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If you have never purchased a chandelier before, you may be wondering how to hang it in your living room. Does it need to be hung at a certain height? Will it overwhelm the room if is too big? It may seem like a lot to think about initially, which is why we've done a bit of research into how to hang a chandelier properly.
Most American homes have standard 8-foot ceilings. If this is your home, your chandelier should be about 1 foot lower than the ceiling. While this rule is not set in stone, it is a common interior design practice. The reason is that this keeps your chandelier from overwhelming the room and potentially getting in the way of daily activities.
There are several different types of chandelier types and sizes. Both of which will have an impact on how high your chandelier should sit from the floor. The height and decor of your living room will also play a factor in determining the ideal hanging length for your chandelier. Continue reading to learn more about how to hang a chandelier in your living room.
Determining How Low To Hang A Chandelier In A Living Room
A living room chandelier can add a warming presence to your space. However, the size and style of the chandelier that you choose will also play a role in where it sits in the living room. For example, if the room is on the small side, let's say 100 square feet or less, the shade of the chandelier shouldn't be over 20 inches wide.
If it is, it may overwhelm the room and dwarf the rest of the furniture in it. This effect will be heightened if the chandelier sits lower on the ceiling. However, if your living room is over 200 square feet, the chandelier should be over 32 inches wide. Again, keep in mind that they are not set rules; however, there are sizing and visual elements that come into play when hanging a chandelier in any room in your home.
If your living room ceilings are higher than 8 feet tall, you'll want to hang the chandelier higher so that there isn't a huge gap between it and the ceiling. Hanging the chandelier about 1 to 1 1/2 feet lower than the ceiling is generally best. If your ceilings are lower than 8 feet high, you may want to decide on another lighting source instead of a chandelier.
The biggest thing that you want to avoid is having potential guests bump their heads on the bottom of the chandelier. You also don't want the chandelier to get in the way when you are moving tall furniture or other items in and out of the room.
Shortening A Chandelier
If you have already hung your chandelier and find that it sits too low for your liking, don't fret. You can raise the height of your chandelier with a simple DIY project--and it doesn't take long! The method to shorten your chandelier will depend on the type of chain and wires that it contains.
Most chandeliers hang from a chain, in which case, you can simply trim the wires on the chain with a metal cutter shear to shorten it. You can also remove the links from the chain, depending on how they are attached. In some cases, you may be able to even shorten the rod on your chandelier if it does not hang directly from a chain.
How to choose a living room chandelier?
Several factors go into choosing the right chandelier for your living room. Let's take a look at a practical approach to choosing the perfect one for your space.
Consider the function
The first thing that you will need to do before determining which type of chandelier will be best for your living room is to decide on the function of the chandelier. Will the chandelier be for decoration only? Or will it actually be used to light the room? This is a great place to start, as it allows you to narrow down your selection of chandeliers significantly. This will also help you to determine the type and the size of the chandelier that you need.
Determine the right aesthetic
You'll typically find chandeliers in dining rooms, foyers, and hallways. However, placing a chandelier in your living room can give it character and help to accent the furniture and wall decor within the room. Take a look at the current furniture in your living room as it relates to a new chandelier. What decor style are you going for? Does your living room have a sleek and modern appeal? Or is it more on the warm side with traditional elements?
It helps to decide whether or not you want your chandelier to complement your space or to offer an interesting contrast that can help certain elements of it stand out more. With the number and types of chandeliers available in the home decor space today, you will find no shortage of options that can help you blend centuries-old traditional looks with contemporary styles.
Decide on the best finish
Next, think about the finish that you want your chandelier to have. This can also heavily impact the style of the light overall. Chandeliers that have brass tones can add a certain warmth to your living room, while fixtures that contain brushed silver finishes can add more precision and contrast to various areas of your room. You may also want to consider polished nickel or chrome finishes, as they can offer your living room a classic look with a hint of modernity.
Pick a shade type
Another thing that you want to consider is the shade of your chandelier. Depending on where you purchase your chandelier, you may be able to have the manufacturer create a customized shade for your fixture. You can choose from sleek metal designs to classically-inspired victorian-style shades. The options are really endless.
Determine the lighting requirements
Now it's time to think about the amount of light that you want your living room to have. Think about how you are going to coordinate the light coming from your chandelier with other light sources in your living room.
Will the light from the chandelier make the room too bright if all of the lights are turned on? Can the chandelier sufficiently light the room if no other lights are turned on? Do you want dimmer lights on your chandelier? It helps to take a good look at your living room during various times of the day to help get a feel for what supplemental lighting will work best before you buy a chandelier.
Finalize the chandelier measurements
Remember, your chandelier should only be about a foot or a foot and a half lower than the ceiling. Otherwise, you risk the chandelier possibly being bumped or scraped while the room is occupied. If you are unsure about the height of your ceilings, measure them yourself to be on the safe side.
Consider the weight of the chandelier
Some chandeliers can be pretty weighty, so it's best to keep this in mind when looking at the specifications on chandeliers that catch your eye. You don't want to overwhelm the outlet box on your ceiling by hanging a chandelier that is too heavy. Not only can this cause electrical issues, but it is a safety hazard as well.
How big should a chandelier be in a living room?
To find the right width of your ideal chandelier, measure the length and width of your living room. Next, add those measurements together and this will give you the ideal diameter for your chandelier in inches. If you stick to these measuring guidelines, your chandelier should fit your living room just right.
How heavy can a chandelier be?
Believe it or not, some chandeliers can weigh up to 400 lbs. Keep in mind that most chandeliers will weigh anywhere from 7 to 50 pounds. If you are considering purchasing a chandelier that weighs over 50 pounds, you may want to contact an electrician or home improvement expert to get advice on how to properly hang the chandelier so that it is sufficiently supported.
Chandeliers that weigh over 50 pounds will typically require specialized mounting hardware. They may even require a heavy-duty electrical box as well. All chandeliers will come with recommendations for installation as well as numerous warnings to help prevent damage to your electrical box and physical injury. Always read these instructions carefully before installing a chandelier, or simply have a contractor install it for you. This brings us to our next point...
Do you need an electrician to install a chandelier?
Yes. Unless you have an electrical license, you should always hire a professional electrician when embarking on an electricity-related project. This includes installing chandeliers. Regardless of whether your chandelier is being installed in an outlet box that is already wiring, or if you are simply replacing an old chandelier with a brand new model, a licensed electrician can help you get the job done safely and correctly.
Typically, you can expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $150 for a chandelier install. This depends, of course, on the type of chandelier that you have and your location. It's best to get about three to four quotes.
Wrapping Things Up
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the perfect height to hang your chandelier and how to choose the best chandelier for your living room. Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other posts: