Tag Archives: antique

Easy Guide to Create Beautifully Lit Rooms

Light fixtures make a room. Here is a favorite from Murray Iron Works in LA.

Light fixture from Murray's Iron Works

Whether the fixture is for a dining room, living room, entry, or restaurant, the chandelier or fixture is critical to the impact of the room.

Check out the pasta ribbon inspired fixtures custom made in Scotland that make the restaurant Bibiana in Washington, DC so amazing. Not to mention the fabulous food and people watching (Madeleine Albright and Sonia Sotomayor dined at the table next to mine!).

Bibiana Washington DC Light Fixtures

Buying a chandelier or fixture involves picking the right style, size, and finish. For a dining room some general thoughts:*

*I don’t say rules because they are meant to be broken in some settings!


  • The diameter of the fixture is usually around 1/2 the width or diameter of a table. A 60” round table can candle a 30” diameter chandelier, a 45” wide table approximately 23” diameter chandelier.
  • The height of the chandelier is typically determined by the height of the room, around 2 ½ to 3” high for every foot of the room, so a room with a 9 ft. ceiling a 22.5 to 27” high chandelier.

Keep in mind a heavy dense look can go a little smaller and a light open look can cheat a little larger.

TIP: If you have a long table, try hanging two chandeliers, each with the diameter of about 1/3 the length of the table.

Finish and style:

  • your fixtures throughout the house should complement each other but do not need to match!
  • Transitional is great…add a touch of modernism to a traditional home.

Admire the more modern fixtures against the classic architecture and stain glass at the Basilica in Washington, DC.

Basillica Washington DC

While the price does not have to be through the roof on fixtures, it is not a place to go cheap

  • If price is an issue: shop flea markets, floor samples, or keep it simple.

A great old fixture may be revamped, refinished, and rewired. If the chain is unattractive, make a material cord cover (or just buy at Pottery Barn).

Finally, don’t forget to use fun, great, interesting fixtures in bathrooms…like the fixtures from Ferro in LA in both of these bathrooms I designed.

Ferro Light Fixtures Carolyn Von Der Ahe Design Bathroom