This delightfully absurd pairing is a bit of your own creation, dear blog readers. 80% of Hawk Hill’s visitors surf in for articles related to A. chandeliers or B. equestrian style and design. I’m naming you enablers, just a bit, because in replying to your comments and keeping my mind brainstorming in these areas I’ve managed to develop an interest in blending the two: stables with chandeliers.
For awhile I’ve been gravitating to (and filling pinterest boards with) images of chandeliers in stables. At first a seemingly very fanciful but unreasonable idea, it’s begun to take root in my brain more and more as equestrian locales are being used for both equestrian/traditional and farm/rustic wedding venues.
Can we agree at the start chandeliers are just impractical in a barn? Totally impractical… Completely impractical… and, delightful. And life, and particularly things in life that we do for pleasure, should make room for impractical things that bring delight and beauty. Thus, maybe chandeliers in a horse barn aren’t such a bad idea afterall.
This article is separated into several parts:
- An argument FOR chandeliers in your barn or stable.
- Some ideas and inspiration for both practical and fanciful barn chandeliers
- Maintenance, cleaning, and general recommendations for stable chandeliers
- Recommendations for chandeliers on the market, in various styles, that fit this niche well.
Why Lighting your Barn with Chandeliers isn’t (Quite) as Crazy as you Might Think
Chandeliers bring grace and elegance- and in a barn- whimsical charm. More practically, the touch of class chandeliers create is a way to set your barn apart as an event venue.
As rustic weddings continue in popularity, hanging even simple chandeliers in your stable can elevate your barn from personal playground to a sought-after venue. You work hard to maintain your barn and keep things tidy, why not cover some of your farm operating costs by opening your stable a few weekends a year as a wedding venue or even just as backdrop for portrait and engagement photo photographers. Small details like traditional stall fronts and swapping out harsh fluorescents for classier light fixtures can take your barn from functional for your hobby to being profitable or economically self-supporting as a venue for wedding planners and portrait photographers.
Horse Farms and Stables Proving Chandeliers and Stables create a Picturesque Pairing
If all else fails and your barn’s architecture just doesn’t allow for a chandelier, consider the idea that sparked the whole article: a chandelier in your tack room.
Some Practical Hints on Installing and Maintaining a Chandelier Installed in Rustic Spaces
Important: Because of elevated fire risk in a barn, all electrical work must be done by a liscenced electrition.
When it’s ok to use a chandelier in a barn:
- When the roof is sound and watertight
- When the bottom of the chandelier will be at least 12 ft high
- When you have an available method to clean (ideas below)
Maintaining a Barn Chandelier
Cleaning a chandelier can be a little tricky- but you have the right tools. There are a couple of methods to make cleaning super-high chandeliers a little easier:
For lght cleaning and regular maintence and cobweb hygine, it’s well worth the investment in a specialized tool to help clean the chandelier from the ground (or from a stable elevated surface, such as a safe ladder or a pickup truck bed parked in the aisle of the barn)
Cleaning can be a challenge, but actually not that much of a nuisance once you have the right tool. You just need this special cobweb brush that can clean around poles and bulbs (and can be locked into an angled position for cleaning tops of rafters, etc) paired with a commercial grade extension pole like this one that extends up to 12 feet, making it easy to reach lights high in rafters from a short ladder. (you can even get 22 foot extensions poles!)
For heavier duty cleaning, especially for crystal or light-colored chandeliers, consider having the light rewired to wire in with a plug instead of hard wiring. The ability to completely disconnect and remove the chandelier means it’s much easier to remove, clean completely with soap and water as needed, and then reinstall once the chandelier is completely dry. Alternately, there are crystal cleaning products that work great, and even pre-treatments that help prevent dust from collecting on the crystal baubles.
Did you know chandeliers were originally designed to raise and lower on a system of pullys? With creativity, the same design can be used today to enable easy cleaning. Here’s how.
Reduce Maintence Time with LED Bulbs
On the high ceilings of barn rafters, you don’t want to be changing bulbs every few months, so be sure to use LED bulbs, which now come in chandelier bulb styles (and, lower your lighting bill by like 70% while they’re at it!)
Chandeliers do take extra time to clean and require thought around placement and safety, but can add an opulence and charm to your barn that far offsets the initial costs and upkeep.
Some Reasonably Priced Chandeliers for Barns and Equestrian Inspired Event Venues:
Chandeliers work especially well in a barn with high ceilings to add style while providing a large amount of light that’s hung well above the heads of horses and riders. Avoid hanging too low- your chandelier needs to hang well above the heads of mounted riders or the top bale of a loaded hay trailer.
First, the really elegant, then, some milder chandeliers more practical to barns that are stables first, event venues second.
Option 1: a 2ft x 2 ft Empress Crystal Chandelier and $90
Option 2: at 27″ x 32″ and $199
Chandelier Lighting Crystal Chandeliers H27″ X W32″
Option 3: 38×37″ and $450
Maria Theresa Chandelier Crystal Chandelier
Basic Black 26×25
Heritage 12 Light Two Tier
These chandeliers should be hung in barns with vaulted ceilings, and placed at a height where they can’t disturbed by mounted riders, hay trucks pulling into barn aisles, or errant streams of water from a stray hose.
For a little extra security, consider a chandelier in the caged style that’s currently popular. The caged chandeliers offer a modern look that has a still traditional vibe that works well in barns. The caged design means that if it IS bumped by a piece of machinery, the elecrical and bumbs will be protected while the cage takes the impact of the hit.
Turbinio Ten Light 37 diam. x 46.75H in. (This one gets an A+ for barn use since it’s rated for damp locations!)
2. Rustic meets Modern Caged Crystal Chandelier
Huge 60″x60″ Rustic Iron and crystal
World Imports Lighting Hastings 12-Light Foyer Lantern $129.99
This reasonably priced, large (24″x34″) chandelier includes a cage to protect it and also comes in smaller sizes (perfect for lighting your tack room or viewing room).
And finally, if you’ve lusted over the barns and chandeliers above but the architecture of your barn or status as a boarder makes chandelier lighting a no-go, there’s one last option:
The Perfectly Practical Solution for adding a Chandelier to your Horse Barn without the Hassle: Decals
Grab this large 51″x63″ Chandelier Decal in black
Or this 25×36 chandelier decal