Summer is upon us, and day by day we’ll all notice our moods gradually improving as we feel the sun on our faces. But sometimes as the beautiful sunshine pours through our windows, the air inside our houses can start to feel a little stuffy. We totally get it – on a hot summer’s day, you want to plop down with a good beach read and not move a muscle. But you still want the air inside your house to be moving!

That’s where ceiling fans come in. The wind chill sensation that these genius light fixtures create on our skin means that we can turn the thermostat up a few degrees in the summer (or off completely) while remaining comfortable. Fans take much less energy than running an air conditioner, which is good for us and for our utility bill. Plus, it’s the closest thing you can get to a sea breeze if you’re landlocked on a balmy day!

But here’s the real question: Are ceiling fans a chic design move? If you’re anything like us, the image in your mind’s eye is the outdated (and slightly gaudy) fixtures most of us grew up with. Thankfully, modern ceiling fans have changed a lot since then. With their sleek metallic tones, gorgeous natural woods and interesting blade shapes, there’s a fan that fits every room. Seriously!

The Bedroom
Lighting the bedroom can be tricky. Sometimes you want something more ornamental than a simple flushmount fixture but something less grandiose than a chandelier. A ceiling fan is perfect, as it’s fluid in motion but not overpowering. 

We love how this airy, simple bedroom in New England looks with its neutral tones and hints of gilding. Thanks to high ceilings and a polished palette, the simple ceiling fan is unobtrusive and sophisticated hanging above.

Photo: Architectural Digest

The Living Room
This is the room where your family and friends congregate, aka where you need the most airflow to keep everyone comfy. As this homey living room demonstrates, you can’t go wrong with three rounded blades in striking wooden tones.

Photo: Lumens

The Porch
What if you want to sit out on the porch and sip some sweet tea on a steamy day? Hanging a fan (or two or three) overhead will have cool air wafting over you as you watch the world go by. 

We love how this Tennessee porch establishes continuity with its bright ceiling and fan; the designer matched their white shades instead of creating startling contrast.

Photo: Southern Living

Rules of Thumb
Wondering how to fit a fan to your space? Here are a few handy guidelines to follow as you’re picking out the perfect fixture:
-A 36-inch fan fits a room up to 100 square feet
-A 42-inch fan fits a room up to 200 square feet
-A 52-inch fan suits a room up to 400 square feet
-Rooms larger than 400 square feet may call for one large fan or multiple 52- or 56-inch fans
-Maintain at least an 18-inch clearance between a fan and the walls

Depending on where you live, you’ve still got a few weeks before the temperatures soar. You’ll thank yourself later for getting a ceiling fan now. Happy hunting, we hope a cool breeze is soon headed your way!