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 Design Proportions and Guidelines


  We are always asked about the proportion of medallion to the fixture;

  how large should a ceiling medallion be in relationship to the chandelier.


  Ceiling medallions were originally designed as fire barriers for candle and gas lit

  chandeliers.  There were made of plaster so they did not burn.   


  There are natural proportions that one should adhere to in design, however like all

  design projects it is also a matter of taste.   Sometimes one looks at a presentation

  and says "I just can't put my finger on what is wrong", well this is because often they

  have ignored the natural order of 1/3 to 2/3 ratio.  We will examine the natural

  order of the "Golden Rule" in the following article.  


  Keep in mind that when a medallion is installed on the ceiling, it is way up there and

  looks much smaller from the floor level.   The higher the ceiling the smaller it looks from

  sitting or standing level.  In the photo above it appears to be the same size as the chandelier

  but in fact it does adhere to the golden rule.

                                                                                     Martin Richards Design



 What is the Golden Rule (PHi)


  PHi (1.618)

 The Ancient Greeks around 300 BC realized that there was a ratio that

 represented the natural proportions of both humans and art / architecture.


 In simple terms, it is approximately a 1/3rd to 2/3rds ratio.

 This calculation is handy in sizing Medallions, dividing walls with wainscoting

 and Boiserie or dividing columns, cabinetry etc.




 Applying the Golden Rule for Medallion Sizing



 Medallion and

 Expansion Ring







  PHi (1.618) is known as the golden rule


  If your Chandelier has a diameter of 18" (45.7cm)

              take the 18" x 1.618 = 29" (73.6cm) ie 61.8% larger


  The medallion diameter is in the correct proportions

  at 29" (73.6cm)


  Too Big ???

  Now that being said, if 29" is too big for the space

  perform the inverse calculation of the remainder of Phi

  1- (.618) = (.382)  ie 38.2%

  still keeping within the Golden Rule of Phi


  18" medallion x 1.38 = a 25 inch medallion


  No rules rule so select 29", 25" or what ever matches your design


   Always remember that when you view the medallion mounted on

  the  ceiling it will appear much smaller from your perspective at a

  lower level.

   By selecting one that uses the  golden rule calculation, it will

  appear to be the right size with the correct visual distortion. 


  Expansion Rings


  To enlarge an existing ceiling medallion or add to a new one,

  simply add a ceiling expansion ring to achieve the PHi ratio.


  Link to Expansion Rings



  Learn more click here=> learn about the history of the medallion




     Go Back to the Main Design Page


     Go Back to Medallions



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