Stay Cool: Modern Ceiling Fans

By Kate Riley April 27, 2015

Warmer weather is here and summer is approaching fast! The season brings higher temperatures which is welcome for growing gardens and outdoor adventures however soaring temperatures can make it uncomfortable for lounging and sleeping indoors without the circulation of air that comes from a ceiling fan. Perhaps you’re thinking of upgrading yours?

No longer is there the need for ceiling fans to be an unattractive practicality and one that collects dust in the off season, today we’re fortunate to have access to plenty of contemporary stylish versions. I’m a fan of the three blade design because they mimic airplane propellers. I installed this one in a guest room and this one in the master bedroom last year, both are wonderful fans that provide circulation with a remote.

modern ceiling fan in bedroom

Ceiling fans are a necessity in homes in warmer climates, on my last visit to the desert it was already in high 80s in April which reminded me I’m in need of one more flush mouth ceiling fan for the upstairs bedroom so I started looking for another.

The lightless version of the one I used in the master bedroom is featured below in a living room, the curvy blades and koa wood make it an attractive option for multiple spaces from coastal to contemporary.

coastal living room with wood ceiling fan

allee design

Like a chandelier, a good looking ceiling fan can be a focal point in a room. Introduce contrast with a metal and wood combination suspended from a white ceiling; twisted nickel blades pop against the stained wood tray ceiling in the bedroom below; nickel is always a goes-with-everything option.

wood and black bedroom ceiling fan

apd architects

silver ceiling fan

spaces designed

aluminum fan pitched ceiling

clayton and little

You could go big and bold! I love the design of this customizable Essence fan (it reminds me of thin petal flowers, like the Stenopetala Plumeria that blooms in Hawaii.)

essence fan

big ass fans

If your preference is the opposite and you want your ceiling fan to escape attention, choose one that blends in with the ceiling. In these spaces the airy white blades recede into the background which allows for other accents to take the spotlight.

coastal living room

ashley gilbreath

modern white ceiling fan


white ceiling fan

baxter design group

Another option is to use directional fans, like pendants they are smaller and can be installed as a single or used as multiples to create breezes in different directions. 

directional fans

max crosby construction

If you’re looking for something a bit more contemporary for use in warmer weather and different than the basic five blade, consider these fans, most of them come in multiple finishes from white to wood to metal.

modern ceiling fans


cirque / minka aluminum roto / black twisted blade / fanimation zonixpancake / fanimation levon / minka aire aviation / nickel lapa / bronze directional / chrome directional


Covered outdoor spaces also require a ceiling fan to circulate air …

mod ceiling fan covered deck

wayne windham

for more inspiration, read my latest article at Lamps Plus featuring outdoor ceiling fan options certified for wet areas!


  1. We have the bronze directional fan that you featured in our kitchen and I love it. It adds such a unique look to the space. And it works really well… like blow your hair back! I guess that can come in handy when you are cooking a big meal and the kitchen starts to get warm. I am a fan of ceiling fans but it has to be just the right one. It took me months to find one for our bedroom that I could live with!

  2. Loved your piece on ceiling fans…a forgotten decorating detail. The featured rooms were so beautiful, I hardly noticed the fans. On another topic, triggered by one of the photos, I am a fan of white rooms but doing ‘white right’ is a challenge. Maybe you will someday do a feature on doing white right. Love your blog.

  3. This is a great list! All of our upstairs bedrooms have ceiling fans, and while they are functional they aren’t the most attractive. And three of them have multi colored blades — primary colors for the rooms where the former owners’ boys slept, and pastel for their girl’s room. It’s fun, but since their girl’s roo is now our guest room, we are looking for something a little more grown up in there.

  4. LOVE this piece on ceiling fans!
    Why is the fan always the most misunderstood detail when styling a space? Many are against installing one-but when it’s right, it can really make a room sing! My husband and I recently had the ARTEMIS Acrylic Fan by MINKA AIRE installed in our master bedroom. I have lusted after this beauty for years now! The acrylic blades are contrasted with a stainless steel canopy that truly is a work of art. It does have more of an updated modern feel, but the acrylic blades make our room feeling bright, soft, airy and more spacious-it’s almost like it’s not even in the room. I feel this is a transitional fan that can be introduced into a myriad of designs. There is nothing more disappointing (in my opinion) than an old clunky brown wooden fan that commands attention when I walk into a room. A ceiling fan can be an instant update to a tired worn-out space. I’ve placed this fan in several clients homes over the years as well…it never fails to bring a little something to the party! Great buy…sooo much bang for your buck!

  5. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I love the chandelier in the bedroom look but in the middle of the night when I am so HOT I can’t stand it, that beautiful light won’t help me at all. It doesn’t help that menopause may last 30 years so I will keep my overhead fan even though it may not exude stylishness.

  6. Great post!
    I love that there is a lot of variations out there. We have the same taste, I love the propeller look and the Casa Vieja – Casa Orbitor, is a really cool modern fan in that style.
    There are some pretty cool smart fans around now too.
    Keep up the good work!

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