Home & Design

Look Up! Ceiling Fans That Make a Statement


IS IT POSSIBLE we’ve now entered Ceiling Fan Season? It’s the sweet spot in the weather that happens twice a year, on either side of the hard-core AC months.

The news is . . . well, it’s not news, but given that most of us don’t budget for a ceiling fan on an annual basis, you may not know there are many alternatives to the Victorian overhead fan with those frilly white shades and the “wood grain” fan blades.

Ron Rezek was out ahead of the pack when, in 1986, he designed the Stratos ceiling fan, which to my eye is a little clunky-looking but still on the market. For technical as well as design reasons, “his Stratos revolutionized the ceiling fan,” wrote Washington Post writer Patricia Dane Rogers in 2001. Rezek founded the Modern Fan Company in 1997 and has gone on to design a whole bunch more, and a few other companies have joined the competition for our ceilings.

Figuring there was a market for ceiling fans that were not modern but not Victorian either, Rezek went on to start the Period Arts Fan Company.

The big surprise in the world of ceiling fans, at least to me, is that Home Depot, source of so many, um, inexpensive decorative items, carries some offerings of the Big Ass Fans company, especially the $2,599 Shop fan, whose wingspan is  a good 7 feet and is meant for warehouses or real lofts and which claims to do the work of seven regular ceiling fans (hope so!).

Take a look at our slideshow but know that there are a lot more possibilities out there. Rejuvenation has just introduced a couple of new styles, Big Ass has its Haiku Home line, Restoration Hardware has half a dozen handsome entries and classic Casablanca Fan Company is still introducing smart models.

The Haiku Home site is particularly helpful: It details how large a fan you need for your room size:

  • 15 x 15 room, 52-inch span
  • 20 x 20 room, 60-inch span
  • 30 x 30 room, 84-inch span

For an open-plan space (living room-dining-kitchen, for instance, where the adjacent space will share the airflow), go to the next-largest size.

It must be said that ceiling fans are a kind of rabbit hole: You will have to decide among a variety of sizes, blade material and/or finish, housing finish, remote control or pull chain. With Casablanca fans, you mix and match motor and blades and light kit and downrod length. Rubbed bronze, pure white, natural plywood, raw aluminum, polished chrome—those are just some of the options.

Follow the links or just Google your way to a new ceiling look.

—Nancy McKeon

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