With their popularity growing over the last few years, antler chandeliers have become must-haves for your cabin, farmhouse, lodge, or other rustic-themed home. But with such a range of options and variables, where do you even start? At Cabin Place, we have plenty of experience with antler chandeliers, their different types, how they fit into different spaces, and much more. Today, we’re going to give you all the information you need to get started and find an impressive and beautiful antler chandelier for your home that suits your style and preferences.
Quickly find what you’re looking for:
- Why you should get an antler chandelier
- Different types of antler chandeliers
- Where to put an antler chandelier (and other sizing information)
What is an antler chandelier?
To start from the beginning, antler chandeliers are lighting fixtures hung from the ceiling of a room. Instead of metal or other materials to hold the bulbs and connect everything together, these use antlers from a variety of animals (which we’ll get into later). The different types of antler, number of antlers, finishing styles, and other factors give you a near limitless number of options to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Why antler chandeliers?
So now that we understand the basics of what they are, why are they so popular and what can they bring to a room? Not only do they bring an unmistakable rustic and natural atmosphere to your home, but also an innate warmness that metal or crystal can’t replicate. Trends come and go with the times, but it's what remains that grabs our attention — the feeling that each room brings. Antler lighting options (chandeliers, sconces, lamps, and more) do this instantly, with an authentic and timeless quality to each.
On the point of how a room feels, antler chandeliers also bring lots of character and one-of-a-kind flair to any space. Each antler is unique to your chandelier, as well as striking an incredible balance of elegance and simplicity that fits a surprising range of homes and styles. You don’t need to own a mountaintop cabin or forest lodge for a high-quality antler chandelier to fit in and add character to the home. Antler chandeliers are great options for any space that could use a touch of nature or outdoors ambience.
They also cast unique and distinctive light and shadows throughout your home. These shadows depend on the size and shapes of antlers used in your chandelier, which is another place where they have an extensive range (so you’re not settling for a fixture that only kind of fits your home). Whether it’s for your dining room, kitchen, bathroom, office, or other areas of the house, there’s a size, amount of light, and antler type to fit your vision for the room’s decor.
Are any animals harmed to get the antlers?
Before we dive deeper into those factors of a chandelier and what fits your home, one of the questions we get most frequently is whether retrieving the antlers from deer, elk, moose, etc. to craft these chandeliers hurts any of the animals. The answer is unequivocally no, as males of all deer species shed their antlers in winter. Bucks shed and regrow their antlers each year, with the size increasing and becoming fuller as they grow older. We simply collect the antlers that naturally (and painlessly) fall off in the winter and use them for our chandeliers.
Real vs. faux
Another option for obtaining antlers is by creating faux versions that are detailed recreations of real antlers. These are made from a precise silicon mold that’s modeled after a real antler to give the most accurate look possible, while being more durable and lightweight than the real thing. Real antlers are of course as authentic and unique as the animals that they're from, but also are also typically more expensive than molded reproduction antlers.
White antler chandeliers are another popular choice for a more modern twist on the classic look. These are made from faux antlers that are colored completed white, but are otherwise available in the same sizes and antler types as authentic and regular faux chandeliers.
What style fits your home?
With the discussion of real and faux antler chandeliers, you might have already started to get an idea of what kinds of pieces that you’d want. To get a better understanding of what major factors can help with your decision, let’s discuss the other common differences between antler chandeliers for sale.
Different types of animals
The first factor is the different types of antlers from various different deer species. From the large, flat moose antlers to the smaller and more elongated whitetail deer, a lot of personality and contrast can be brought by a different type of antler. The primary types seen in chandeliers are:
- Mule Deer - Generally the most common type of antlers used in chandeliers and decor, mule deer antlers are brown in color and “fork” to split into two points that continue growing and forking. Each antler from a large mule deer can weigh as much as 2 pounds and has a textured surface that features light gray and medium brown coloring. While not as elongated as other antlers, these still have a graceful sweeping shape that makes them ideal for chandeliers and other decor pieces.
- Whitetail Deer - Lighter in color than mule deer antlers, whitetail antlers are also more angular with sharper curves. Another distinguishing feature is that whitetail antlers often have a single main “beam” that vertical points grow from.
- Elk - These antlers are much larger than the smaller deer we’ve discussed, and have a much more elongated or straight shape. Like whitetail antlers, elk antlers often consist of a main “beam” that has several large points extending off of it. These antlers are also usually reddish brown that transition to a lighter ivory color at the tips. To give a size comparison, a single antler from a large elk can weigh over 10 pounds and can have a spread of 4 feet.
- Moose - Perhaps the most obvious and distinctive antler shape of these, moose antlers have a clear webbed or flat appearance with points growing from the outer edge. They’re often a darker brown in color and due to their massive and sometimes bulky size (one antler from a bull Alaskan moose can weigh 50 pounds!), are reserved for large chandeliers.
Best bulbs for your antler chandelier
Another consideration for your chandelier should be the lightbulbs that go in it. This isn’t something that you want to install 15 feet off the ground and then decide that the lights are too dim or not the hue you expected. This will also depend on the size of the space that the chandelier is lighting up, so we organized our recommendations for bulb brightness by lumens per square foot:
- Ambient Lighting - At least 20 lumens per square foot
- Dining Table Lighting - At least 30 lumens per square foot
- Task Lighting - At least 50 lumens per square foot
This way, you know ahead of time how bright your lights will need to be, and won’t have to worry about straining your eyes in lighting too dim to see a book or other tasks. Using bulbs with a higher maximum brightness but the ability to dim is another great way to reduce the chances of having to change bulbs after installation.
Are the wires visible?
While some sellers glue the wires to the top of the antlers where it’s more difficult to see from under the chandelier (but not impossible) because it’s quicker, easier, and cheaper — we do not. All of our antler chandeliers, both authentic and faux, are wired inside each antler with drilled holes that completed hide any wiring or junction boxes.
Where in your home should it go?
There’s no limit to which rooms you can put an antler chandelier in. However, there are general rules of thumb that you can follow, such as living rooms tend to provide the most space, while kitchens, bedrooms, and offices usually require a smaller fixture.
Picking the right size
As mentioned above, the primary factor of where any chandelier should go is its size. Because of this, there are some guidelines that we like to stick to so that each chandelier gets the right amount of space to stand out, but not overwhelm a room.
Let’s start with the circumference of the chandelier — all you need to do is measure the width and length of the room you’re thinking about adding an antler chandelier to. Adding these two numbers together, this is the ideal circumference in inches of your new chandelier. For example, if your dining room is 25 feet wide and 35 feet long, the ideal circumference of a chandelier for this space is 60 inches.
Next, let’s figure out the proper height — our baseline recommendation for this is to have at least 8 feet between the floor and the bottom of the chandelier, with at least 1 foot of exposed chain between the top of the chandelier and ceiling. Another guideline is that you can usually estimate 2-3 inches in chandelier per foot of ceiling height. For example, if you have a 10-foot ceiling, a 20-30 inch chandelier should be able to fit comfortably in the space.
Now comes the exception to these rules — the dining room. If the chandelier is being hung over a dining table, the rules and numbers change. For instance, you can bring the height of the chandelier much lower because no one is going to be hitting their heads on it. As for size, a better indicator of chandelier size is actually table size (rather than room size). Our general recommendation is to have a chandelier diameter that’s about ½ to ⅔ the width of your dining table.