Add a chandelier for glamour and enchantment.

How to Determine Chandelier Sizes

by Linda Erlam

Putting a chandelier in your dining room, bedroom or bathroom turns the romance and elegance factor up several degrees. It doesn’t have to be a grand crystal behemoth; a small, simply embellished painted fixture will do the trick, too -- but picking the right size is almost as important as picking the right style. Too small and it will lose its importance and look skimpy. Too large and it could visually take over the room. Find the right size with a simple step-by-step process.

Size Based on the Table

Measure the width of the table along one end for a rectangular or square table, or at the widest part for an oval or round table.

Divide the width of the table, expressed in feet, in half. Use this measurement as inches for the diameter of the chandelier that is in best proportion to the table. For example, for a table 36 inches wide, a chandelier 18 to 20 inches in diameter, minimum, is a good proportion. Use this calculation for the size of a chandelier over any large piece of furniture, such as a sofa, or an area rug-based conversation section.

Calculate the length of a rectangular chandelier, hung over a rectangular or oval table, to be two-thirds of the table length. For example, a table 72 inches long would support a rectangular chandelier 48 inches long. This is 24 inches less than the length. Subtract this measurement from the table width for the best width of a rectangular chandelier. In this example, a table 36 by 72 inches is best served by a rectangular chandelier 48 inches long and 12 inches wide.

Divide the table width by 3 and use the result as the diameter for each of two chandeliers hung over a table.

Size Based on the Room

Add the width of the room to the length, in feet.

Refer to this number as inches and use it as the diameter of the chandelier for the center of the room. For example, in a room 12 feet wide and 10 feet long, a chandelier 22 inches in diameter would be good proportion.

Consider the size of the table within the room if the table is the focal point, as in a dining room, and centered on the floor plan. Following the example, a table 36 inches wide and 60 inches long is a good size for a dining room 12 feet by 10 feet and suggests a chandelier 18 to 20 inches in diameter. The room size suggests a chandelier diameter of 22 inches. You could adjust the chandelier size up, if you wished.

Length and Hanging Height

Measure the height of the walls. Calculate 2 to 3 inches for chandelier length for each foot of wall height. Following the example, in a room 12 feet wide and 10 feet long, with 12-foot ceilings, the length of the chandelier is most pleasing when it is 24 to 36 inches long.

Calculate the full height of the walls in a foyer or entrance as the base for a chandelier. For example, if the walls measure 24 feet high, a chandelier 48 to 72 inches long is in proportion to the walls. If this room contains a 60-inch-diameter table, a good chandelier size is 30 inches in diameter and 48 to 72 inches long.

Hang the chandelier’s bottom point no less than 30 inches above a dining room tabletop. Hang the bottom point of the chandelier no less than 80 inches from the floor if people walk under the fixture as they would, perhaps, in a bedroom. You may have to adjust your chandelier length to accommodate foot traffic. You can hang the chandelier a bit lower over a foyer table, but keep view-through unobstructed: Typically the bottom point of the chandelier should hang no less than 72 inches from the floor.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure


  • Consider the number of light sources on the fixture if it is going to be relied on as a major light source. A dimmer switch may be necessary. Also consider the replacement cost and availability of these bulbs.

About the Author

Linda Erlam started writing educational manuals in 1979. She also writes a biweekly newspaper column, "Design Dilemmas," in the "Lakeshore News" and has been published in "Design and Drapery Pro" magazine. Erlam is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design and is a practicing interior decorator and drapery workroom operator.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images