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Much to think about on the size of medallions

QuestionCan you tell how to determine the appropriate-sized ceiling medallion for my dining room? I would like to install a new chandelier but I'm confused on the proper size of the medallion. Thanks for your help!

AnswerYour question is an interesting one and is something I completely overlooked when I did a piece on how to install a ceiling medallion, "Dress Up Your Chandelier With a Ceiling Medallion."

As simple as your question is, you would think the answer would be just as easy—but it's not! I went right to the source and was unable to get a straight answer, but my persistence yielded the following.

Basically, personal taste dictates the overall size of a ceiling medallion, but the rule of thumb is that the ceiling medallion should be about the same size as the chandelier, and the chandelier's size is based on half the width of the dining room table that it will hang above.

Of course, rules are made to be broken and Arctel, a supplier of ceiling medallions, decorative mirrors, and other home accessories through retail lighting showrooms nationwide, offers these additional tips:

The higher the ceiling, the larger the medallion should be in order to maintain proportion. That rule also applies to the chandelier as well. However, even if the medallion's size is based on the size of the chandelier, it's OK for the medallion to be slightly larger or smaller than the chandelier. It all comes down to the overall design and size of the room. Even the design of the medallion may play a role on the size you should select.

Arctel also offers this mathematical formula for those who like to use numbers. Multiply the length of the room in feet times the width of the room in feet and divide by seven. This will yield the approximate diameter of the ceiling medallion in inches which looks in perspective on a 9-foot ceiling.

My wife and I chose our ceiling medallion purely by personal preference, so I challenged the formula to see how well we did without using it. We have both a living and dining room in a space that's 13 feet by 23 feet, but using only the dining room dimensions (13 feet x 11 feet), we calculated that we should use a 20-inch medallion. We used one that was 18 inches and even though our ceiling height is only 8 feet-3 inches, it looks about right for the odd-sized room. However, once I raise the ceiling a foot, then I agree that a 20-inch to 24-inch ceiling medallion will match our 24-inch chandelier and look more in perspective. However, as my wife says, the 18-inch ceiling medallion has character. The bottom line is that Arctel's formula is right on.

In our project we used the Pembroke, a simple medallion pattern, and crown molding with an Acanthus leaf pattern. Both are by Fypon, which appears to be very popular on the market.

Hopefully these tips will give you some insights on how to select a ceiling medallion.

To learn more about medallions and to choose a style that's right for you, go to www.arctel.com or www.fypon.com.

Copyright © 2004, 2006, & 2007 LAF/C.R.S., Inc. All rights reserved.
Question answered by Leon A. Frechette.

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