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Chandelier and Medallian General Tips - Guidelines

Chandelier and Medallian General Information

Frequently, the purchase of a ceiling medallion is made in conjunction with or at the same time as the selection and purchase of a chandelier, so here are some general answers to questions that we have been asked in regard to chandeliers that you may find useful when purchasing a ceiling medallion.  Keep in mind that rules are meant to be broken and that we would be happy to work with you on any additional question that you may have!  Contact Us so that we can add it to the list.

How do I size a chandelier?

A chandelier should be one of the focal points in the room. Here is a formula that can be used to determine the size. 

Measure two walls of your room, the length and depth, in feet and then add the two dimensions together. The sum of these two wall lengths (in feet) should equate to the diameter (in inches) of the chandelier you choose.  For Example: Let's say your room has adjacent walls that are 12' and 15' long. Adding the 12 + 15 equals 27, so this rule of thumb says you should choose a fixture with a diameter of 27" in diameter.

Here is another way to calculate the size of a chandelier ...

  • For rooms smaller than 10 x 10, use a chandelier with a diameter of 17" to 20"
  • For rooms 12 x 12, use a chandelier with a diamter from 22" to 27"
  • For rooms that are 14 x 14 or larger, use a chandelier with a diameter at least 24" up to 32" (or larger for very large rooms)

TIP:  When in doubt, go with a larger size chandelier, rather than using one that may be too small.

At what height should I hang the chandelier?

Unless there is a table underneath, most times you should hang a chandelier so there is approximately 7 feet clearance to the floor.  The higher you hang a chandelier, the smaller it may appear.  You should keep this in mind when selecting a chandelier size.

Remember that these are suggestions, only.  If you visualize something outside these guidelines working for you, then go for it!  Hang the fixture at the height at which you like it, taking into consideration clearances needed for people walking through and standing in the room.

Should a light hang at a different height in a foyer?

Here is one rule that shouldn't be broken!  Hang a fixture in a foyer (again, unless it is over a table not likely to be moved) so that its bottom has at least 7 feet of clearance to the floor.  

TIP:  In two story foyers, especially if there is a 2nd floor balcony or railing overlooking the foyer, hang the chandelier so its bottom is above the second story floor, or higher.

Referring to an earlier comment, if you hang a chandelier in a two story foyer, you might select a larger diameter fixture, so that it won't appear too small.  Err on oversizing a chandelier when faced with a sizing dilemna.

Are there rules about chandelier size verses dining table size?

Like other situations, there are a couple things to consider here. One one hand, you have your room size guidelines from above, and then you have other 'rules' that might say, for instance, that a dining room chandelier should be half of the width of the dining room table. Another 'rule' we've seen says that a dining room chandelier should be two feet narrower than the table width.  We have heard others indicate a preference for fixtures that are close to 2/3 of the width of the table.

What to make of this?   We recommend that the diameter of a chandelier in a dining room should be between 1/2 to 2/3 of the width of your table.  And don't forget our fall back rule ... err on oversizing rather than risk placing a chandelier that isn't big enough.

How high above the table should a chandelier be hung?

In rooms with 8-foot ceilings, we suggest the bottom of the chandelier hang with 30 to 34" clearance to the table.  Add 3 inches to the clearance dimension for every additional foot of ceiling height up to 12 feet. 


Since the purchase of a chandelier is frequently done in conjunction with the purchase of a medallian, we hope the tips we've gathered together here are helpful.  Don't forget to review our information specific to sizing a medallion