In all practices of design there is function and form.  The function is the practicality of the object, what we need it for, and the form is what makes us desire it.  An important element of form is scale.  We are drawn to furnishings because of their acuteness to our personal style, but if they are not the appropriately sized it will look awkward.  You can enter a space that is not your personal style and if it is scaled correctly it is not offensive.

You can see in the first few shots of this entry that it is a combination of a high ceiling and an open railing staircase, leaving us with a cold, vast area.  In order to make this space more intimate we need to fill it.  The easiest rule of thumb to find the correct size fixture is to measure the width and length of the room in feet and then convert the sum of the two numbers to inches. This dictates the minimum diameter of your light fixture.  The entry featured in the picture was 16’x14’, so we needed at least a 30” diameter fixture.  The height of the fixture is determined not only by your ceiling height, but also the scenery you are trying to create.  This particular ceiling is 22’ high.  We wanted to draw the eye up, so we went with a very tall fixture of 11’H x 3’W.  Injunction with the sloped ceiling we dropped our canopy 12” from the ceiling allowing it to hang true.  This brought our fixture to about 10’ off the floor, giving us enough room to walk underneath it without feeling crowded.

Depending on your personal style and space the rule of design can be bent or even broken, but like every great recipe you have to start somewhere.  Please feel free to contact me with particular questions and remember to always leave a space more beautiful than the way you found it!

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