How to Decorate Chandeliers & Lighting for the Holidays

rustic chandeliers over a dining table

With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s important to start preparing your decorations. While decorating the Christmas tree, wreaths, tables, and lamps often get the spotlight for this, chandeliers are also a fantastic way to tie your decorations and atmosphere together. To avoid forgetting this step, we’re going to discuss the main types of chandeliers that you might have (or want to upgrade to), the decor styles that are popular this year, and how to apply those styles to your chandeliers. Let’s get started!

Types of chandeliers

Chandeliers are often categorized by the primary “material” or feature of the piece. This means that there’s a ton of different types that you might see when buying one. However, there are a handful of more common ones that we’ll cover today, most of which you’ll probably recognize from your own home or others.

Candle chandeliers

This first type is one of the most traditional chandelier types out there. Usually identified by curved and ornate arms (typically at least five) with a candle-like light at the end of each, they tend not to need as much space as other, more elaborate styles. We’d recommend using this kind of chandelier in a dining room with a more classic or rustic decor theme.

Crystal chandeliers

Made from specialized glass to make it more brilliant and prismatic, these are incredibly easy to recognize and make an immediate (and strong) statement in any space. The reason crystal chandeliers were popularized was that they would magnify the light of the candles in traditional chandeliers, and the look stuck. These can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small rectangular fixtures to huge waterfall-esque pieces. Crystal chandeliers are usually only used in big, open spaces like a dining room, living room, or large staircase.

Drum chandeliers

Named for their shape, drum chandeliers usually are a round, short cylinder (like a drum) with a shade that’s open at the top and bottom. Some variations have multiple tiers or parts, but all follow this general design. These can vary widely in size and can really go anywhere in the home, with their soft lighting being great for all spaces.

Modern chandeliers

For those looking for a more minimalist option, modern chandeliers utilize geometric shapes and simplicity as their primary philosophy. They can have a huge range of designs and different interpretations though, so it’s difficult to give a more specific or narrow definition. Depending on your style, this might look good in an entryway or living room, but should probably be avoided in a bedroom or kitchen.

Caged chandeliers

Another, more modern chandelier type is the caged design, which does exactly what its name suggests and puts a group of lights in the center of a cage. The lighting can be bulbs, fake candles, or a number of other styles, and the cage is often geometric with intersecting bars. These fit more with modern or retro decor styles, but not so much with rustic (although there can be more rustic versions of this caged style that do fit).

Antler chandeliers

The last common chandelier type worth bringing up are antler chandeliers. These are made from a frame of antlers, usually deer or elk. They bring a rustic outdoorsy feel to any space, without having to worry about harming any of the animals. There’s a wide range of sizes so you can fit an antler chandelier in many different homes and living spaces, with us recommending them to be hung in living rooms, dining rooms, game rooms, or even offices.

If you’re looking for more information on choosing an antler chandelier to fit your home, check out our guide on this topic!

Holiday home decor styles

Now that we understand the basic chandelier styles, how should we decorate them (and the rest of the home) for the holidays? There are a few styles that are timeless classics or are popular this year — namely contemporary, traditional colors, and rustic cabin.


Starting with contemporary, this style uses simple and modern designs mixed with some more traditional elements. This could include a minimalist faux Christmas tree, a modern nutcracker, or a simple, symmetrical wreath on your door. A neutral color scheme also goes well with this decor style, so lean on whites, tans, and grays.

Traditional red or white

A style that you can’t go wrong with is lots of red (or white for a winter wonderland look). Make sure to accent with hints of green using wreaths, ornaments, plants, and other items to break up the primary color, and you’ll be feeling like you’re ready for Christmas in no time.

Rustic lodge

The last theme that we’d recommend using if the others are a little too stark for you is the classic rustic cabin style. This is our favorite (obviously) because it feels so homey and welcoming. Everything is comfortable, warm, and evocative of the nature surrounding you, which brings back memories of sipping hot cocoa by the window and watching the snow fall. There are many different directions you can go with rustic interior design, which we’ve previously covered here.

How to decorate your chandelier

Whichever style you choose to use for this holiday season, there’s a lot of ways that you can incorporate it into your lighting options, particularly the chandelier. Garlands are a popular choice to drape over the arms of a chandelier, with this working especially well on the candle and antler chandelier types. This really helps tie your tree to the other parts of the home with green accents that fit in any decor style.

Another option is to look for snowflake- or winter-themed decorations that sparkle and take advantage of the lights on your chandelier. These can be snowflakes, stars, snowmen, or other designs and can be made from just paper so they’re super light and easy to put up or take down. This type of decoration goes well with the candle, crystal, drum, or modern chandelier categories.

Speaking of hanging things, many people also don’t realize that you can treat a chandelier like your tree and hang ornaments off of it! This can be traditional bulb ornaments, beads, decorated pinecones, your children’s art, and much more — just make sure nothing is too heavy or close to the bulbs. Again, this type of decorating goes well with candle, crystal, caged, and antler chandeliers.

Brighten your home with beautiful lights for the holidays

If you’re looking for a new chandelier to liven the atmosphere of your home, we have a variety of options that fit a wide range of rustic and cabin styles. From antler chandeliers (faux and authentic) to drum, candle, and other styles, you can find a stunning light fixture that fits your style and home. We also have huge collections of other decor to prepare for the holidays and beyond, so browse our selection of decor and lighting today!