The Lighting Swap That Takes Your Home From Dated To Modern, According To Jenny Marrs

Many people underestimate how small details can have a major impact on interior design. Lighting fixtures are a small but important detail that can quickly date a room. Jenny Marrs from HGTV's "Fixer to Fabulous" encountered a dated fixture when renovating a couple's home in Season 4, Episode 14 and provided a suggestion on what to swap it with. "We also took down an old chandelier and replaced it with a large, modern ceiling fan," Marrs wrote on her blog.

The chandelier that was originally in the home was brass with faux candle-style lighting and an ornate design of crystals dripping from the arms. This classical design may work with more traditional interior decor. However, this chandelier was too ornate and busy for the modern room the clients wanted. Marrs swapped the classic chandelier with a modern ceiling fan. The new light fixture featured sleek, skinny blades and a black finish, which gave it an overall updated look. Paired with the other updates to the room, the space was more comfortable, modern, and stylish.

Features of modern lighting

A detail like lighting can communicate the style of a room or look out of place if it doesn't match other features. The new fixture Jenny Marrs selected for her clients' living room during the "Fixer to Fabulous" episode was a Szeplo ceiling fan from Kichler with narrow blades, which made it look more modern even compared to other ceiling fans.

Modern design is characterized by clean lines and simple shapes. Neutral colors, such as black, white, and gray, are common in modern design. The sleek, straight blades and black finish of the ceiling fan Marrs chose perfectly capture what modern style is and what a light fixture in that style can be.

Inspired by traditional Scandinavian and German architecture, modern design uses many natural materials, such as wood, concrete, and leather. The use of natural materials on ceiling light fixtures, such as woven wicker, rattan, and jute has also grown in popularity. Modern light fixtures tend to have metal finishes, with popular options being steel, nickel, and copper. Brass and matte black finishes, mixed metals, and glass accents are also popular for these lights.

How to choose a ceiling light fixture

With a variety of options for ceiling light fixtures, the possibilities can seem endless and that can be overwhelming. For ceiling fans, there are some ways you can narrow down the options to find the perfect one for your space. First, consider the size of the room in relation to the size of the fan, which will ensure the two are proportional. Rooms that are up to 8 feet by 10 feet are best with ceiling fans that are 29 inches to 39 inches in total width. These are often home offices and spare rooms. Rooms that are 10 feet by 20 feet, often bedrooms or kitchens, can have fans that are between 42 inches and 52 inches. For rooms that are 20 feet by 20 feet or more, such as great rooms and open-concept spaces, look for a fan that is at least 56 inches or larger in width. 

Because Marrs' clients had an open living room with tall ceilings, they were able to go with a fan that was 80 inches wide. Similarly, you want to consider height when choosing the right size ceiling light, whether it's a fan or not. Regardless of the height of your ceiling, be sure that the bottom of the fixture is at least 7 feet from the floor of the room to prevent bumping into the light and allowing it to illuminate the entire room.