interior design

How to Match Your Ceiling Fan to Your Decor

Ceiling fans can reduce your carbon footprint and make your home more comfortable, but they can also really clash with your decor if you’re not careful. Fortunately, these days, ceiling fans come in a wide range of stylish designs, so you can find something that fits in with your aesthetic. Of course, style isn’t the only thing you need to consider when it comes to choosing a ceiling fan that matches your decor. You need to make sure the fan is sized right, both for form and function. You should also coordinate your new fan with the colors in your room so that it ties in with your decorating scheme.

1 Fan Size Matters

If your new ceiling fan isn’t sized right, it not only won’t work as well, but it could look pretty stupid, too. A small, 36-inch fan will be dwarfed in a large, 500-square-foot great room. A large, 60-inch fan will overwhelm a small, 150-square-foot bedroom — and in addition to taking up pretty much the whole ceiling, it’ll feel far too powerful when operating.

Make sure your fan is sized properly for the space you’re putting it in. To do that, you’ll need to measure the square footage of your room. Then you can buy a fan sized appropriately for that square footage. Fan sizes are based on the blade span, so if you get, for example, a 40-inch fan, expect it to be 40 inches wide from one blade tip, directly across the middle to the other blade tip. (If it’s a three-blade fan, the blades won’t be across from each other. The blade span measurement on a fan with an odd number of blades is double the length of one blade.)

Choose a small fan under 36 inches across for rooms under 75 square feet. Thirty-six- to 42-inch fans are suitable for spaces of 76 to 144 square feet. Forty-four- to 50-inch fans are appropriate for rooms of 145 to 225 square feet. Fifty- to 54-inch fans work well in rooms of 226 to 400 square feet. For rooms larger than 400 square feet, you’ll need to size up to 60-inch or larger fans. You might need to special order very small or very large fans, as your local hardware store might not carry them in stock.

2 Choose a Fan that Matches Your Decorating Style

What’s your decorating style? Whether your aesthetic is contemporary, minimalist, industrial, modern, traditional, rustic, or tropical, there are ceiling fan styles available to match. You can choose a ceiling fan with two or three blades, right on up to nine or more blades. If you have a more eclectic style, choose a fan that suits your personal tastes. Even if you have a fairly cohesive decorating style, you may want to choose a fan in a contrasting style, just to stir things up a bit and make your decor more interesting.

3 Coordinate with Colors in the Room

No matter what design style you choose for your new ceiling fan, you’re going to want to coordinate the colors on the fan with those in your room. There are two ways you can go when choosing colors for a ceiling fan — you can either match the fan to your ceiling, so it blends in, or you can contrast it with the ceiling and coordinate it with other design elements in the room.

Matching the fan to your ceiling is an old-fashioned tactic that people used back when fans mostly came in traditional styles because it enabled the fixture to blend into the background of the room and lessened the risk of it clashing with furniture, other fixtures, or wood colors in the room. Matching your fan to your ceiling has become an outdated approach, now that ceiling fans are more stylish, and more homeowners want to draw attention to their fancy new fans. But it can still be a good strategy in traditionalist kitchens, and white fans look great in predominantly white rooms. They’re also a safe bet for a bedroom, where you don’t want to put anything too garish or distracting.

If you want to contrast your fan to your ceiling, look around your room to find other colors and design elements you can coordinate it with. Match the color of your fan blades to your hardwood floors, for example, or to the color of your wood furniture. If you have different colors of wood in the house — for example, cherry furniture but oak moulding — match your fan blades to the color that appears most frequently in your room or home. Your fan will likely have metal finishes — find a metal finish that matches your doorknobs, light switch plates, lamps, and other metal fixtures in the room.

A fan can keep your home warm in the winter and cold in the summer, but your choice of the ceiling fan is also a design choice. Make the right one, and you’ll enjoy your stylish new fan for years to come.

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