How Do I Choose the Best French Chandelier?

Solomon Branch

To choose the best French chandelier, you need to consider the size of the chandelier and if you want an antique or a replica, which might be easier to care for and install. Consider your budget as well; the price of a French chandelier can vary quite a bit, although most are relatively expensive. The design and color of the chandelier should match the décor of the room in which it will be hanging, particularly the color and style of the ceiling.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

French chandeliers come in a variety of sizes and styles, and many of them feature designs from nature, such as seashells, leaves and flowers. Unlike their English cousins, a French chandelier is typically less ornate and the arms have more space between them. This can be one way to tell if it’s genuinely French. Another feature common to French chandeliers is the fact it hangs from a single cage or frame, as opposed to the English chandeliers, which tend to hang from multiple chains.

If you want an authentically rustic-looking French chandelier, purchasing an actual antique is an option. They can be very expensive, however; many use candles instead of lights, although some are modified for use with electricity. Antique stores, online auction sites and estate sales are good places to check for an antique French chandelier. If you check online, look for French country chandeliers, which is another name commonly used to describe the ornate lighting fixtures.

Modern chandeliers made the in French style have the advantage of being less expensive than antiques, generally speaking. They are typically easier to get parts for, as well. Although styles vary, the most commonly used designs are based on styles originating in the 17th and 18th centuries, giving the chandeliers a classic and elegant look, regardless of when they were created. Modern chandeliers can be found online and in specialty stores that sell chandeliers.

Regardless of the style and age of the chandelier, ensure that it can be safely wired to your current electrical system and will fit on the ceiling. Many are quite heavy and can be difficult to install, particularly if they are actual antiques. Consider testing the chandelier before installing it, to ensure that the wires are safe and intact. A qualified electrician should be hired to install the fixture. Stores or markets that sell the chandeliers may offer installation as a service, or can recommend someone to install it for you.

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