added everything yet.
    I thought I liked the 40” #18 and 27 b/c the shape mimicked the big drum shades in the dinning room. But then I saw the 50” #6 and was in love. So unexpected!!

  20. George says:

    Something traditional that is the correct scale. The size really matters with a room this big.
    Get rid of the recessed lights.

  21. Kristen says:

    When you first mentioned a chandelier I was like “Oh no! With so much else going on in there?” but I got it when you said that lighting can be a way to just enhance everything else going on in a room. Based on style I like the clean simplicity of #14! Traditional but still feels a little modern, and a good scale for the space. Can’t wait to see what you choose!

  22. Kristi says:

    I vote no chandelier. But I like how #12 mimics the arch. Or the paper lantern suggestion above (with the plaster and beams—wow). Everything else about the room feels pretty traditional.

  23. Nina Evans says:

    I actually think this one from crate and barrel would look amazing as it would still let the window and fireplace shine through….

  24. Sara says:

    Leave it to me and I’ll choose the most expensive one every time! ????????‍♀️

  25. Toni C. says:

    Oh boy …. I think the Luca from Pottery Barn in brass would a subtle, yet perfect addition to this room. Like an understated piece of gorgeous jewelry ????.

    Can’t wait to see what you choose!

  26. Tara says:

    40” size…number 9, 12 or 26.

  27. Samantha says:

    Ahh, I would love to see an enormous paper globe lantern a la Isamu Noguchi. Warm, modern statement light. Something to give the beautiful contemporary finishes a little edge. Alas, not my house. I’m sure you guys will choose something stunning.

  28. Susan MacEachern says:

    50 inches plus chandelier number eight and number four are my favorites.

  29. Dee says:

    Definitely add a chandelier and make it LARGE but not too bulky. Black with brass accents would tie together with the black windows and doors and brass accents would add a little sparkle.
    Leaning towards #4 in the 50”
    It’s looking amazing guys ????

  30. Roxane Gray says:

    #8 and #13!!

  31. Karen says:

    I think larger is best. I love 24 if it’s on the larger size, but I would prefer brass over black. Also I love how that chandelier would give a subtle Knox to the arches in your home.

  32. Heather says:

    #11 in the 40”-49” category. Modern lines but the shades add the traditional touch you are looking for.

  33. Natalee F says:

    Number 18 is amazing! The size is right but it has a daintiness about it. It won’t be imposing or distract from the room but it will add the right touch of elegance.

  34. Saturn Dean says:

    #1 in the 50 inch section!!!!!!! Love the scale without blocking the view ????

  35. Christina says:

    I have #23 and LOVE it! It’s a great mix of traditional with a modern slant.

  36. Neggi says:

    I vote no. There needs to be nothing competing with that window. I would love to see what you decide and if you prove me wrong!

  37. Jolene says:

    #16 or #23 in the 40″ section have my vote! Or #4 in the 50″ section. All beautiful, traditional and they would tie in nicely with the lighting over the dining table????

  38. Amber says:

    Number 4 from the 50” section almost feels like a nice nod to your previous home and gives me all the modern yet traditional vibes.

  39. Dominique says:

    Love everything you have done btw!!
    My vote is for 23 or 27.
    I manage one of the Circa lighting stores and would love to work with you on this! My email is [email protected]
    Thank you for inspiring us every day!

  40. Karisa says:

    40” – #15 or #23

  41. Anna-Lisa Horton says:

    Loving the living room!
    Totally think #5 in the 50” would be perfect! A mix of traditional and modern but not too “statement-y”
    Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  42. Jennifer says:

    I love looking at our kitchen chandelier from outside, shining at night so beautifully. I suggest that you go outside and envision what would look good from that angle, too!

  43. Lyda says:

    What!? The antler chandelier isn’t an option?! ;P Totally kidding, of course :D I say, go big! #1 or #4 in the 50″+ group. #4 would tie in well with your dining room I think, and #1 is just a really cool option that I think would elevate that room in a whole new way and make it feel funky and fun and a bit mod. Thumbs up all around though! Totally confident that whatever you choose will be perfect. :)

  44. Julie S says:

    I like practically everything from #9 onward in the 40-49″ category. I think the larger the better for this space – since most of the styles you rounded up are more on the visually airy side (which I like too).

  45. Deanna says:

    22 ❤️ Such a great combination of modern and classic! And it’s still so unique!

  46. Sara says:

    1, 8 & 12! AMAZING JOB THUS FAR! xoxo
    PS you could always live without one and see how you adjust to that feeling once your mantel is decorated and you had floor/table lighting.

  47. Ashley says:

    I am not a fan of most of the ones you listed. I think the style of the Go Lightly chandler from McGee, would work well with your room. Something about the cleaner lines, perhaps. However, I think you need something on a larger scale. Looking forward to seeing what you choose.

  48. Linda says:

    From the mock up it feels like you need a 50″ but I don’t personally like any of those in that size category. In the 40″ section, I love 5, but may be too simple – so I like 9, 13, 15 and possibly 8.

  49. Sonja says:

    1, 2, and 5 in the big a$$ section! Use that scale, baby!

  50. Jessica Merrill says:

    It’s breathtaking!!!! So, so much better than it looked when you moved in.

  51. Liz says:

    I would live in the space for a while before adding the chandelier. Will you need it to provide light and if you do, go for the one that provides the most light. But, how easy will it be to change out the lights? To dust?

    I tend to dislike overhead lights for everyday use and prefer the use of floor and table lamps. But, did you install floor sockets for lamps?

    And, on the other hand, a chandelier is really more of a statement of art, so go for the one that thrills your artistic sense.

  52. Ann says:

    I like the 50″ number 1 (which is really cost effective!), but I’d like it in multiples. That room is SO large, I don’t think a single chandelier is going to work. Two or three might work a lot better. Unless you went to a place that sells lighting for commercial spaces and then you might find the scale and styling that would work.

  53. Mary says:

    I like the shape of #12 in the 25″-39″ and how it mimics the curve of the window. I can imagine seeing it from outside on a dark night.
    But maybe it’s too matchy/matchy?

  54. Courtney says:

    I definitely think large scale is the way to go in this room. I love the simplicity of #4 in the 50″ chandelier group. The shades provide a traditional touch while not competing to be the star of the room.

  55. Betsy says:

    I think the simpler the chandelier, the better! You don’t want it competing with the window and fireplace. Many of these are too “busy”, and I think would distract. Ex. # 6 & 21 from the 40″-49″ chandeliers. 1 & 7 from the 50″ category. You definitely need at least 40″. Something other than black. But something very simple. Simple can still make a statement I believe. Really love # 28. If you could find #4 in brass, in the 50″ + category, that would be my second choice. #11 & 12 in the first category are way too busy, and would definitely distract. So exciting you are almost there. Good luck making your decision. It is always agonizing.

  56. kim says:

    A minimum of 40. There are some beauties in the 30-39 category, but they’d be too small. I vote overwhelmingly for number 23 in the 40-49 category. I die.

  57. Christina says:

    Each time you post a new idea, I think “nah, too modern and cold for me” and then you make it so warm and homey! I’m excited to read each new blog post. I even go back to old ones to remind myself how I thought something wouldn’t fit and then you saw the bigger vision and tied it all together. Thank you again for teaching me so much!

  58. Christina says:

    I vote yes! Something grand in scale, simple in design, just like the rest of the room. I agree with Kelly about brass and cream!

  59. Cici Haus says:

    I’m leaning no chandelier, but I’m also sure that whatever you choose will be gorgeous! I like the one in your mockup best (#13) or maybe #6.

  60. Heather says:

    Great choices, but I vote no. I think your eye would immediately land on it to the exclusion of everything else in the room. I also think it will always look too small for the scale of the room and ceiling, even with a 50″.

  61. Liz M says:

    YES! Something big, and unique and antique brass. The windows are such a star that I think the brass would not compete with it – compared to a black fixture. But something big and airy would look soooooo good! Can’t wait to see what you pick :)

  62. Tiffany says:

    This is SO helpful! Thanks so much for the round up. I’m shopping for a chandelier for my tall ceiling dining area of my great room now. Have you decided the hang height of you chandelier yet? My ceilings are 13 ft, vaulted like yours, and I’m not sure how high to hang. Thanks

  63. Arielle says:

    Love the idea of a chandelier, but I don’t envy you guys having to change light bulbs that high up! I would stay away from anything with shades because those have to be dusted once in a while, which would mean more trips up a very tall ladder!

  64. Krystal says:

    I definitely vote yes. I like the idea of something other than black, as Kelly mentioned it seems like it would get lost against the window trim otherwise. And I personally lean towards the round shapes to contrast all the angles in the room and to nod to the arch motifs. I think my favorites of what you’ve gathered here are in the 40-49″ section – numbers 12, 26, and 28.

    Everything here is looking so good!! I’m completely in love with this transformation. :)

  65. Kristin says:

    12!! It would be SO beautiful against the arched window ????

  66. justynn says:

    I feel that #1 from the 50″ would be so stunning in your space. It’s arm-y (lol) enough that i don’t think it would look overpowering from the windows, and keeps a modern vie with the more cottage style beams and windows.

  67. Kristen says:

    I like #4 in the 40” range and #5 in the 50”.

  68. Wendy says:

    So many great options! #4 in the 50″+ category is pick. But honestly, you can’t go wrong. That room is SO GOOD, you could hang a bare bulb in there, and it would look amazing.

  69. Ashley says:

    Does the 2.5 x feet rule apply to hanging a fixture over a dining table? I have standard 8ft ceilings but I’d like to hang a chandelier over my table.

  70. Kelly says:

    I vote yaaaas. It would really tie the room together, and would provide such beautiful, cozy ambient light on a dimmer. I’d say anything less than 40″ would look comically small against the windows. Any black fixture might also get lost in the black window trim, so I vote for a brass fixture, maybe with white or cream linen shades. My personal fav is option 19 in brass.

  71. Lauren says:

    Whatever you choose will be beautiful but not gonna lie, I lean heavy on no chandelier at all. I can’t imagine covering up the lines and site lines. It’s beautiful.

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