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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Chandelier Envy

Friday, July 20, 2018

Chandeliers have never been high on my Wish List, until recently.  What do you do when you suddenly realize you have chandelier envy?

When you realize chandeliers in living rooms, over dining tables, in bathrooms, and even in greenhouses are classic French Country decor, you realize you NEED chandeliers to transform your American Country house to a French Country maison (home).

There are two chandeliers in my house already in the swing loft. I like them quite a lot, but they are not filled with French Country charm. 

chandelier envy for a french country style not a hunting lodge style
The fixture came with crystals, but I left them off. The crystals give a more formal look than I wanted for my post-and-beam country house when we installed the chandelier. 

Now, I am rethinking the crystals since they may give a little more French Country look than the bare metal branches. 

chandelier envy for a french country style might be found by adding crystals
The large chandelier hangs above the swing loft that overlooks the living room, but it is not very French style. Rather, it is somewhat rustic hunting lodge style, but not too much. 

The crystals would give the chandelier a more romantic, less lodge style. 

The transformation from American Country to French Country has been a slow one for the past eight to ten years, but is picking up speed. Finding the gold mine of French Country garden urns for outdoor plants this spring was just one of several new French Country decor additions during this year. 

chandelier envy for a french country style might be found by adding crystals
The large six-light chandelier has a companion smaller three-light chandelier at the top of the stairs in sight of the larger chandelier. 

Together the two fixtures give much needed light. The original light fixtures were small and flush-mounted to the sloping wooden ceiling. The wood absorbed almost all of the light from them. 

By hanging two chandeliers away from the ceiling, light is cast in all directions. Light from the large chandelier gives light for the swing loft and for the living room down below. The small chandelier gives light to the stairs, the landing, and to the hallway leading away from the landing. 

chandelier envy for a french country chandelier in a low ceiling dining area
The dining area in the living room is directly below the swing loft. We specified eight foot ceilings to the sawmill that designed and cut all our posts, beams, rafters, and wood board flooring for the second floor. 

What we did not realize was the mill measured the eight feet to the TOP of the ceiling joists, not to the bottom of the joists which makes the height of the room seven feet, six inches. 

The three-light semi-flush mounted fixture was perfect for the low ceiling in the dining area of an American Country house. 

C H A N D E L I E R   E N V Y 

For the past year I have been looking at chandeliers and somewhat wishing I could find a beautiful little French Country chandelier for above the dining table. 

Now I have full chandelier envy because the light fixture has a problem. One of the three arms has a short in it. When the lights are turned on, one of the arms has a sputter, crackling sound. 

We NEED a new light fixture, not just WANT a new light. Since the light has to be replaced, why not choose a French Country chandelier? 

O P T I O N  #1

Source: Horchow
Love at first sight, but like summer romances, the love is fading. 

The chandelier is too big for my space according to the guidelines for choosing the right size chandelier for your room. 

The chandelier is 32" in diameter and 28" high. My table is 30" wide. OUCH! banging heads rising from the table would say. 

O P T I O N   #2 

Source: Wayfair

The size is 25" in diameter and 20" high. The diameter is still too large according to those in the know who make lighting recommendations. 

But, I have been known to break a few decorating rules every now and then. 

There is still the issue of how it is made. If you look hard, you can see the electrical wires are on TOP, not INSIDE, of the chandelier arms. 

Would this bother you every time you looked at the chandy? 

O P T I O N   #3

The size is 16" in diameter and 19" high. Perfect size according to the the charts for calculating the size of chandelier for your space. 

But, it is sort of like being my best friend, not the love of my life.  

The wires are enclosed . . . that is a plus. 

The arms have acanthus leaves as bases . . .  another plus. 

The curved supports from the base to the top . . . not my favorite style. The chandy looks chunky, not graceful like the first two options. 

Chandelier envy continues here with hopes of finding a graceful chandy in the right size. If you spot one, could you fix up a blind date between the chandy and me? We may just hit it off. 

Which option is your favorite, or is none of them the love of your life?


Lightology has an interactive tool in which you enter your specific room and table sizes to determine the recommended size of chandelier for your space.