Design | Feb 26, 2020

Our Guide to Ceiling Fans


Updating your ceiling fan is one quick way to improve your space if you’ve recently purchased a home and/or are in need of upgrading the existing fans you have. We don’t use ceiling fans in every project, but when we do, they’re typically a focal point because of pitched ceilings, along with client requests to keep air circulating on warmer nights.

Want a MGD insider tip? Although we’ve included some options below, we often opt for ceiling fans without a light. They tend to look a little better aesthetically, and if a room has additional recessed can lighting then you can forgo an added light kit. This gives us more opportunity to play up the nightstand table lamp lighting options or other light fixtures throughout the space… after all, everyone knows we love a good bedside sconce or pendant! Here we used a 52″ fan.

Below are a few of our tried and true modern black fans…


When it comes to finishes, we like to keep it simple. Typically we opt for either with a matte black or white ceiling fan, taking note of the space it will reside in and what the adjacent ceiling color and accent millwork may be in each space. For smaller bedrooms, you’ll want the fan to blend into the space a bit more so it doesn’t steal the show – that’s when we go tone on tone with a white fan to match a white ceiling. The 42″ ceiling fan pictured here has an added light kit due to the nature of the ceiling and that it provides the main source of light for the room – but because it blends in with the overall white palette of the bedroom, it feels modern, pretty and functional.

In a larger room where you may want to play up the drama of a statement fan, or in a bedroom with abundant ceiling height, we often source something with more contrast like a modern black fan. It really all depends on what else is going on design-wise in the space, and what kind of attention you’re willing to draw upward.

Peek below for our go-to white ceiling fan options…


When it comes to sizing and rod lengths, it’s best to eye ball it the old fashioned way when you aren’t working in AutoCAD (of which we do both!). In addition to scaling it in plan view, we always hold up a tape measure in the air, as close to the ceiling as possible, and determine the best blade span from there. Most bedrooms accommodate a 42″-52″ fan nicely, and are sold with adjustable rod lengths and a sloped ceiling kit (if your ceiling is pitched).

Larger common areas or generous bedrooms often need a larger-scale fan spanning 52″-60″ (or larger). Again, have someone hold up a tape measure and then stand back and let your natural eye gauge if it feels too small or just right in the space. If you have taller, pitched ceilings, you can often go for a much larger fan like we did here – we opted for a 64″ fan in this Great Room.

See below for a few more examples of how we’ve incorporated ceiling fans into our projects rather seamlessly…