You have a beautiful home with a gorgeous open staircase that sets the tone for your decor. Still, it seems like something's missing.
If you need to add some pizzazz to your staircase and illuminate the way, a staircase chandelier is the way to go. But before you start protesting that you don't live in a mansion, hear us out.
You might think crystals and Titanic when you hear "chandelier," but today they come in any style you can imagine. No matter what aesthetic you're going for, you can find a great chandelier to accent it.
If you're on that quest to find the perfect staircase chandelier for your home, these tips can help.
Tips for Choosing a Staircase Chandelier
You've put so much work into cultivating a style for your home. Here's how to find a chandelier to match:
Determine What You Want from Your Chandelier
What effect do you want your chandelier to have? Do you want it to be the focal point of the room? Bring the "wow" factor? Be a subtle complement to your staircase's style?
Some homeowners view their chandelier as more of a design accent, while others view it as a useful lighting source. Figure out your priorities before you start shopping.
Define Your Style
As we mentioned, there are chandeliers to fit any home's aesthetic. Sometimes the problem is defining what that aesthetic is. Take a look around and find a way to put your style into words. Are you going for a modern look? Traditional? Ornate? Industrial?
Sometimes it helps to get an outsider's perspective by taking a photo of the staircase. Have it in front of you while you shop so you can visualize how each chandelier would look.
Decide Where You Want the Lighting to Focus
Picking a chandelier isn't just about the design. It's about the lighting, too. Each chandelier casts light in a different way, and this should inform your choice. Determine if you want to spread a wide light or create more of a spotlight focus.
Some chandeliers also have dimming capabilities. If that's something you want, be sure to include it in your shopping criteria.
Get to Know the Basics of Chandeliers
Before you start shopping, learn a bit about chandeliers and the lingo you might need to know. For instance, learn what a drum chandelier is, as well as a transitional chandelier and a bowl chandelier. Finding out about the types of chandeliers can help you narrow your search.
Look At the Room from Every Angle
If your chandelier is above your staircase, people will see it from a variety of angles. Think about how you want it to look from the front door or staircase entrance as well as upstairs. If you have a window in front of your staircase, how do you want the chandelier to look from outside?
Consider Matching the Chandelier to the Banister
As you're shopping, you'll notice that there is a nearly endless list of the materials a chandelier can use. If you're struggling to find out what will fit with your aesthetic, here's a trick. Look for the same material that's in your banister.
Chances are that you won't find a wooden chandelier. If you have a rod iron or satin nickel banister, though, you may be in luck. This is an easy way to find a chandelier that looks like a natural fit above your staircase.
Measure with Precision
Now that you have a basic idea of the design you want, it's time to think about the practical aspects. Your room size and staircase size makes an important difference in the size of chandelier you should buy.
There are some key rules of thumb to use to determine your chandelier size. One trick is to add the length and width of your room in feet and add them together. That total is the diameter your chandelier should be in inches.
For example, let's say your staircase is enclosed and the area is eight feet long and 20 feet wide. You would look for a chandelier that's about 28 inches in diameter.
It's also important to measure the distance between the stairs, the railing, and the ceiling where you want to hang the chandelier. Make sure it can't be touched from the upstairs so children aren't tempted to play with it.
Check Your Ceiling's Load Capacity
The last thing you want to do is buy a chandelier and find that your ceiling or electrical box won't support it. To get a definitive limit, you may need to reach out to your home's builder or ask a contractor for help.
One of the most important factors is your ceiling electrical box. Many standard boxes aren't able to hold excessive weight. You may need to replace it with a box meant for ceiling fans instead. These boxes will have a weight limit on them, some as high as 150 pounds.
Take Access Into Consideration
Installing a chandelier or having a professional install it can feel like a feat on its own. Don't forget, though, that you still need to access the chandelier from time to time.
Plan a way to clean your chandelier and replace the bulbs as needed. This can be difficult with a staircase chandelier, but some chandeliers are easier to manage than others.
Some homeowners also use this as a reason to get an LED chandelier. LED bulbs last far longer than other types of bulbs, so you won't need to access your chandelier as often.
Think About Energy Efficiency
Speaking of LEDs, let's talk about energy. Whether you want to help the environment, keep your energy bills down, or both, some chandeliers are more efficient than others. Considering the large number of light bulbs many chandeliers require, efficiency makes a big difference.
LEDs are known for their low energy usage. However, they aren't the only options. As you shop around, some chandeliers will list the amount of energy they use, and this can narrow your search.
Finding Your Perfect Staircase Chandelier
A staircase chandelier will be a prominent part of your home's design, and it could be an expensive one at that. With so much at stake, it makes your choice all the more important.
If you're ready to start your search, shop for chandeliers in our online shop.