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Consider how you use the room. For rooms used primarily for entertaining, late-afternoon cocktails or after-dinner coffee, general lighting may be all you need. In a room like this, a center light provides the main general light, with sconces and smaller lights filling in the spots that the chandeliers miss. Is there anything more traditional than a crystal chandelier?
Use task lighting to define zones. Living rooms are for a lot more than lounging. For rooms that get a lot of use, consider task lights to brighten work areas. Task lighting includes built-in can lights that direct a flow of bright light onto a reading or working area. An orb chandelier adds an updated twist on tradition in this room.
Play with accent lights for style. Don't forget about accent lighting when planning your living room. Sconces are a fabulous touch that can show off a painting, a focal point or a special accessory by directing attention to a specific spot.
Pay attention to size. Fixtures should be proportional to the room. A good rule of thumb is to take the dimensions of your room in feet and add them together. The number of feet in the sum is how many inches your chandelier should be.
Long pendants and tall table lamps can help balance rooms with very high ceilings. Hang chandeliers 78 to 84 inches high; place sconces at least 60 inches high.