7 Chandelier Ideas for a Two-Story Foyer

Christine Steuber
Feb 18, 2022
286
Are you having a hard time choosing a chandelier for a two-story foyer? No problem, I've got a detailed guide for you, with tips and ideas.

Have you recently bought a house with a two-story foyer and now dont know what to do with all the space? 

I feel your pain. It’s one thing to see homes like that in the pictures or in movies where all just seems to fall into place. But it’s another thing when you’re trying to do it on your own and figure out how to light up your foyer the right way.

In my opinion, foyer lighting should add substance to the entryway, offer illumination, and complement the overall aesthetic of your home. And all of this depends a lot on how well you choose the chandelier. 

Do you understand the struggle, too?

I’ve been through all the hurdles of buying a chandelier for the foyer with high ceilings, and that’s why I decided to save you from this trouble and write an extensive guide. 

Let’s dive in!

Tips for Choosing Foyer Lighting

Choosing a light isn’t only about functionality. A new entryway chandelier is supposed to offer a sculptural and visual dimension to the space. You should follow this mindset to choose an installation that remains aesthetic even when its light is off. After all, a chandelier is also a decor piece, right?

If you’re in search of a chandelier, the first thing you need to consider is the type of lighting. And, to help yourself make the right decision, answer this question: what vibes do you want the hanging light to show off? Warm, homely feel or minimalistic and contemporary look?

In the next picture, you can see all shades of warm and cold lighting:

The light in the previous picture varies from completely warm (yellow) through white to cool blue shades. In my opinion, it would be best to choose the third, fourth, and fifth types of light for the home foyer. This way, you will achieve adequate lighting and keep the warmth of the home.

To ensure sufficient illumination for the entryway, make sure that the lighting has power between 200 to 400 wattage. 

Now, regarding the accent lighting and how to choose it.

First, distinguish which type of foyer you have before deciding on the right lighting piece. 

For grand foyers, you should choose a big and luxurious chandelier that serves as a centerpiece. Take a look at the one below, which William Hefner, a popular architect, chose for a two-story foyer with a classic French stair:

William Hefner two-story luxury foyer chandelier
Credit: The Study

If you have a long foyer, I suggest adding numerous lights. The picture below is what I used when decorating my hallway, and I regularly get compliments when guests come. If you also have a long two-story foyer, use this example to inspire you:

Decorpad long foyer lighting example
Credit: Decorpad

You can see how the square chandelier in the picture above adds a special touch to this home entrance. 

What’s an ideal place to hang a chandelier in a 2-story foyer?

The rule of thumb is to hang lights at a minimum of 7 feet above the ground in entryways having conventional 8-foot ceilings. For taller ceilings, hang the lights 8 feet above the ground. Don’t allow a two-story chandelier to hang lower than the height of the first floor. 

Also, the video below by Donna Hoffman, the founder of The Interior Design Advocate, helped me a lot in the process of choosing the lighting pieces for my foyer:

Let me sum up the tips she gives:

  • Measure the ceiling height and width so you can choose the right size of your chandelier. 
  • It is important not to place the chandelier too low, forcing the person to bend down to pass under it.
  • According to her expert opinion, 38 inch and 42 inch is the ideal chandelier length for a two-story foyer.

Donna is a fantastic interior expert, and in her videos, you can learn how to choose the right furniture pieces. She helped me with her brilliant advice many times, and I’m sure you will also find useful ideas for your home in her content.

How big should a chandelier be for a two-story foyer?

As a general rule of thumb, the chandelier should be two to three inches of height per foot of the ceiling height. This means that for a 10-feet high ceiling of the foyer, its chandelier should be around 20 to 30 inches in height. 

A two-story entryway can easily hold a large foyer chandelier featuring 32 to 48 inches of height. If you can’t imagine it, use the example below for visualization:

If you look closely at the picture above, you will see how this chandelier gives dimension to the space. This effect is achieved by the appropriate width and length of the chandelier. 

While measuring light for your entryway, add the width and length figures of the entryway together to get the overall diameter. For instance, a foyer with 18 feet of width by 14 feet of length will have a diameter of 32 inches in thickness. 

The entryway’s height is also a factor in deciding the suggested height of the chandelier light fixtures. 

Generally, the fixture should be 2-3 inches high per each foot of the ceiling’s height. For example, a 10-feet high ceiling demands a chandelier with a height between 20 to 30 inches. Likewise, an entryway with a 16-feet high ceiling can comfortably accommodate a chandelier having 32 to 48 inches of height. 

How bright should a foyer be?

I understand that no one wants to suffer from buying a bulb of the wrong size. I also know that, with a huge variety of bases and caps, such as e12 and e26, it is very difficult to judge which is the suitable type for two-story foyer chandeliers. So, let me help you out here. 

As a general rule of thumb, a fixture of e12 and e26 light bulbs is commonly very simple, and their set-up is also quite straightforward without demanding any tools. Therefore, the majority of bulbs are manufactured in these two sizes. For an 80 square feet entryway, bulbs providing 300 to 400 wattage are sufficient.

If you don’t want to go through all the pain of choosing the light bulb wattage, try installing a dimmer switch and select bulbs with greater brightness. This way, you can adjust the light the way you like.

7 Chandelier Designs for Every Taste

A foyer is the first thing your visitors see upon entering your home but don’t let this fact make you feel nervous and uncomfortable. If you don’t know much about interior design, I’m here to show you seven alluring and timeless chandelier designs that will satisfy homeowners with various tastes. 

Modern styles

If you opt for a modern chandelier, ensure that it is pairing well with the entryway dimensions and style. 

Some modern chandeliers display a more conventional design while simultaneously adding unique sleekness. They are sold in the market with a host of finishes, including bronze, glass, nickel, and brass.

Houzz Modern foyer chandelier example
Credit: Houzz

These chandeliers are an ideal choice for homes with transitional decor that feature both traditional and modern influences. I really like the home style in the picture above. It offers a blend of retro touch and a modern, fresh spirit.

Pros:

  • Modern lighting pieces can give an artistic touch to your home interior.
  • The entire space of the foyer becomes more luxurious, with the beautiful color transcending as the light passes through the glass or crystal. 
  • You can find a wide variety of modern chandeliers in almost every furniture store.

Cons:

  • Modern chandeliers are very difficult to install; you need a professional for this task.
  • These pieces require too much maintenance, as they have the tendency to accumulate dust, which negatively impacts the shine of the glass and metal. Wiping the dust off will also take a lot of effort.

Modern chandeliers are simply an unmistakable choice and will fit perfectly into a home ruled by simple and clean lines.

Contemporary chandeliers

The next category I am going to present to you includes the chandeliers I really want to have in my home, but unfortunately, I don’t have enough space for them. It’s about contemporary chandeliers. 

However, the thing is that it is almost impossible for the contemporary design to look nice in a more traditional setting. Yet, it would be a great option for modern homes. The structure of such chandeliers is simple, with no busy texture or ornaments.

Contemporary chandelier example Decoist
Credit: Decoist

Just as in the example above, these chandeliers are often characterized by long thin cables which hold light bulbs of different shapes and sizes. Sooner or later, I will find a way to make a place for it as I am absolutely in love with this unique and beautiful design!

Pros:

  • Contemporary chandeliers instantly become a focal point wherever you hang them. 
  • These lighting pieces come in a plethora of shapes and colors.

Cons:

  • The chandeliers of this design fit in very specific homes, which already follow a certain aesthetic. 
  • They might look out of place in a home with a more traditional design. 

To sum it up, the contemporary design features unique forms, patterns, shapes, and curved lines, and that’s what makes it so popular.

Drum-like designs

A stylish drum-like chandelier makes every home look aesthetic, so a lot of homeowners prefer this style. A round shape characterizes these chandeliers, and the design varies from modern to traditional, so you can easily find the suitable one for your home. 

Although this is not my personal favorite, I have seen chandeliers like this in a few hallways, and I have to admit that they look really nice. Just take a look at the image below, and you will realize how interesting and artistic design is:

The reason why people love drum-like lights so much is due to their versatility. But just like any modern lighting piece, it comes with its own advantages and consequences.

Pros:

  • These chandeliers come in minimal size. 
  • They are perfect for tiny homes. 
  • Drum chandeliers are money-savers. The one in the picture above costs only $650.
  • They are easy to clean. 

Cons:

  • Drum-like chandeliers might not be suitable for foyers with tall ceilings. 
  • These chandeliers require a specific type of light bulb. As only small bulbs can be placed inside them, it might not be enough for a large space. Also, if a bulb breaks, it will be difficult to replace it.
  • It’s a challenge to hang them. Drum-like lighting pieces require professional assistance for installation.

If you opt for this type of chandelier, perhaps your biggest challenge will be finding the right size to illuminate the entire foyer. These chandeliers are generally smaller, but there are exceptions, so try to find the one that will fit your hallway perfectly.

Sputnik chandeliers

Sputnik chandeliers are hyped up in the market these days. Rather than confining to the classic concept of a humongous glass chandelier, these chic pieces go beyond the rules and fit almost everywhere!

This type of lighting design was inspired and spurred by the reveal of the first artificial satellite. The Sputnik chandelier is usually a sphere with lots of arms with separate light bulbs installed at the ends, just like in the example below:

Sputnik chandelier example Decorpad
Credit: Decorpad

Owing to their modern theme, Sputnik chandeliers blend perfectly with the interior in sleek rooms and foyers. Their minimalist form paired with a poignant metallic glint makes them highly extraordinary. 

Pros:

  • Sputnik chandeliers are sold in numerous shapes, sizes, and designs.
  • This style blurs the fine line between a chandelier and pendant lights with shining splendor. 
  • They fit in almost every home design.

Cons:

  • Sputniks are mostly attached close to the ceiling, so they do not have a visual length, and sometimes they cannot illuminate high two-story foyers well enough.

So, to sum up, if you have a medium-sized foyer with a minimalist or industrial design, the Sputnik chandelier is the lighting decoration you need.

Waterfall chandeliers

With a symphony of rare crystals, lights, and pendant details, the waterfall design is a gorgeous statement piece for your foyer. 

However, though these lighting pieces are very voluminous and luxurious at the same time, I do not recommend such chandeliers for people who prefer a minimalist design. If you look at the example of this chandelier below, you’ll see that it will look completely out of place if your entryway is in minimalist style:

Waterfall chandelier example Sofary
Credit: Sofary

Yet, if you think this design fits in your home well, you will have no problem finding a suitable piece – the collection of waterfall chandeliers in the market today offers one masterpiece after the other. For example, you can find chandeliers made of Venetian silver and Swarovski details from a wide range of brands. 

Pros: 

  • Waterfall chandeliers reflect a sense of sophistication and class. 
  • It is fit to be installed in any high-end room.
  • Such a chandelier is a standalone statement piece. 

Cons:

  • The huge sizes of waterfall chandeliers are only suitable for posh homes and will hardly fit a conventional style.
  • This model requires a lot of care in order to maintain the shine and glamor. 
  • There is not a single waterfall chandelier that can be installed without professional help.
  • They are heavy and difficult to deal with. If you have to shift homes, it will be a mammoth task to take it along with you. 

Nevertheless, if you have a large home with a high foyer and want to make it more spectacular, do not be afraid to take risks with this brilliant lighting piece that will make your interior look more upscale.

Hybrid styles

The last design on the list, hybrid style, is the most special category of chandelier in the market, in my opinion. Personally, I feel like hybrid chandeliers are a blend of the waterfall and modern designs, as you can see here:

Hybrid style chandelier example ECVV
Credit: ECVV

The clean lines and dramatic illumination are visible in hybrid chandeliers, just like in the modern style. However, you can also notice some elements of the contemporary and waterfall designs here. 

Hybrid chandeliers can be positioned in fancy homes that have two-story foyers with high ceilings. However, don’t expect any strikingly unique features from the hybrid style because, as I said, it’s basically a derivative of the waterfall chandeliers discussed above. 

Pros:

  • It instantly adds a luxury factor to the room. 
  • Due to its splendor, the hybrid-style chandelier is a sufficient decoration in any foyer and can easily become the accent piece.
  • Its huge size and variety of bulbs can illuminate a large space.

Cons:

  • You will have a hard time installing it without some specialized help.
  • Hybrid-style chandeliers are difficult to maintain and clean. 
  • This design is not budget-friendly. 

So, if you desire a spectacular chandelier to be the centerpiece of your entryway, this category is a great option. 

Concluding Thoughts

That’s a wrap! Let’s summarize the basic rules of choosing lights for the two-story foyer once again:

  • 38 inch and 42 inch is the ideal chandelier length for a two-story foyer.
  • To select the lights for the foyer, add the length and width of the area together. Then, convert the sum into inches. 
  • If your foyer measures 80 square feet or something similar, get appropriate bulbs offering 300 to 400 wattage. 
  • Opt for a chandelier style that fits your home interior.

I hope my tips and suggestions will guide you to finding the best chandelier for your two-story entry. And, if you know someone who could use the same guidance, share this article with them! 

For more home improvement ideas, visit my blog to find interesting and budget-friendly DIY projects. 

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