How to Select the Right Size Chandelier

How to Select the Right Size Chandelier

How to choose the right size chandelier for your space

Often, the trick to good interior design is about sizing up your choices and less about the decoration of the piece. This is especially important when selecting a chandelier for your dining room. Even the most fabulous chandelier, if too large, will simply overwhelm the room.

It’s important to choose a design that’s large enough to wash the entire table in light, so you don’t leave some of your guests sitting in the shadows. Below, we used a drum shade with a diffuser to create super flattering light that your guests will certainly appreciate.

Your dining room chandelier should be one half to two-thirds the diameter of your dining table.

A Simple Formula

If you don’t have furniture yet, there’s a very simple interior design and decoration rule you can follow: 

Add the length and width measurements of the room together, and your answer equals the right size diameter your chandelier should be.

For example, if your dining room is 10′ x 14′, a 24″ diameter chandelier is the appropriate size.

How to Select the Right Size Chandelier

Think Proportions

However, if you already have a table, it’s more important to size your chandelier design to the table than the room.

The rule of thumb is to make sure your chandelier is one-half to three-quarters the width of your table.

For example, in the dining room above, we’ve used the Extra Large Orb Chandelier which is 40″ in diameter with our Andrews 60″ Dining Table. The Orb Chandelier is exactly 2/3 the diameter of the dining table. Perfect!

How high to hang your chandelier over your table

For the right hanging height, position the bottom of the chandelier about 30-32 inches above the table, adjusting to work with the size of the table and the overall scale of your interior.

For more design inspiration, visit our Pinterest Boards, or find more gorgeous rooms in our Photo Gallery.

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How to Decorate Team

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.

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  1. Reply

    Janel

    November 16, 2017

    I have a dining room table that is 144″ x 48″ wide. Ceiling height is 134″
    I want to use 2 chandeliers but see so many conflicting diameters. I’d rather go bigger than have the fixtures lost in the room.
    Advice would be nice to have!

    • Caroline McDonald
      Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 22, 2017

      Janel,
      Since you’ve got such a long table, I definitely agree that you should use two chandeliers instead of one! I would choose something at least 24″ in diameter which is half the depth of your table. You could probably go a little bit bigger (up to about 36″) if you want more drama, but I think two 24″ width chandeliers would look fantastic.
      Best of luck!
      Caroline

  2. Reply

    Elizabeth Whiffen

    September 3, 2017

    Hi I adore Ballard Designs! I have 2 Chandaliers from you. They must be discontinued, but very similar to you 10 arm Luce. They are 44″ wide. I have a breakfast nook and adjoining dining room. They are the right size length + width = size, but my ceilings are only 8 feet tall. I always believe go big or go home. I guess I am asking for permission to hang them. I feel like they are so light and airy, not bulky, and not gaudy, that I still can go for it. Do you agree? They are 3 years old and I saved for 6 months to buy them. I cannot part with, or replace them. Do people have to live with little chandaliers because their ceilings are low?
    Thank you,
    Elizabeth

    • Caroline McDonald
      Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      September 12, 2017

      Elizabeth,
      It’s hard to say without seeing the space, but if you don’t have to walk under them (since they’re over tables), it should be fine. I say hang them!
      Best of luck. We’re so happy to hear that you love your chandeliers.
      Caroline

  3. Reply

    Felicia Palazzo

    July 27, 2017

    Could you please tell me where to find this dining room table?? Please!

    • Reply

      Annika Dupree

      July 28, 2017

      Hi Felicia,
      Isn’t that dining table stunning? It’s our Andrews Pedestal Dining Table, which you can find here: . It is shown in the post in whitewash,but comes in graywash as well.
      Hope this helps!

  4. Reply

    Jane

    February 21, 2017

    Does the adding length plus width of the room apply to bedrooms also for chandeliers

    • Caroline McDonald
      Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      February 24, 2017

      It does!

  5. Reply

    Casey

    December 30, 2016

    Can you do a round chandelier over a rectangle table?

    • Caroline McDonald
      Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      January 3, 2017

      Casey,
      Yes absolutely! Just be sure your chandelier isn’t wider than your table is narrow.

  6. Reply

    Kathy

    May 6, 2016

    Our dining room is 13×15-1/2 and we have a country French dining room set. Our table is rectangular (40×103 inches) and can accommodate 10 chairs. Our only light source is the chandelier. We want to replace the 6 candle (60 watt) chandelier with one that provides more light. Any suggestions on size or style?

  7. Reply

    Lucy

    January 4, 2016

    Hello,

    I am deciding on the size of a chandelier for a dining room which is also the entry in a victorian home. The ceilings are very tall. We already have the dining room table. It is 44″ wide and with leaves is 80″ long. The room size is 15 x 16. I’m planning on offsetting the table and chandelier due to the front entry. Would a 24″ chandelier look too small?

    Thanks for your help!

    • How to Decorate Team
      Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      February 9, 2016

      Lucy,
      We would love to help you with your space, but it’s hard to help without seeing your dining room. If you complete this form, and our Design Solutions team can see your space and contact you with suggestions!

  8. Reply

    jackie curtis

    September 19, 2015

    I am looking for the right crystal chandelier for a foyer 10 feet long, 7feet wide and 20 feet high. What would you suggest?

    • How to Decorate Team
      Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      November 5, 2015

      Hi Jackie,
      We actually offer free design services that can help you with this. Simply complete this form and our Design Solutions team will reach out to you. Be sure to include photos of your space so we can give you the most helpful advice and tips!
      The How to Decorate Team

  9. Reply

    Debbie

    September 16, 2015

    Trying to decide on size of fixture that will not be hanging over table, but between two huge fans in a sun room 16 ft long and 10 ft wide! Thinking round iwon piece!

    • How to Decorate Team
      Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      November 5, 2015

      Hi Debbie,
      We actually offer free design services that can help you with your space. They’d be happy to give you some advice about a chandelier in your sunroom. Simply complete this form and our Design Solutions team will reach out to you. Be sure to include photos of your space so we can give you the most helpful advice and tips!
      The How to Decorate Team

  10. Reply

    lisa

    September 16, 2015

    What size diameter is appropriate for hanging 2 Chandeliers over a kitchen island. The island size is 73″ long x 35″ high x 24″ deep.

    THANK YOU!!

    • How to Decorate Team
      Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      November 5, 2015

      Lisa,
      The rule of thumb is to leave 30 inches of space between each light fixture over an island, and hang the pendants or chandeliers 30-36 inches above the island. Using that as a guideline, we suggest you look for fixtures between 15 and 20 inches in diameter.
      Best of luck,
      The How to Decorate Team

  11. Reply

    Becky Claridge

    March 13, 2015

    Hello, I’d appreciate your help in making a decision on a chandelier size. We do not have a formal dining room but a large “dining nook” with large windows on one side of the space. The room is sized 14.5 x 10 feet. We just bought a table that is 8 feet, 4 inches long by 42 inches wide. We are considering either a chandelier that is 23 x 23 or one that is 28 x 28 inches (diameter and height). Could you please help me decide which would be the more appropriate size for that space? As a related note, people in the kitchen will be looking out the large bank of windows that are the back (long) side of the dining nook. Thank you very much!!!

    • How to Decorate Team
      Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      March 25, 2015

      Hi Becky,
      This sounds like a beautiful dining space! We’re happy to help. We would suggest either the Alexis 8-Light Chandelier or the Cosette 6-Light Chandelier. Both of them are closer to the 28″ diameter, but because they are both very open and not heavy, either should work well in a space where you’d like to focus on an outdoor view! If you’d like to create a more formal, feminine space, we would suggest the Alexis. And for a more casual, cottage vibe, we would suggest the Cosette.
      Best of Luck!
      The How to Decorate Team

  12. Reply

    Susan Weisel

    June 28, 2014

    I recently ordered the orb pendant lights, in the petite size to hang above my island, which will be about 8 feet long. Should I go with 2 or 3 pendants, They are each about 12 inches in diameter. Thanks

    • How to Decorate Team
      Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      June 30, 2014

      Hi Susan,

      We would love to help you make a decision about your kitchen lighting. It’s hard to say for sure without knowing more about your space whether you need 2 or 3, but we do have an entire design team dedicated to helping customers solve decorating problems in their home. If you’d like to submit a question to them, go to this page and complete the form. Someone from our Design Solutions team can get back to you with a answer!

      Looking forward to helping you with your space,
      The How to Decorate Team

  13. Reply

    Lea Land

    November 6, 2013

    I am building a new home. The foyer is large with a rotunda. I want the entrance to be dramatic
    so I bought a large 12 light crystal chandelier.
    Now, I’m trying to decide the best lighting for the dining room which is right off the foyer. The dining furniture is a dark wood and heavy looking with straight back wooden chairs. Since the foyer and dining lights are so close, do I go with the same style as the foyer chandelier or should it be totally different to define the areas? I’m thinking of a wood look, candle style chandelier for dining. Is this too different?
    Both areas are same color walls, trim, and wood floors.
    Lea

    • Reply

      Susan Cooper

      September 6, 2015

      Lee Land,I have the same situation with the foyer and dining room adjacent. What was the advice you were given?

  14. Reply

    Jill Antonucci

    September 24, 2013

    I am interested in purchasing the orb chandelier. I don’t know whether to purchase the small or large. Our entryway is 12X10 ( that area includes a closet and a flight of stairs). The ceiling height is approx. 16 feet.

  15. Reply

    Julie HILL

    September 19, 2013

    I am looking at the 6 arm Talia Chandelier. Do you think it would be too large for a 11’2″ x 11’10” dining room?

  16. Reply

    DeeAnn Esposito

    September 10, 2013

    This has been very helpful. Thank you. Does the same apply for lighting in the entry way?

  1. Reply

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