How To Choose A Ceiling Medallion
I first thought about using ceiling medallions when I saw them in Sarah’s house at Room For Tuesday:
Don’t you agree that the medallion dresses up this light like a diamond necklace complements a little black dress?! It was perfect timing to put one in Emma’s room when we replaced the ceiling fan during our recent makeover.
But I’m not writing this blog post to show you how to install one. I’m actually going to show you how to choose the perfect one, and what NOT to do! Sarah’s blog has an amazing tutorial for installing ceiling medallions that we followed for the actual installation here. Little did I know that choosing one was the hardest part!
Learn from my experience and pick the right medallion to begin with, then it should be easy going from there:
This part is simple- use the formula from Room for Tuesday:
“Measure the length and width of your room in feet. Multiple the length and the width, then divide by 7. This will give you the proportionate medallion size in inches. For instance… a 10‐by‐14 foot room calculation would be: 10 feet x 14 feet = 140 square feet divided by 7 = 20 inches diameter. You can use that dimension as a starting point and determine what looks best with your light fixture, plus or minus a few inches.”
I needed one that was 19 inches in diameter.
2. Choose the medallion wisely!
A high end plaster or wood ceiling medallions will set you back hundreds of dollars. There are lots of great options on Amazon for $10-40 in all different sizes. But here’s where I went wrong…..
This one seemed perfect when I ordered it, blissfully unaware:
It was the perfect size and I loved the pattern. Best of all, I scored it as an Amazon Warehouse deal for $8.
When I eagerly opened it, it was a very thin, hollow, and plastic. I should’ve checked the pictures showing that it did not have a solid backing at all. That’s where it went all wrong. I didn’t think this was a problem at the time, so I swallowed my disappointment in this thin piece of plastic because after all, it looked great on our 9′ ceilings and you couldn’t tell it was plastic.
But then when we installed it, the thin plastic edges of the medallion flopped slightly down from the ceiling and left an unsightly gap. Since the back of the medallion was hollow, there was no way to secure it to the ceiling like in the tutorial above. I tried caulk, gorilla glue, construction adhesive, and even hot glue! I ended up with this mess:
I was heart broken. But it was then I realized that I had just purchased the wrong type of medallion! I merely needed to purchase another with a solid backing. This also gave me the chance to purchase a bigger one. In my limited experience, I say bigger is better with ceiling medallions- start with the formula from Room for Tuesday and try a few inches bigger, trust me. Also, I needed to cover up the mess we made of the ceiling when removed the failed one- oops!
Here’s a picture comparing the hollow medallion to one with a solid backing:
I purchased two new ones to try: here and here. And I’m SO glad I did….
3. Dry fit with your light fixture bracket and canopy first
This is an extremely important step to make sure your medallion will fit seamlessly with your light fixture.
Look how the bracket and canopy will fit seamlessly with this medallion:
Versus how the bracket doesn’t fit quite right with this medallion because the canopy will hang over the raised portion of the medallion:
Now that we have this experience, I’ll be adding ceiling medallions everywhere in our house! Look at the final result in Emma’s room here:
They pair nicely with our colonial style house, but they can also be paired with any other design style to add interest.