A chandelier size and placement guide

A chandelier size and placement guide

Lighting can make for the perfect finishing touch in a room, and to make a statement, nothing beats a chandelier.

How do you know if a chandelier is right for your space? How do you pick the right size? We asked Natasha Laurent, architect at Office 24-7 Design + Architecture, to help us compile a clever guide with all the answers…

‘A chandelier is a complete stand-out piece that gives you a chance to have fun with light in your space,’ says Natasha. ‘Chandeliers have traditionally been reserved for entrance halls and areas with high ceilings, but these days, chandeliers can hang in almost any room of the home to make a statement.’

‘Generally when someone mentions chandeliers, big, gaudy cut-glass (or worse, fake plastic cut beads) come to mind. But these days, a modern chandelier could be a collection of naked bulbs with their chords hanging from the ceiling at different lengths, or a collection of beautiful glass-blown shades hung in the same way,’ Natasha explains.

How do I choose a chandelier?

Natasha’s general rules are:

  • The taller the ceiling, the longer the chandelier. ‘In double-volume spaces, chandeliers should hang lower to emphasise the verticality and drama of the space,’ she says.
  • ‘Decide what your home aesthetic is and choose a chandelier that’ll fit in. A small light will more than likely look dwarfed. If your chandelier is contemporary and minimalist, I generally don’t think you can go too big.’


Sizing a chandelier

  • To measure the chandelier’s diameter: (Room width in metres + room length in metres) x 10 = Chandelier’s diameter in centimetres
  • To measure the chandelier’s height: Room height in centimetres / 4 = Chandelier’s height in centimetres


Chandelier placement

When used in a dining room, the chandelier should hang quite low over the table (but not so low that tall people might bump their head on it).

Tip: A chandelier should always be centred over the dining-room table, except if two smaller chandeliers are being used instead of a single large one. In that case, one chandelier should be placed at either end of the table.

When used in the lounge, a chandelier should hang quite close to the ceiling. ‘Centre the chandelier and hang it near to the ceiling so it anchors the room like a rug would,’ Natasha suggests.

Chandeliers aren’t just for entrance halls, and areas reserved for entertainment. ‘A quirky chandelier can liven up an unexpected space like a bathroom or child’s bedroom, or bring opulence to a walk-in closet.

‘Because a chandelier gives you a chance to have fun and make a statement, always look for something quirky and authentic.’

Natasha suggests looking for chandeliers here:

Mahlah’s Antiques and Collectables 

Hoi P’loy




Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Your Family’s Digital editor. Avid retweeter. When I’m not scrolling Instagram you’ll find me in my garden. Keen on DIY and I don’t believe there’s anything that can’t be fixed with some chalk paint.


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