Chandeliers are no longer a luxury reserved only for formal interiors. There are more sizes and styles available and more importantly the price points are more affordable! Buying the right one requires a bit of homework though. Here are eight tips on how to choose a chandelier.

Size

I like to use larger chandeliers in big areas that need a focal point like an entranceway or high ceiling, and use the little sister chandelier for medium-sized rooms like bedrooms. Installing a chandelier that’s too big or too small means the scale in your room will look wrong. Use the following clever trick to determine the ideal size of a chandelier for your home: Measure the length and width of your room in feet and add those two numbers together. The total number should be the diameter of your chandelier in inches. Keep in mind this won’t work as well for really high ceilings in small rooms, but it’s a good starting point for regular-sized rooms.

Style

What’s your style, and what lighting style suits your home? A beaded chandelier suits a more casual home while a cut crystal design adds glamour. Consider the materials, colours and furniture you already have, and take photos of your home with you when you’re chandelier shopping to make it easier to find the right match.

Size

I look for chandeliers that have different size options and come in matching sets with other lighting types like wall lights and table lamps. This way you achieve a cohesive lighting set throughout the whole house to create a more upmarket aesthetic. In this home we used the Camille 3-tier chandelier from Lighting Direct, which comes in 330mm, 425mm and 600mm diameters for flexibility of use throughout the house.

Design

Some people disregard chandeliers because they look traditional or fussy. But many of the new designs on the market work really well with sleek, modern interiors. The key is to find a style with strong shapes, clean lines, and not too much detail, like the Camille chandelier range from Lighting Direct. Materials like cut crystal, glass, chrome, nickel or brushed brass give a more modern finish than textured iron or bronze and matching the metal to the fixtures and fittings in your home is a good place to start.

Wow factor

Chandeliers are no longer just for the formal dining room – if installing a mini chandelier in your bathroom, powder room or large wardrobe makes you happy then go for it! They’re so gorgeous to look at why not use them in an otherwise boring space?

Light

Chandeliers need to be teamed with other light sources as they don’t provide sufficient light for an entire room (we forgive them because they’re so pretty). The detailing on chandeliers affects the light output too, especially if the bulbs are concealed by decorative elements. So, include other layers of light with your chandelier like downlights and wall lights or table lights. If you can choose a chandelier with LED lights as they use less power and last longer. And get your sparkie to add a dimmer so you can control the light to create different atmospheres (check that your LED chandelier is dimmable as some aren’t).

Position

Now this part gets tricky as ceiling heights can vary house to house and even room to room. In standard height rooms like regular bedrooms, hanging the chandelier 30cms below the ceiling works well. But in rooms like kitchens and dining rooms it can be best to work your way up from the surfaces in those rooms. For example, I like to hang chandeliers about 80 cm above the dining table or benchtop. You want to avoid the fitting blocking views, hitting people in the head (it does happen!) or being in the way when you’re talking across a table. I ask my electrician to install mine, and while he stands on a ladder holding the light in position I walk around from different angles and ask him to lift or drop it until I find the right spot (he must love this job!). Try to keep the drop height consistent in rooms with more than one chandelier in the same eyeline.

Balance

Chandeliers look best when they’re centred in the middle of a room. If your wiring isn’t centred you can enlist an electrician to move it meaning you’ll have to patch up the old hole, or you can add a hook and sling the wire over to fake the position (just make sure your ceiling is sufficiently strengthened to take the weight of the hook and the chandelier).

By Shelley Ferguson. Check out the Camille chandelier range at Lighting Direct