Many modern home designs now feature a two-story foyer with an open stairway. But how exactly do you hang a chandelier in that space that looks correct from multiple angles? That was the question posed to me by Sylvie. Read our email exchange here:
I want to hang a chandelier from the ceiling of the second floor of the house down the staircase. The staircase is about 3 to 4 feet wide. There is a 14 feet 6 inches drop from the ceiling of the 2nd floor to the 1st landing of the staircase (and about 9 stairs up from the main floor to the 1st landing).
I had picked a chandelier from Starfire Crystal Company, Halo model ....19 inches in diameter and 24 inches height although the band of crystal/light in shape of the halo is only about 6 inches wide.
I've read many articles but have found no information about hanging a chandelier in a narrow staircase like ours, most articles refer to grand foyers and staircases.
From your experience, do you think the 24 inches height will be sufficient? Looking up from the landing, the chandelier will hang 11 1/2 feet above our heads, is this too high?
The company offers other models: one with a 28 " diameter and 36 " height and the other with a 22" diameter and 60" height. Would one of these models be a better choice?
Is there a formula I can use to calculate the correct length I need to hang this type of chandelier?
Thank you in advance for any information you have on this subject.
Just so I am picturing this correctly ... is the chandelier completely over the landing or over part of the second floor floor too?
If it's just over the landing, i'd probably lower it a bit. Like another 12 inches seems right to me, maybe as much as 18 inches. Think of it like a room, you want it low enough to look right and give as much light as possible. The lower, the more the light. If you're 10 feet above the landing, that's like a high ceiling and seems right to me. Of course, if it's over the floor, this may be too low.
BEFORE you cut anything, have someone hold it at the decided height. Then have someone else, look from all angles to see if it looks right - including from the first floor. It's really all about proportion. Remember it will look much different from below and above.
I think your width/circumference is correct since it's a narrow area.
Good luck and let me know if this helps and how it goes.
Sylvie answered back:
Thank you for your quick reply.
The chandelier is completely over the landing. Today with the help of the builder, I took a second look using a prop and we concluded that 24 inches would be too short! We think 36 inches will work but my builder's advice was for me to buy a chandelier where the cable/chain can be adjusted on site and do as you suggested i.e., look at all angles before cutting the cable/chain! Sounds like it's the right way to go to be happy with the results.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Thank you again,
It's nice to know that the builder agrees with me. I'll confess while some of my knowledge comes from direct experience, much also comes from gut instinct from indirect experience. Confirmation is always nice.