Let There Be Light! {Hanging a Chandelier in a Foyer}

Let There Be Light! {Hanging a Chandelier in a Foyer}
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When my husband came home from work this past December, with poinsettia and wine in hand, for no reason whatsoever, I knew something was up. He came in cheerfully, greeted me with a kiss, poured a glass for me and started picking up the kids’ junk. Ok, now I KNEW he wanted something. I sipped my glass and let this curious situation play out…, “So hun, how was your day?” I ask. He replies, “yada yada yada… oh by the way, I said we’d host the management Christmas party this year. Hope you don’t mind”…


Hanging a chandelier in a foyer

AH-HA!!! I knew there was something! I of course agreed, but our home was in no way party ready!  I  knew this was perfect timing and the leverage I needed for getting those much neglected “Honey-Do’s” accomplished! This house was a foreclosure purchase, and the previous owners stripped the home of all light fixtures. Nice huh? So we have been greeting guests in the darkness of our chandy-absent foyer for almost 4 years now!

It took two years just to choose a chandelier and another 2 years to get it installed. Why? … because hiring an electrician to put up a chandy in an 18 ft. foyer was going to cost as much as the fixture itself and my hubs just really didn’t make it a budget or DIY priority. So my beautiful chandelier sat snuggled in bubble wrap in a dark corner, collecting dust bunnies. He FINALLY went and rented a monstrous A-frame ladder for the weekend. The sight of that mega-ladder on top of his pickup was comical. It was so wide that we couldn’t even get it all the way open, but it seemed stable enough… we hoped.

Hanging a chandelier in a foyer

I purchased a ceiling medallion, spray painted it in oil rubbed bronze and copper, and climbed Mt. Everest the ladder to mount the medallion. Generous application of Liquid Nails and some painters tape held the medallion in place overnight. Of course life gets in the way whenever we start a project and the chandy did NOT end up getting installed that weekend, hence the ladder had to be taken back.

unpainted medallion spray painted medallion

So now I have a lovely medallion installed, a poor chandy still anxiously waiting it’s debut, a huge Christmas party quickly approaching, no light in the foyer, and no ladder to get it up there. Insert Plan B!  Alan came up with this “Chandy-Brace-Thingy-Ma-Bob” as I call it. It’s a triangle frame made of 2×4’s screwed into the attic floor, right where the chandelier hook up is located. He installed heavy duty brackets and a chain hook to the frame and then attached approximately 20 feet of chain to it. He lowered the chain down through the hole in the attic floor/foyer ceiling, all the way to the foyer floor. I (standing in the foyer) then attached the chandelier chain to his 20 feet of silver chain and he (standing in the attic) then pulled the chandelier up (slowly) until it reached a height I liked.  Alan simply hooked the chain to his new brace thingy and finished up with the wiring. Thankfully, the electrical was already in place.

How to hang a chandelier in a tall foyer

Pretty ingenious huh? Now, if we need to bring the chandy down for any reason we can detach the electrical, unhook the chain, and lower it on down! Turning on that light for the first time and seeing all 9 of those bulbs light up was amazing!! I waited so long for that moment!

Loretto Chandelier

I was so excited I ran outside to take a picture of it in all its luminous glory! For those who want to know the brand, it’s the Loretto Collection by Golden Lighting Company in Russet Bronze with Riffled Tannin Glass (4002-9RSB). It’s 34” wide x 35” high.

Chandelier in palladium window

Oh and by the way, the party was a great success too!

If you ever wondered how high a light fixture should be hung, I put together a Lighting Height Guide you’re welcome to pin for future reference!


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  1. Your new chandy looks great Kim!!

  2. I am so headed to our attic to find out if we can do the same thing. We have an older brass chandelier in our foyer that is just not our style that I am dying to replace. If your trick works I will be on the hunt for a new chandelier tomorrow. Thanks.

  3. Alissa- Oh good! It worked so well I was really surprised! Mega brownie points for the man! Thanks! 🙂

  4. Thank you Martina!

  5. Ohhhh it looks GORGEOUS!!! And I really love what you did with the medallion thingy. I have one that is white, but I really hated that it was white. I don’t know why I never thought of painting it that way. Hmmmmm…. “honey, i have a new project for you!!!!” 🙂 Love this post!

  6. GENIOUS!! You’ll fall in love with him all over again when it comes time to change those light bulbs 🙂 How much easier will that be now?! (Sounds like a little bit of you rubbed off on him 😉

  7. Gotta love that leverage! Oooh, and i love the light too, especially the way it looks at night.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely brilliant! Let’s hear it for the man!!

  9. Fiiiiinaly! Yay! It really does look beautiful.

  10. Awesome! And, yes, we have to use whatever we can as leverage to get our guys to come through on the honey-dos! : )
    And I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who has unfinished projects that last beyond the weekend… : )

  11. Wow. Totally genius! Love your lighting chart too.
    We had a house once that had a similar situation where there were light switches at the top and bottom of the staircase, but they weren’t connected. (If you turned on the switch at the top of the stairs, you couldn’t use the switch at the bottom to turn it off…) The previous owners had actually rigged a 15′ pull chain to turn it off from the bottom. Crazy. My dad and my husband ended up running the electrical through an unused brick chimney that was a leftover from the days of coal heating. Sometimes the only way to get things done is to figure out an alternative method. 🙂

  12. It looks great Kim! It’s the simple, but difficult things that make our day!

  13. Hi….I know this is an old post but I find myself with this same dilemma and love your solution! My question is, what does it look like where the wire and chain meet the medallion? My lamp has a look hanging from the base plate that screwed into the electrical box in the ceiling, all that is only accessible from underneath. Curious what your setup was like? Any help is greatly appreciated!!