Best Modern and Traditional Chandeliers for Your Home of 2021
Once thought of as a light fixture to place over your dining room table or to hang from your formal entryway, these days chandeliers are so popular that they are now used almost everywhere in your home, such as the informal family room, the library, the study, the bathroom, the powder room and even outdoors under a covered patio.
There are thousands of chandeliers to choose from, so if you’re shopping for one, it may be difficult to narrow your search and pick the one that speaks to you.
But really, all the chandeliers in the world can be divided into just two categories: traditional or modern.
Will you go for a modern look and pick a linear chandelier that’s shaped like a long, thin bar for your dining room? Or will you choose a candle-style chandelier with whimsical mini shades that can be changed out for a different color or style when you tire of them?
Do you feel overwhelmed and can’t decide? We’re here to help with our ultimate guide to chandeliers, from the best by category to how to hang them.
Best Modern & Traditional Chandeliers
Whether you're looking for a chandelier with a real wow-factor or just want a light fixture to match your beach cottage style living room, we have something for you.
PropertyNest named these chandeliers the best of the year by unique categories that might best match your lighting needs.
The Best Mid-Century Modern Designer Chandelier: Alluria 6-Light Chandelier
Alluria 6-Light Chandelier by George Kovacs
The designer George Kovac created the halogen torchiere that is now ubiquitous and its many iterations are found in a lot of homes.
He left behind a legacy of modern lighting, and the Alluria is one of the best that he designed.
We chose this chandelier because of its mid-century aesthetic and because it works seamlessly in various settings whether that's modern, vintage, traditional, or transitional.
The six-light chandelier is made of steel that’s built to last and offers a clean, polished look. The etched opal glass globes, capped with autumn gold, contrast in a very stylish way with the weathered black finish. The overall effect is striking and minimalistic at the same time and the globes provide a mood-inducing luminosity.
The chandelier works well in rooms with high ceilings and doesn’t get “lost” in, say, a double-height foyer.
The best part is that the Alluria line comes in so many different configurations. If you love this look you can purchase anything from a simple wall light to a full-on 4-tier chandelier.
|Works well in contemporary and transitional homes||Opal glass globes are fragile and can easily break during installation.|
|Distinctive design||The fixture gives off a very unflattering yellowish light.|
|Compatible with a standard wall dimmer|
Best Modern Chandelier for the Dining Room: Meurice Rectangle Chandelier by Jonathan Adler
Meurice Rectangle Chandelier
With this chandelier, the Jonathan Adler line has taken the aesthetic of bamboos and transformed them into a modern lighting centerpiece for a dining room.
The chandelier is illuminated from the top and bottom with an astounding 42 bulbs, lending it a warm elegance that will be sure to impress.
The rectangular form makes it the perfect choice to be set above a classic dining table.
The Meurice line has many options for your differing needs, which include a flush mount--perfect for lower ceilings, sconce lighting, and even a floor lamp to name a few.
The chandelier also comes in three different finishes: polished nickel, deep patina bronze, and antiqued brass to match whatever tones fit your dining room best.
|Dimmer compatible||Direct wire only|
|Adjustable drop length||Bulbs not included|
The Best Modern Chandelier for Foyers: Capiz Scalloped Chandelier
Capiz Scalloped Chandelier
You don't have to have a chandelier hanging in your foyer but if you do need one, we recommend that you install the Capiz Scalloped Chandelier.
This globe chandelier is large enough that it's noticed upon entry but small enough that it doesn't overwhelm your foyer. It comes in two sizes and both with adjustable chains so you get to decide how much you want your guests to notice this beauty.
The Capiz is both stunning and stylish. Made with individual capiz shells wrapping a metal frame, each shell is outlined with gold paint lending a subtle antique feel to the delicate pearlescence of the shells.
The simple silhouette of this chandelier is striking, especially when illuminated, with its unique style and its minimalistic design that sets the mood for what’s to come.
|Can work for low or high ceilings||Dry UL-listed. It’s not safe to place the chandelier in a bathroom or any other area in your home that suffers from excessive moisture.|
|Complements traditional and modern styles||Only comes in one color and finish.|
|Easy to clean form|
Best Classic Drum Chandelier: Broche Drum Chandelier by Crystorama
A drum chandelier is exactly that--a lighting source with a lampshade in the shape of a drum that encircles the entire light.
Because it gives off a warm and muted hue at the same time it can light up an entire area, the drum shade works in many different rooms, above all over a kitchen island, or even at the center of an upscale bathroom.
The typical drum chandelier is unadorned, with a plain—and often white—drum shade.
But drum chandeliers come in literally different styles and their appearance can go from luxe to rustic.
We picked this 6-light drum shade chandelier because it’s a modern, glamorous take on the standard drum chandelier.
The frame and mounting pole are swathed in gold and the drum is pleated for a transitional aesthetic. Even the bands that surround both the top and bottom of the luxurious silk drum are bathed in gold.
However, for those who don't favor gold, the chandelier also comes in Antique Silver for a more versatile look.
|Drum shades like this provide a medium amount of light from both ends.||Yellowish illumination may not be suitable for all tastes.|
|The white/cream colored shade is best at lighting an entire room.||Moderately expensive|
|Comes in 3 different sizes and 2 different finishes|
Best Inexpensive "Crystal" Chandelier: 5 Light Crystal White Hardwire Flush Mount Chandelier
5 Light Crystal White Hardwire Flush Mount Chandelier
This 5-light chandelier has a glass stem with a solid metal frame and arms. But unlike other chandeliers, the Gypsy Color uses glass as little as possible.
When you buy a chandelier with glass crystals and beads, you expect them to sparkle and shine.
But glass can break and produce scratches and is also expensive. And glass requires assembly one piece at a time, making putting together the chandelier time-consuming and frustrating.
This chandelier, with a mixture of crystals, beading, and swag, is made from poly-carbonate acrylic and reflects and refracts light in the same way that glass does.
This poly-carbonate chandelier is made from the same material used in bulletproof windows and is very light but also strong and durable.
The only glass used in the chandelier is the stem.
The acrylic crystal beads swag from each light bulb and are easier to assemble and install than glass and are more affordable than glass.
|Very affordable price, under $100||Installation is not as easy as claimed. The metal hanging bracket is about 3/16 inch shorter than US standard, which makes it impossible to screw the hanging bracket into the existing ceiling supply box.|
|Comes in a flat Ikea-like box and assembly takes only a few minutes; the bulk of the chandelier is pre-built.||The instruction pamphlet for the chandelier and conversion kit is hard to follow.|
|Reduces waste: glass needs more packaging and can cause breakage during transit. And glass chandeliers are difficult to repackage and ship back without shattering a bulb.|
|Gypsy Color sells a plug conversion kit which enables you to convert the direct connect chandeliers to one with a 14 ft. cord and plug.|
Best Industrial-Style Chandelier: Tribeca Ac10786bk Chandelier
If a traditional crystal chandelier is not going to work in your loft or farmhouse style abode, then an industrial lighting fixture is probably going to be a good option.
What's so great about the Tribeca Chandelier is that is works in many different settings as well as low or high ceilings. In addition, it's modular nature makes it adjustable to any room you want lit up.
The matte black metal pipes paired with Edison bulbs give it that true industrial quality. 6 lights mean that your space is going to be well-illuminated.
The industrial look complements rustic and farmhouse settings as well as mid-century modern and more contemporary styles. It can even work in a more bohemian setting.
If this chandelier doesn't have enough going on for you, the whole line includes larger and more complicated chandeliers and as well as a different finish.
However, what we liked most about the Tribeca Chandelier is that it's under $500 making this budget-friendly.
|Comes with multiple rods for different heights and configurations.||Doesn't work in more traditional-style rooms.|
|Can work on a sloped/angled ceiling.||Bulbs not included and Edison bulbs cost more.|
Best Classic Empire Chandelier: Ibiza Silver 11-Light Crystal Chandelier by James Moder
Ibiza Silver 11-Light Crystal Chandelier by James Moder
The Empire chandelier, a subset of a traditional crystal chandelier, is best known for having two sections. The top of the chandelier is a cone shape and the bottom is an inverted bowl. Taken together, the entire chandelier is a series of small lights and crystals.
We put this 11-light Empire chandelier on our list because it shows off the true iconic shape of this type of lighting and because it’s graceful and stunning at the same time.
It's exactly what one envisions when one thinks of the Empire chandelier form in its true elegance, opulence, and shape.
This chandelier has a beautifully detailed silver finish on the bands and layers of cut crystals that shimmer. Its opulence is a great way to bring elegance and style to a room. The Ibiza chandelier works as a glamorous statement piece in almost any room, including atriums, dining rooms, and livings rooms.
|Affordable for an all-crystal chandelier.||Heavy/difficult to install.|
|Real crystal||Bulbs not included.|
The Best Coastal/Beachy Chandelier: Coastal Living Bimini 2-Tier Chandelier by Regina Andrew
Coastal Living Bimini 2-Tier Chandelier
A popular trend these days for many homeowners is to convert the style of houses or apartments into a beachy or coastal vibe. Many homeowners appreciate the relaxing casual coziness of a beach cottage, that can make you feel like you're perpetually on vacation.
The Coastal Living Bimini Chandelier does exactly that. It's a relaxed take on a tradition lampshade style chandelier. It does this so subtly and simply with the natural woven rattan accent. With that simple detailing, the light fixture immediately gets transformed into one that can send you off to a faraway beach in your mind.
Its traditional tiered curved form gives it a formality and yet is simultaneously casual because of the more rustic finish. The clean white fabric shades remind us of white linens blowing in a coastal wind.
If two tiers to much for lower ceilings, the Coastal Living line also has a single-tier chandelier.
This fixture also works well in a rustic/farmhouse, vintage or boho setting.
|Works with many different styles.||Bulbs not included.|
Best Bargain Mid-Century Modern Chandelier That Looks Expensive: Bonlicht Modern Sputnik Chandelier
This midcentury modern-style chandelier puts the sputnik chandelier on an angle... literally. And this light fixture rotatability lets you decide how off-kilter or sculptural you want your ensemble to look.
We chose the Bonlicht Modern Sputnik because of the stellar reviews from customers, the number of finishes it comes in, and its easy installation.
Not only is it adjustable in height and angles but you're sure to impress your trendy and artsy friends. The chandelier looks like you might have paid over $1,000 from an expensive design shop but it's well under $200!
This chandelier also works well in any room, fitting in well with contemporary, vintage, industrial, and transitional styles. Also, six bulbs mean you always have good illumination.
|Adjustable Height/no visible wires||UL Listed|
|Works with slanted/angled ceilings||Bulbs not included/Edison bulbs cost more|
|Easy to install|
Most Expensive Chandelier That's Worth It: Brubeck Spiral LED Chandelier by DelightFULL
Brubeck Spiral LED Chandelier
The Brubeck Spiral LED Chandelier is no joke when it comes to the price tag.
You might have to move some serious money around in order to bring this one home, but it should be no surprise that it's actually not even the highest cost you can get when it comes to chandeliers.
When you pay upwards of 30 grand in order to just illuminate your home, you want something that is not just a wow-factor, but something that can mesmerize you for hours--something you can fully appreciate time after time and stop people in their tracks.
There are many choices out there if you want something uber-modern, luxurious, or sculptural. However, the Brubeck Spiral stands out because it marries a traditional chandelier with a completely modern take.
The spiral form is highly reminiscent of a traditional tiered crystal chandelier. In place of crystal, you have long uneven tubes of shimmery brass. In place of traditional light bulbs, you have LED lights, which give it an otherworldly glow.
This chandelier also seems to hover above, suspended in mid-air.
The Brubeck line was inspired by the jazz of David Brubeck. Likewise, you'll find that all the light fixtures in the Brubeck line have a "jazzy" interpretation of what lighting can look like.
|Original and distinctive design||Extremely costly|
|Showstopping statement piece||Difficult installation|
|Comes in 4 different finishes||Requires very high ceilings|
How We Picked
Trying to pin down the top-rated chandeliers is hard, but we were able to find the models listed above that are top-rated in their category.
We managed to find the “best” based on the following factors:
Our list was conceived by looking at customers' ratings and reviews. Much of our intelligence comes from reviews based on how well the customer liked the design of a chandelier and how it held up in a room.
We found customer reviews on Amazon to be our best source for finding the best chandeliers by category.
We also generated our list with the help of customer reviews on the following sites:
Consumer Reports, Appliance Connection, HGTV, Reviewed, Designer Appliances, Bestreviews.com.
Unique Features Found in Chandeliers
The aesthetics of a chandelier can make a huge difference in how we use it and how it makes a certain space look.
We concentrated on classic chandeliers with a twist. Those that resembled a traditional or modern design but had that added design feature to make them look more tailor-made or bespoke.
What Is a Chandelier?
A chandelier is a type of lighting that consists of a central body or pole and hangs suspended from the ceiling, which is usually a link chain.
Many lighting branches are connected to the body of the chandelier.
A chandelier is often used interchangeably with pendant lighting, but the two are different.
A chandelier has many lights while a pendant has only one light. It also hangs from a chain, or a metal rod or cord.
Also, a chandelier is much more intricate and elegant, while a pendant is generally smaller with a more minimalistic look.
A Chandelier Offers Ambient Lighting.
Ambient lighting is the primary source of light for a particular room and offers a soft, indirect glow uniformly.
Since a chandelier has multiple lights, it’s capable of lighting an entire room.
However, depending on the model you choose, a chandelier on occasion is used with other lighting sources to minimize glare and to get rid of shadows that are often found in corners of a room and which are neglected.
Although being a good source of lighting, a chandelier is more known for its aesthetic. If you put up a chandelier in, say, the living room or over the dining room table, you instantly change the look of these spaces.
As a general rule, chandeliers are more expensive than pendant lights. They are also usually larger, require professional installation, and feature more expensive materials.
What Are the Different Types of Chandeliers?
One of the reasons it can be difficult to shop for a chandelier is because a chandelier comes in so many styles and forms. When deciding on a chandelier, it's important to know what styles and shapes are offered.
Often even many categories overlap with each other.
For example, a chandelier that might be considered industrial could also qualify as modern or even a vintage style, depending on the design.
While most categories and styles are fairly self-explanatory if you haven't ever shopped for a chandelier some of them might be unclear.
What Is a Sputnik Chandelier?
If the Soviet satellite, Sputnik, comes to mind, you're on the right track. A sputnik chandelier is one that has extensions coming from a central bulb or sphere.
It can resemble a spherical sunburst or something more elliptical.
Because this style of chandelier typically has many extensions or arms with bulbs, you can expect a lot of illumination.
What Is an Island Chandelier?
Island chandeliers are any chandelier with a wide and narrow shape. They can be sometimes referred to as linear chandeliers.
Island chandeliers are usually characterized by a rectangular or elliptical form.
Because of its elongated shape, this type of chandelier is usually perfect for dining rooms or kitchen islands.
What Is a Drum Chandelier?
A drum chandelier is exactly as it sounds. It's a chandelier or pendant light fixture that is shaped like a drum--cylindrical, with flat sides facing the floor and ceiling.
Drum chandeliers are versatile and work in many different spaces. Some popular spots for drum chandeliers are foyers, living rooms, and bedrooms.
They don't typically work with low ceilings but if you can find one that is a flush mount, you can probably pull it off.
|Classic or Traditional||Teardrop/Bowl|
How to Choose the Right Chandelier
Here are some things to keep in mind when picking a chandelier for your house or apartment. Here are some questions to ask yourself before purchasing one.
How Will the Chandelier Light Up Your Room?
This comes down to how you want your room to feel.
Do you want something simple so that it won’t overpower a room or are you looking to bring glitz and glam to your dining room with an elegant one?
Your answer can greatly diminish the handful of styles you have in mind and narrow your focus.
What Size Chandelier Can Your Space Handle?
The proportions of all the furnishings and the size of your rooms can determine which type of chandelier you want in your room.
So it’s important to hang the chandelier in the right spot and at the proper height for maximum impact.
You should never put up a chandelier in, say, your living room, and have it dominate a space. If it’s a tiered chandelier and hangs low above a coffee table, then you aren’t keeping proportions in mind and the chandelier will overpower the room.
Basically, you can put a chandelier in any room as long as you consider the size. You can fit a chandelier in a powder room if it’s a mini one.
Or you can hang the tiered chandelier in a larger space like a loft if it is several feet wide.
As a general rule, a chandelier placed above a piece of furniture, such as a dining room table, should be hung in the center.
General Guidelines For Hanging a Chandelier
No matter where in your home you'd like to hang a chandelier, whether large or small, there are actually general rules that are followed in hanging pendant lighting.
Seven feet is the general guideline for how low a chandelier should hang.
How High Should You Install a Chandelier in an Entryway?
Besides the dining room, the entryway or foyer is a popular spot for many homeowners to go glam and put up a chandelier.
But you need to carefully consider clearance. How much you need depends on how high or low your ceilings are.
In a two-story foyer, the chandelier should hang in front of the picture window and centered so that it is visible from the street if there is one or can be seen from the outside of your house.
If there is no window in a two-story foyer, then revert to the general guideline of seven feet.
How High Should a Chandelier Hang Over Furniture?
For chandeliers intended to hang over some type of furniture, the guidelines are different and vary for each furniture piece.
Installing a Chandelier Above a Dining Table
In a dining room, the chandelier should hang about 30 to 34 inches above the dining room table with a standard eight-foot ceiling height.
If your ceiling is higher than eight feet, the general rule of thumb is to mount the chandelier an additional three inches higher for each foot of the ceiling, according to LampsPlus.
You should also refrain from putting up a chandelier larger than the width of the dining room table, or any sort of table, because you or your guests may bump into the lighting when getting up.
If you need specifics, and for a well-balanced appearance, a chandelier should always be twelve inches narrower than a table and have at least 48 inches of space from each of the room walls or edges, according to the lighting outlet.
Installing a Chandelier Above a Kitchen Island
In a kitchen where there’s an island, the chandelier should be mounted in the center of it and hang slightly lower. That’s because the fixture needs to be close enough to provide enough lighting to accommodate cooking tasks, but not so low that it obstructs your sight.
In general, the bottom of the chandelier should be 28 to 32 inches above the center of the kitchen island.
Can You Hang a Chandelier in the Bathroom?
We see chandeliers all the time in luxurious bathrooms with clawfoot tubs, oversized showers, and shimmering polished nickel fixtures.
A chandelier, especially one bedecked with crystals, will complement that aesthetic but you have to keep in mind your safety.
It’s thus best for a chandelier to be placed at least 3 feet away from bathtubs and showers.
But according to the National Electric Code (NEC), you can hang a chandelier above a bathtub provided you have a taller than average ceiling such as a vaulted ceiling.
You also should make sure your bathroom has ventilation, otherwise, it will be damp.
A chandelier in damp areas is not recommended as this can lead to malfunction.
However, if you buy a damp rated or damp location chandelier (or a wet one), you should be okay.
A damp-rated is suitable for use in protected outdoor areas that receive indirect exposure to rain, such as a covered porch.
Hence, your chandelier should be safe for use in the bathroom as it’s intended for outdoor use.
Can You Hang a Chandelier on Your Own?
This is the frequently asked question when it comes to hanging. And the answer is always that you should in no way mount the fixture by yourself. The installation is not a DIY endeavor.
The National Electrical Code has a general rule that you should always hire a professional, especially when it comes to rewiring the electrical.
Not only is the installation process potentially hazardous to someone who may not know what they're doing but many of these chandeliers are very heavy and might require extra hands.
If your electrical wiring has been properly installed by a licensed electrician recently or you're simply changing one chandelier to another and your new chandelier is light, you may be able to do it yourself.
However, it's better to be safe than sorry, and hiring a professional will be a safer bet, especially if you've never installed one before.