[tracery tips] ceiling fans

Thanks to everyone who commented on our recent Facebook post asking for ideas for our [tracery tips] series…we received a lot of great suggestions and we’ll be addressing several in the coming weeks.

Facebook fan Brandi Moore suggested we discuss ceiling fans and we were intrigued by the idea.  Ceiling fans get  a bad wrap, especially from designers.  When you get right down to it, they aren’t usually very good-looking and we admit we try to avoid them unless absolutely necessary.  There are times though when ceiling fans make a lot of sense and can actually enhance a space.  We have a few tried and true favorites that we use and as is usually the case with us; we tend to fall on the side of simplicity when it comes to selecting a fan.

The fan that we use the most is the Industry Fan, from Modern Fan.  We love the galvanized housing and old school look of this fixture.  And though these fans cost more than your typical off shelf variety from a home improvement store, once you turn one on you’ll see why–the motor is powerful and creates quite the breeze!  We’ve used this fan extensively both at the beach and lake and in primary homes in town.

A pair of Industry Fans hang in the second floor Game Room of a home we designed in Mountain Brook, Alabama.  We’re always sure to space can lights far enough apart from fan blades to avoid a strobe light effect when both are turned on!  [photo by Richard Long for Dungan Nequette Architects]

Another Industry Fan hangs in the screened living space of a Redmont cottage in Birmingham that Paige designed with architect John Hudson.  [photo by Ryan Davis]

Another retro-inspired fan we’ve used a few times is the Acero from Restoration Hardware.  The unique “cage” element around the housing is distinctive, as is the three blade design.  Doug placed this fan in the secondary bedrooms of a 1920’s Spanish style house in Birmingham a couple of years ago and they fit the aesthetic of the home really well (sorry, we cant’ seem to find any photos from the rooms in question so you’ll have to take our word for it!)

On the Dining Porch at the SpringHouse Restaurant near Lake Martin, Alabama, unassuming fans blend into the beamed ceiling.  Because the simply-styled fixtures are dark in color like the ceiling, they go away visually while still keeping a breeze moving through the space.  In a space where there’s not a compelling reason to go with a fan that makes a design statement, we think simple is always the way to go!  The Architect Series by Hunter is a good go-to for fans like this, though there are many similar items available.  [photo by Eric Marcus]

One question that comes up a lot regarding fans is whether or not to use a light kit.  Our answer is an emphatic “no!” — the light comes at a weird angle, is affected by the spinning blades in many cases and most of all; light kits call too much attention to an item that should be about utility and function.  There are many more effective–and attractive–ways to light a space, so we try to stay away from light kits whenever we can.

We hope this post helped de-mystify ceiling fans…keep  your suggestions for future [tracery tips] posts coming, we love hearing from you!