34 Chandelier Styles and Shapes for Your Home

Here's your chandelier buying guide in which we break up and categorize the 34 different styles and shapes of chandeliers (for all rooms of the home).
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Chandeliers can make the space in 2 ways. First, they can look amazing in their own right.  A real showpiece for a room.  Second, they illuminate a space and as we know, the light in any room can have a huge impact on the interior design.

Light impacts your mood

In fact, while it’s well know lack of natural light can negatively impact your emotional wellbeing, the intensity of interior light can also have an impact on your emotions.  One example is that people in brighter light have more intense emotions, both good and bad.  Examples of more intense emotions include wanting spicier sauce, perceiving someone more attractive and even reporting the temperature being warmer (source: Huffington Post).  Interestingly, light can also affect what we eat, how much we eat and how fast we eat (source: Mentalfloss.com).

Accordingly, the light in your home is a very important decision, both for aesthetic purposes and functional purposes (i.e. your enjoyment and wellbeing within your home).

What is a chandelier?

A chandelier is a type of ceiling light. Merriam Webster defines a chandelier as “a branched often ornate lighting fixture suspended from a ceiling.”

The immediate question that arises is, how is a chandelier technically different from some pendant lights?  After all, pendant lights such as the island/antler variety are branched lighting fixtures too?  It boils down to the amount of branches.  2, 3 or even 4 branches are still pendant.  Moreover, the pendant light is larger as well.  But, once there are more than 4 branches with smaller lights, it’s a chandelier.

The point of this article

This article seeks to clarify your chandelier options.  There are a vast number of chandeliers available.  While it seems there is no rhyme or reason to the types and shapes, the fact is that there is a proper organization to chandelier shape and style.  This article seeks to organize your chandelier options so that you can methodically go through and figure out exactly what type, style, shape and number of tiers you want for your chandelier.

The starting point is identifying the chandelier shapes.  For you, that means deciding on a chandelier shape.  Next, it’s choosing the number of tiers.

Another approach you can take when choosing is to start with the style.  For example, if your home is designed in the Mediterranean style, you may want to filter down by Mediterranean styles, then choose a shape and finally the number of tiers.  FYI, not all shapes offer all tiers.  For example, some shapes may only offer 1 or 2 tiered chandeliers.

Here are your chandelier options…

The 12 Main Chandelier Shapes

As you’ll see below, there are many types/shape of chandeliers.  The following types are the key descriptors used to differentiate the many types.

1. Shaded

What is it?

The shaded type is when there’s brushed glass surrounding the individual lights.  These actually look much like island pendant lights, but they have more branches.  The shaded type have larger lights typically.

Example:

Source: Wayfair

2. Crystal Chandelier 

What is it?

Crystal is the type one typically associates with chandeliers.  It’s a series of bulbs surrounded by glass crystals which reflects the light throughout the room.  It’s a formal style and very ornate.  It’s definitely not for every home, especially today’s more casually designed homes. However, sometimes the juxtaposition of a fancy crystal chandelier against a more casual design can have a striking effect.

Example:

Source: Wayfair

3. Candle-Style Chandelier 

What is it?

This type is exactly as the name suggests; a chandelier with lights that look like candles.  This style is often a hybrid (see below) with other styles.  This too is a fairly formal style since it’s aim is to replicate the traditional candle lighting.

Example:

Source: Wayfair

4. Mini-Small Chandelier

What is it?

A mini chandelier is a small chandelier for smaller spaces.  While this may seem to be an odd offering to some people, it makes sense to me.  Traditionally, chandeliers were large ceiling lights that required a huge space; however, given that chandeliers are used in many rooms of the home, smaller options are convenient in those rooms that can’t or shouldn’t accommodate a larger style.

Example:

Source: Wayfair

5. Drum Chandelier

What is it?

A drum chandelier is one shaped like a drum.  It gets this shape with some form of large shade surrounding the series of lights.  This type offers a more muted light throughout the room which can be great for bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms and living rooms.

Example:

Source: Amazon

6. Sputnik Chandelier

What is it?

This is a cool type.  It’s a light explosion with a series of light branches extending from a center point.  Some are symmetrical forming a circle while others are more random.  The arms are straight and in some cases have lights on both ends while others have lights on only one end of the arm.

Examples:

This example has lights on both ends of the arms forming a globe.


Source: Amazon

The style below has lights on only one end of the arms.

Source: Wayfair

7. Empire Chandelier

What is it?

The Empire style is very formal and traditional.  It’s defined by the shape.  It’s 2 sections.  The top section is in a cone shape.  The bottom section is an inverted bell or bowl.  The entire unit is a series of small lights and crystals.

The Empire style is a sub-set of crystal since the entire light is a series of crystals.  A popular style of Empire chandeliers is the french style.

Example:

Source: Wayfair

8. Waterfall Chandelier 

What is it?

The waterfall style comes in many shapes and forms.  It’s a style where the class or crystal “drips” down from the top.  The base can be round, square or geo.  The “drop” can be strings or more geometric shapes.  The overall descriptor is that the lights and crystal appear to be falling water.

Examples


Source: Wayfair

9. Center Bowl

What is it?

A center bowl style is one where there’s a main light shaped as a bowl at the bottom surrounded by smaller lights.  If it were just the center bowl, it would be a pendant, but when surrounded by smaller lights, it forms a chandelier.

Example:

Source: Homedepot.com

10. Island

What is it?

An island chandelier is one with a series of lights sitting on arms or branches that are horizontally configured.  Arguably these are island pendants as well.  It’s a blurry difference.

Example

Source: Homedepot.com

11. Globe

What is it?

A globe style is a lighting fixture shaped into a globe.  The shape is made up of a series of lights often wrapped in some cage or material to create a globe effect.

Example

Source: Homedepot.com

12. Cage (Home Depot)

What is it?

A cage style is one where the lights are wrapped in a cage effect.  The shapes can be any shape such as triangle, globe, square, rectangle, etc.

Example:

Source: Homedepot.com

B. Hybrid Chandeliers

Some chandeliers, as you may have noticed above, are a combination of styles and shapes.  Take the following example, which incorporates “globe, cage and candle” styles into one magnificent light.


Source: Wayfair

There are endless hybrid styles given that once you start combining the 12 main types/shapes above, you end up with many, many chandelier designs.

C. Chandelier Tiers

Another element of chandelier lights is the tiers.  Tiers are the layers of lights or sections.  They range from 1 tier to 5 tiers.  1 and 2 tiers are the most popular.

Below are examples of the various tiers.

1 Tier

Source: 1800Lighting.com

2 Tiers

Source: 1800Lighting.com

3 Tiers

Source: Wayfair

4 Tiers

Source: Wayfair

5+ Tiers


Source: Wayfair

D. Chandelier Styles Gallery

In some ways Iike that chandeliers are categorized into styles, but in some ways I don’t.  I like it because when the style actually fits, it really helps buying the right one.  However, I don’t like it because there are a lot of chandeliers that simply don’t fit any one style and so it’s artificially slotted into a style.  When this happens it makes it difficult shopping by style.

Nevertheless, it’s standard practice to apply a design style to chandeliers and so we’d be remiss if we failed to include examples of the various styles to give you an idea of the different styles that are categorized.

What we did is take time to look for the best fitting chandelier for each style so that you can a glimmer of an idea of how the different styles look relative to one another.

Our styles section is a gallery.  Click or tap images to enlarge.

Source: 180Lighting.com

E. Chandeliers by Room

We’re also excited to offer you room-specific galleries which showcases hundreds of chandeliers by room (real designs and real rooms).  Here they are:

1. Living Room Chandeliers

Click here for our living room chandelier gallery.  While chandeliers aren’t always a perfect fit for a living room, they can be.  We explain when it’s a good fit, some parameters and provide dozens of photo examples.

2. Dining Room Chandeliers

Click here for the dining room chandelier gallery.  Dining rooms are ideal for chandelier lighting.  Hence we have a lot of examples in our gallery.

3. Kitchen Chandeliers

Click here for our kitchen chandelier gallery.  Yes, chandeliers are used in kitchens.  In fact, the right chandelier in the right kitchen can have a striking effect.  Check out our gallery.

4. Foyer Chandeliers

Click here for our foyer chandelier photo gallery. Foyers are the quintessential chandelier space.  This grand lighting option creates grandeur for guests arriving into your home.  It’s a real show-piece.  For larger foyers, the bigger, the better.

5. Master Bedroom Chandeliers

Click here for our master bedroom chandelier gallery.  The chandelier may be a luxury you don’t want to pay for, but if it’s luxury and fancy you want, there’s nothing like a chandelier to really dress up your master bedroom retreat.

6. Master Bathroom Chandeliers

Click here for our master bathroom chandelier gallery.  I have to admit when putting the bathroom chandelier gallery together I was pleasantly surprised how nice a chandelier looks in the bathroom.  Check them out for yourself.

F. Where to buy Chandeliers online?

This may be good or bad news.  The thing is, you can buy quality chandeliers from a lot of online stores.  This is good because you have choice.  This is bad because there are a lot of choices.  How do you decide?  It’s not easy.

Here’s a list of some of the bigger lighting retailers:

1. Wayfair.com

2. 1800Lighting.com

3. Homedepot.com

4. Amazon.com







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