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17 Tips for Lighting the Kitchen with a Chandelier

by MIKE EFFORD

A chandelier in a kitchen is almost always the focal point.

It's a stylistic reference point too, and often a showpiece. So it's important to get it right. Here are 17 tips for integrating a chandelier into your kitchen:

1. Match your chandelier style to the interior design style.

2. Install a dimmer.

3. Control the chandelier separately from the other lighting in the kitchen. Don't put all the lighting on one dimmer or switch.

4. If yours is an eat - in kitchen with a table and chairs, consider installing a chandelier above the table.

5. For a non eat-in kitchen choose a centrally placed chandelier that doesn't hang down too low: the kitchen is a work area.

6. Scale and proportion matter: a big chandelier is right for a big room, a smaller one for a small room. Obvious, but often overlooked.

7. The center of the kitchen is usually the best spot to mount a chandelier. If the electrical junction box is not positioned there, call an electrician or handyman to have it moved to the centre point, so it looks right.

8. A chandelier's diameter should be 12 inches narrower than the width of a table. Wider, and you risk banging your head on it when you get up from the table.

9. Hang a chandelier 30" to 34" from the ceiling over a kitchen island or dinette table in an 8 foot high room. If your kitchen ceiling is higher than 8 feet, hang the chandelier 3 inches higher for each additional foot in ceiling height.

10. If your kitchen does not have a range hood with a fan and your chandelier will be close to the stove, consider a simpler rather than more elaborate design, with glass rather than fabric shades. Easier to clean.

11. Have an electrician install a heavy chandelier. The Phantom of the Opera is a great movie, but don't try it at home...

12. For a traditional chandelier or one with historical style, consider a ceiling medallion to embellish the look.

13. Warm toned frosted glass or fabric shades will flatter guests under or near a chandelier. Avoid a chandelier with harsh brightness, sharp contrasts, or small point sources of light, with no soft shades.

14. Use other lights (on dimmers) in the room, along with the chandelier. A single light source is rarely as interesting as a major source with subtle accent lights in the background. Without an additional light source the room will seem smaller.

15. In an eat-in kitchen, consider installing two recessed, narrow-beam ceiling downlights on either side of the chandelier over a table. Focus the two narrow beams on the table centerpiece.

16. If you are using both a chandelier and a pendant light in the same room, match the style of the pendant to the chandelier. At least have some common element between them to link them together.

17. A chandelier in the center of a non eat - in kitchen can have a dual function as chandelier and general uplight, if it has frosted shades open at the top, like cups. Soft light washes the ceiling from the open cups, helping to give overall light to the room. Two for one.

 

How can you co-ordinate your chandelier with other light fixtures in your kitchen, to achieve that designer "layered" look? Read the next article:

7 Other Light Fixtures that Work Well with a Chandelier in the Kitchen >>

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Design Ideas & Tips


Change the Mood of Your Kitchen

Tips on Lighting the Kitchen with a Chandelier

7 Other Light Fixtures That Work Well with a Chandelier

 

Photo Gallery

Get inspired! Tour a photo gallery of some excellent kitchen designs, each one showing a different take on chandelier lighting.

        Kitchen Chandeler Photo Gallery

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Sources for Lighting the Kitchen With A Chandelier:

Recessed Ceiling Lights
for a soft overall ambiance

Dimmers
to control the mood

Ceiling Medallions
to embellish a chandelier

Pendant Lights
to highlight a counter or island

Uplights
to expand the feeling of space


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