A chandelier might not initially seem like a bedroom essential. Typically the hallmark of luxury interiors, a chandelier light fixture first and foremost provides a layer of light, but a close second is how they add style – helping tie a room together, and bringing that extra touch of glamor and sophistication to any room in the home. ‘A chandelier works in a grand scale bedroom or a room with an exaggerated ceiling height to add a touch of glamour and a focal point,’ says Soho Home interior design manager, Candy Murray.
It may seem like a luxury in the bedroom, but chandelier design has come far since the ornate, more traditional styles, now taking more contemporary forms with branches that spread out like art, pieces made of rattan, shell, and in an array of interesting shapes, adding interest and helping your space become a truly modern bedroom.
Here are some of our favorite ideas.
Oonagh is an experienced interiors writer and editor. For this article, she used her understanding of the industry and wealth of contacts from the interiors world to find out what style of chandeliers the designers were talking about.
How to pick the perfect bedroom chandelier
When settling on the right chandelier for your room, think about the size of your room and the height of your ceiling. ‘Always buy a chandelier that’s bigger than you think you need and larger than you think you can afford,’ advises Jonathan Adler. But there are some guidelines for those looking for rules of thumb. Taller ceilings have more space for grander pieces, but that doesn’t mean a small room shouldn’t have a chandelier at all. Meanwhile, a small chandelier may be overwhelmed by a large room, so think logically and do your measurements, measuring the room and the fixture to calculate the optimum size.
Lastly, is also important to make sure that the chandelier is properly supported and that it hangs at the correct height. Achieving the right look requires careful planning and attention to detail, but the results can be truly stunning.
1. Go all-out glamour with cascading glass
The capiz shell-style chandelier is a beautiful addition to any room. Creating soft, diffused lighting that shines through the cascading shells, they are effortlessly beautiful and create a relaxed mood, plus a touch of elegance to a luxury bedroom. This material has strong ties to nature and is favored as a good substitute for glass, soothingly reflecting the light. Where this type of shell isn’t available, look out for light fixtures that create the same look by using tiered glass that cascades down similarly. This design by Soho Home is made from a five-tier chevron – the amber glass panels are created by placing molten glass in a steel mold, which is hand-sprayed to create an ombre effect.
‘The layers of glass or shell used in a chandelier create indirect light which is both flattering and soft,’ says Soho Home (opens in new tab) design manager, Candy Murray. ‘They are perfect for the serene atmosphere that you want in the bedroom.
2. Stay simple and subtle with individual shades
Chandeliers featuring individual lampshades are a timeless look that is subtle and sophisticated. This is the bedroom of designer Marie Flanigan (opens in new tab), who chose the pretty bedroom light fixture for its scale and finish.
The chandelier’s finish and subtle metal accents are nods to the plaster found on the walls and details found throughout the home, and the design takes up a perfectly calculated amount of space in the bedroom, with each individual branch not taking up too much space so as not to visually overwhelm the calming space.
‘To make sure the scale was correct, I always add the length and width of a space in feet and whatever that number is, I find a piece that is that wide in inches. For example, if a room is 12 ft. by 14 ft. I look for a fixture that is 26 inches,’ she says. Here she has landed at the perfect measurement.
3. Contrast modern and traditional
Traditional style chandelier styles rely on hanging crystals or cut fragments of glass to illuminate the room through refracted light and really makes an impression in a glamorous bedroom. While modern chandeliers work in different ways to cast light, there is no reason a modern bedroom design can’t work with a traditional chandelier for a beautiful juxtaposition of old and new.
This ornate style adds a bit of luxe to the rooms of the Nomad Hotel (opens in new tab) in London, and the sheen from the glass works well with the other forms of lighting in the room. Overall the scheme is beautifully layered for a cozy bedroom.
4. Go for texture
Texture and natural materials can be a beautiful addition to your bedroom, softening the space and bringing in those natural qualities that make your room calming and the perfect sleep sanctuary. Why not extend this to your light fixture, looking out for chandeliers made from materials like rattan, wood, wicker to give a chic but boho bedroom look.
‘A bedroom chandelier is where you can get very creative and bold,’ says Denise Davis of D2 Interieurs (opens in new tab), who designed this space. ‘Lighting can be organic with texture – it should look well curated.
‘I love to play with scale and texture in the lighting. It becomes the focal point of the room, draws your eye to the center of the room and it becomes the jewelry of the space,’ she adds.
5. Try Art Deco style
Art Deco style lighting can add a touch of Hollywood Regency glamour to a bedroom. Think gold, brass, bulbs and geometric shapes to create real focus above your bed.
This Caracas chandelier design by Jonathan Adler (opens in new tab) has a distinctive geometric look to it, with 16 bulbs providing ample light to your bedroom. The antiqued brass creates a classic contrast. Make sure you use frosted bulbs for this kind of light fixture to avoid any harsh or overly bright glare.
6. Pick a contemporary look
The whimsical, tube-like structure to this light fixture gives a modern bedroom look to any room, and works particularly well for a bedroom where playful curves give a relaxed feel to the space.
The Scandinavian bedroom light shines brightly down and provides spotlights that are rotating, meaning you can adapt the mood and atmosphere as you see fit. The matt colors are a nice addition too, coming in a range from grey to a pale terracotta. Noa Santos of Nainoa (opens in new tab) selected a white matt to complement the tangerine suede walls in a West 11th townhouse.
7. Or a fan-style light fixture
The statement light fan look is also another fixture that is gaining popularity throughout the home. In the bedroom it adds a softness to the space with its wave-like movement that makes it look like it is floating on air. The curvy outer wire attaches to the singular light bulb via many silky ribbons that cast moody shadows overhead. ‘When our Los Angeles client requested a modern, yet feminine vibe for her primary suite, we knew our lighting selections would play the role of icing on the proverbial cake,’ says Barbie Palomino of Studio Palomino (opens in new tab).
‘In order to bring together this chic and classic bedroom, we incorporated Petite Friture’s Vertigo Pendant for a scene-stealing moment. A few bold accents are perfectly topped with this contemporary fixture that rests above the bed like the perfect hat completing a favorite outfit.’
8. Use LED lighting
LED lighting on your chandelier is a modern way to save electricity on your home’s lighting. This Moooi Heracleum III LED Chandelier is a LED chandelier where the ‘leaves’ on the chandelier’s branches are 63 polycarbonate lenses which reflect the light of 63 internal LED lights.
‘I was looking for an elegant chandelier with a feature of nature and the ‘Heracleum III Small’ by ‘Moooi’ was just perfect fitting to complete the vision of the space,’ says Lior of Brosh Architects (opens in new tab), who designed this room.
‘A bedroom chandelier is a beautiful bit of luxury because the technology today allow chandeliers to be a piece of art as well as light fitting.’
Should a chandelier be centered over the bed?
When considering where to position your chandelier in your bedroom, it might seem natural to see your bed as the central focus of the room, and therefore hang it centrally over the bed. Actually, your aim is to hang the light at the bottom of the bed, or in the middle of the room.