New Living Room Chandelier Options

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Last night, I went into the living room with an armful of fabrics to make some decisions about the pillows for my sofa. I headed over to the light switch to switch on all of the lights. For a split second, I was confused when I flipped that last switch and nothing happened. It took a second for me to remember that I no longer have a light there! 😀

Until a few weeks ago, I had this this Horchow capiz shell chandelier in the living room…

current living room with teal fireplace, pink curtains, gray sofa, gray and lavender rug

I love that chandelier, but the more I looked at pictures of this evolving room (which is still not finished — I still need to reupholster chairs, make pillows, etc.), the more the chandelier and the artwork above the fireplace being together in the same view bothered me.

The chandelier is round and made of hundreds of pieces of capiz shell in the same shape, and the artwork is round and made of hundreds of wood tasting spoons in the same shape. It was just too much. Sometimes repeating elements in a room is a very good thing. But this wasn’t a situation like that. These two items had the same general idea, but at the same time they were very different and (to my eye) competed with each other.

So I decided that the living room needs something much more simple in design, and the capiz shell chandelier is perfect for the music room.

Now I need to find something to take its place in the living room. I want something that is pretty but also simple in design. I’ve found a few that seem to fit the bill.

Simple drum shade chandelier

I don’t know why, but I’m always drawn to drum shades. I think I just like the simplicity of them. I also like that this has a chain rather than a solid rod, because with the rods, it’s often difficult to get the chandelier to the exact height that is needed in the room.

Bruce 5-Light Sputnik Chandelier

Sputnik lights are really hit or miss with me. I almost always dislike them because there’s just so much going on, and they almost always have either clear shades or no shades at all. And one thing I’ve learned about myself after many years of trial and error with lighting is that I almost never like bare bulbs or visible bulbs. But I love that this one is not only simple in design, but also comes with the option of having white shades so that the bulbs aren’t visible and the light is diffused. There are also example pictures of this light installed pretty close to the ceiling, so it would work well with my eight-foot ceiling.

Carson Carrington Lynda Sputnik Semi-Flush Mount Light

This is another sputnik style that I like. I don’t like this one as much as the one above, but since it’s an actual semi-flush mount light, it would be so much easier to install.

Madison Park Signature 5-Light Presidio Chandelier

This is my absolute favorite. I love that slight taper on the shade. I also love the subtle traditional style, and the fact that it has five lights. But this one has the rigid rod instead of a chain. And while I love the clean look of a rigid rod, they just so often create a problem when trying to shorten a chandelier enough so that it fits an 8-foot ceiling. But it’s definitely my favorite, so it might be worth it to get it and figure out the rod issue later. There’s always a solution!

Conical Drum Semi-Flush Fixture

This is the fifth and final light that I narrowed down my selections to, and since it’s also an actual semi-flush light, it would be very easy to install, and would work great with my 8-foot ceiling. I really like the simple style of the light with the brass details.

So, those are the options that I’ve narrowed down for my living room. I just hate that my absolute favorite light has that rigid rod. While I feel certain that I can find a solution to any problem I have installing it, I just hate the idea of paying for a brand new light only to have to potentially purchase new additional parts to make it work in my room. But sometimes that’s what it takes to get what you want.

I’m a bit surprised that the first sputnik light is actually my second favorite, and since I’ve seen pictures of it installed close to the ceiling, I think it might be easy to work with.

I’ll think on it a bit more, and perhaps do a few mock ups with my photo editing software to see what these might look like in my living room. Hopefully I can get one of these ordered this week and installed soon!



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  1. I feel like you’ve had that conical drum light on your list of possibilities and favorites for other lighting decisions before. You obviously really love it. Think of all your rooms and where that fixture could work. Pick where you think it would work best…if that’s the living room, it’s time to go with it! If it’s a different room, that’s cool too. I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s time to find a home for your favorite fixture. 🙂

    1. I love the 5th option too. I also hate bare bulbs or fixtures that allow the bare bulns to show through. Too hard on the eyes.

  2. When I first saw the “cloud” light you chose for the studio entry, it did not appeal to me at all. Seeing it in the entry all lit up..I love it. You have such a wonderful sense of style and taste, I wouldn’t presume to suggest any of these. You just go with what ever turns on your “delight” button. You seldom go wrong.

  3. I love the look of both drum shades and the sputnik. I thought you replaced a rod with a chain before no? Would the drum shade impede upon your view of the artwork? That would be my only concern.

  4. I love all the choices. Each offers something unique. Because a photo on this end can obscure the line of sight, you should consider what is the maximum drop of the light fixture so you have the view you desire. I am partial to anything hugging the ceiling that is open. I too am partial to drum shades but I find they close the ceiling in and give a “block the view look”. I also feel you should wait until you have upholstered the chairs. The whole vibe of the room will change again. Happy lamp hunting!

    1. Exactly. Just a bigger version of the round thing going on again. I’m assuming you’re asking us all what we think, since you’re giving options….

    2. All five of these lights are round. 🙂 It’s not the “round” element I had issue with. What I had issue with was having two items that were both the same shape (round) AND were each made of hundreds of identical pieces. It’s the “hundreds of identical pieces” that made them compete with each other. Not that they both were round.

        1. I use Paint Shop Pro. You can find the downloadable version on Amazon. I mainly use the copy, paste, and eraser functions to do mock ups.

  5. The semi-flush Sputnik looks like a spaceship to me! I almost expect it to start rotating, haha! I’m totally with you with clear bulbs and shades. I actually just recently got one of the lantern style chandeliers (you know, the trendy open “iron” frames with a row of candelabra lights) and am finding the light it casts is kinda rough. Before, I had a contractor’s standard “boob light.” It was ugly, but it had nice, even light. Now, I have a beautiful chandelier, but find I need to turn a nearby table lamp on to offset the harsh shadows it creates. Sigh, it’s so hard to get style and function just right 🙂

    On a side note, I’ve noticed a few weird things about your blog. When I get an email notification of a new post, it always has the title of the LAST blog post in the subject line, rather than the current post (but it’s the correct post in the body of the email). Also, I never get notifications anymore when someone replies to my comment. Is that intentional? Just thought you might like to know 🙂

    1. I don’t know what’s up with the email subject lines, but I have a support ticket open with my email service to see if they can find the bug that’s causing that. As far as the comment notifications, I turned that off because (1) I was getting complains about it, and (2) ever since I switched to this new blog format (a year ago, I think), people seem to be really confused about how to comment. So many people now comment by hitting “reply to this comment” on a random comment even though they don’t mean to reply to that comment, and it would automatically send an email to that person with a response even though the new comment wasn’t actually a response to their comment. I don’t know why this new blog theme comment section is so confusing to people, but I felt bad having all of those random email notifications being sent to people, so I turned off comment notifications.

  6. My vote is the Madison Park (2nd to last). I know you’d have to shorten the rod, but stylistically it looks the most appropriate to me. In my house, I’d do the sputniks! But for you, not so much. I think the multiple globes would detract from the other elements, and they just seem like a different style than the rest of your house. Can’t wait to see the fabrics! and the covered chairs!

  7. Love the Madison Park Signature and the Conical Drum, but they may be too long if they hang down more than 12″ on an 8′ ceiling.

  8. The Bruce Sputnik light is amazing. I have been coveting a similar one but I can not style it into my extremely old farmhouse.

  9. I like your favorite and number 5. I think those two sputniks are too busy.

    Also, this is the second time that the email subject has the previous post’s subject. The hallway email had the pink title and today’s had the kitchen one.

    1. I have an open support ticket with my email service to figure out why the subject lines keep doing that. 🙂 I have to keep going in and updating it manually, and when I forget, it send the wrong one. So frustrating! Hopefully they can figure out the problem.

  10. You’ve GOT to go with your favorite!! It’s gorgeous and I’d wager that the rod can be cut and re-threaded to whatever length you need it to be. My husband has a tool of some sort that threads rods, so I’m sure you could find someone to do that for you or even buy the tool yourself if it’s not too expensive.

  11. The one you love is great but I am wondering if you could put a chain instead of the rod. Have you looked at light fixtures on They have some great fixtures and right now they are having a Presidents Day sale going on. We’ve had wonderful customer service from them and find that their prices are very good for many things needed for our home.

  12. Kristi, your taste is simply incredible. Even though it is generally the opposite of mine (minimalist), I love your blog, and learning from your choices. You are a complete inspiration! Every light you chose is an instant winner. My only caution, having 8′ ceilings, is that our MBR drum light seems quite low because it hangs down a bit (5-6″ max). Thank you for EVERYTHING!! I would be thrilled if our home is even 1/2 as beautiful as yours in time.

  13. I think there are two reasons why commenting is confusing. The heading over the comment box says ‘leave a reply’. It would make more sense, to me anyway, if it said ‘leave a comment. And the post comment button needs to be hit twice. The third time, it tells me I’m duplicating. Don’t know if it’s fixable. Some things just aren’t. Good luck.

    1. All of the lights have round elements to them. 🙂 It’s not the roundness that bothered me about the original light that bothered me. It’s that I had two items that are round AND made up of hundreds of the same shaped piece.

  14. The problem I see with the Madison is your are going to be looking at bare bulbs while sitting on your sofa if you hang it high enough to see your art work. Although I love a drum shade I think something more ceiling sprawling is going to be better to no impede your sight lines.

  15. The last one is unique and my favorite. I think it is subtle, yet unusual and the prettiest When looking Up at it as you would be when seated.

  16. Your favorite, the Madison Park five light and drum shade, is The One! I bought a fixture almost identical (albeit brushed nickel) for our living room. I love it! We had to swap the rod for a chain but it was easy peasy. The look is amazingly transitional which made selecting a fixture for the adjoining dining room so much easier. The light it casts is very complimentary to the furnishings and walls, and lends a cozy elegance to the room.
    Whatever you choose will be gorgeous, I’m sure. But, I sincerely believe you would not be disappointed with the Madison Park five light w/drum.

  17. I’m on team Madison with everyone else. I feel like the first one might work if you could find a shade that tapers outward instead of inward. But the Madison one is just a beautiful style and feels like it will go with the colors and plans you have for that room better.

    With that said you constantly take things I think won’t work and then you make them work somehow, so I look forward to seeing what you choose 🙂

  18. Hi Kristi–have you considered not having a chandelier in your living room? To me, a centered chandelier shouts “dining table”. You have recessed lights for a soft fill in the room; I am sure you could do some really creative work with floor or table lamps for specific tasks like reading, or for conversation-mood-lighting, and then your fireplace, mantel and art would take center stage with no visual disruption. Just a thought…..

    1. I agree with this just add another recesses light or nothing at all if you can get away without it. You would have Beautiful sight lines to the fireplace and your art work on other walls

    2. Agree with this idea 100%. Anything suspended from the ceiling is going to at least partially obscure the view of the fireplace and art. Also, chandeliers work better (in my opinion) when they are located in a place that is not a walk-way area, like over a dining table or suspended on a ceiling that is taller than the standard 8-feet.

  19. Hi Kristi, Have you considered not having a light fixture there? You have beautiful recessed lighting. I’m not sure if it’s a CA thing, but I see people forgoing a light fixture for small can lights on a dimmer more regularly. In the end this is still one of my favorite rooms you have done and it will be gorgeous!

  20. Hmmm – I am trying to think of what to do in my house. I really like the brass however, we have stainless/silver trim everywhere. Gray walls, silver hinges and door handles. Our house is a Mid-Century Modern Ranch – so we are trying to capture enough pop without being annoying or trying too hard.

  21. Have you looked at the several sellers on Etsy that make awesome lighting? They make lighting that appears very similar to the Sputnik style. I can give you names of the sellers if you’d like.