I offer design consulting services for locals, and one of my clients is moving into a new construction home in two weeks. She told me she desperately needed my help finding a foyer chandelier for her two story home. Her entry light fixture is one of those basic contractor specials they install in the house (and hang way too high) because they’re obligated to do so. She texted this picture with a sad face emoji and the word “help”. I texted her back, “I’m on it.”
A foyer chandelier in a two story home should provide illumination but it’s also an opportunity to make a statement since it one of the elements that sets the first impression of your home. Here are a few examples of two story foyer chandeliers done right.
Two story foyers need a larger scale chandelier to fill the space, and the fixture needs to be hung in between the first and second story so it illuminates the entire entry. Light fixtures that have a greater height than width tend to work best because they fill the vertical space.
However, the most important measurement is the width and finding the ideal size is simple math. Add the length by the width and height in feet and that number is your guide for width of your fixture in inches. For example, if your foyer is 8 feet wide by 12 feet long and 18 feet high (total 38 feet) then your light fixture should be 38 inches wide, give or take a few inches.
Here’s a visual:
Larger scale chandeliers cost a few hundred dollars more (and up to the thousands if you want something high end). I rounded up these foyer chandeliers most (except one) under $700:
I’d also be interested in up lighting versus down lighting, or a combination (some fixtures have both). These are all up lighting (bulbs facing up), which I could see being preferable for a foyer.. We don’t have a two story entry, but we have 16′ ceilings in our living/dining room and I wonder what configuration is best for illuminating such a large space.
I’ll chime in and say that lights up with glass shades when you have small children can be problematic. It’s so tempting for them to toss things over the railings in two story foyers. I’ve learned from experience that a hot light bulb will melt a sock in a matter of minutes. If you have small children, I’d opt for no shades and an open-style chandelier.
great tip :)
I’m curious about the types of bulbs. We just put in a 9- light chandelier in our kitchen but I’ve put in 4 different types of bulbs and almost all are to glaringly bright! The best fit was an old frosted bulb I found in a closet, but haven’t found many frosted LED bulbs. This is getting expensive!
what wattage are the lights your using? also consider installing dimmer switch, I have them everywhere and they allow you to control the brightness.
Our dining room and foyer are next to each other. We have a brush nickel, traditional chandelier in the dining room. We are considering a bronze globe, more modern looking chandelier in the foyer. Is it okay to mix colors and styles in different rooms, yet you can see both while in either room?
Yes, absolutely, there is no rule finishes should always match, they should just complement each other.
Thank you for sharing your tips on choosing the best chandelier. We see a lot of homes with two-story foyers in Wilmington, NC, so I went ahead and shared your post with our followers on FB, Twitter, and Google Plus (Design Ideas and DIY Collection).
thank you! glad to be of help :)
Great post! I love your picks
This post came at an opportune time – thanks! My daughter just bought a house with a two story foyer that needs a lighting upgrade. I like the variety of your choices. The sizing tip is very helpful and pinned for later since it may be a few months before the budget allows replacement.
Thanks so much Kim! Congrats to your daughter :)
What about a fixture for a typical stairway landing in a smaller 1980s home where the landing is about two-thirds of the way up to the second floor? How far down should it hang, etc.? No two-story foyers here!
I’d be more freaked out that a kid would go over the railing in a house like that more than I would them throwing things over. But that just my own paranoia.
Great tip! I just moved into a new house with a tall foyer and have been searching for new lighting. My question is, the house I’m in now has two chandeliers. One above the entry and one near the top of the stairs but hanging in the large open space. Would you recommend having both chandeliers match (like they do now)? Or switch it up. It’s kinda tricky because they share the same space, kinda. I’ve been puzzling over this so any tips would be much appreciated!
How about a sputnik-style chandelier? It would be stunning in this space!
Love this! I have people who ask me this all the time. Galhomedesign.com
Can you tell me where you found the 2nd image chandelier: b fein interiors ? Love it but cannot find it anywhere! TY!