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How to Choose a Ceiling Medallion

by Katie McFarlin

Ceiling medallion

A ceiling medallion brings instant drama to a room. Ceiling medallions were once quite common in homes, and they have come back into favor. Typically, ceiling medallions are used to support ceiling fans and light fixtures, but most homeowners select them for their decorative value. When choosing a medallion, your architectural design, interior design theme and the type of ceiling light you select all play a part.

Choosing a Ceiling Medallion:

  1. Select a location. Ceiling medallions are used with lighting and ceiling fans, and the medallion will come with a hole in the center for connecting the light fixture through. If there is already a junction box for your light fixture, it will be easiest to use that location. If you are installing a new light, think about where you want to the fixture to hang.

  2. Select a medallion size. If you have a small room, a very large ceiling medallion will overwhelm the space. Likewise, a small medallion would be out of place in a large space. While there are no set rules for proportion, typically, a 12-inch square or round medallion is appropriate for a small room. You will also want to consider the size of the medallion in relation to the size of the light fixture; choose similar proportions for a balanced look.

  3. Decide on a finish. If you have a custom-painted ceiling, buy an unfinished medallion that you can paint or stain to match. You can also pick one that is a complementary color for an interesting visual effect. Medallions are typically made of wood, metal, composite material or plaster for durability and ease of customization.

  4. Choose a design. The decorative embellishments of ceiling medallions come in many varieties, including scalloped or carved designs. Pick a medallion that is either bold and attention-grabbing or subtle and elegant. Coordinate your medallion with the crown molding in your home for a finished look.

  5. Pick a material. If you need to be able to cut your medallion during installation, you will need to choose an acceptable material. Wood, composite and heavy plastic may be cut and refitted, with the splices caulked and the entire medallion painted. However, metal medallions are not cut easily and they may become dented during the cutting process, compromising their look.

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