Ceiling fans are no-nos to many a decorator.  I’ll be honest, I generally try to avoid them whenever they’re not needed for comfort to get the opportunity to bring a great light fixture into a space.
{One of my favorite Cottage Living Houses with a ceiling fan on in the pic }
Men seem to looooove ceiling fans.  (Stay tuned for my upcoming post “What {Most} Men Love.”) I’ve scared plenty of husbands with the removal of a ceiling fan but many have been reassured that if things get too hot, they can always bring in a cool vintage-style floor fan, like the Allaire from Restoration Hardware:
In all of my ceiling fan replacement-experiences, I think I’ve yet to hear of anyone actually bringing in a floor fan…  except me!!  I have a thing for fans and tend to leave the AC off longer (because having open windows makes me really happy) than I should, so people would wilt in our house if we didn’t use fans.  In my new house, especially, fans are pretty much a necessity.

We have lots of massive windows and skylights letting in a ton of sun and pretty much baking us inside.  Additions were also added previously & the owners at the time didn’t do a very good job of making sure the new spaces would heat/cool adequately.  (Fixing this kind of thing is really just  SO FUN!! $ $ :/  )   Add to all of that the fact that our AC is BROKEN right now (shouldn’t normally be an issue in April but we’ve had highs or almost 90 already this year!!) and I really have ceiling fans on my mind.  In the Fall, we replaced the ceiling fan in our breakfast room (see above pic of our house “BEFORE”  in the background) with this one from Restoration Hardware:

I love how it’s ended up looking and -of course- feeling when our AC stopped working.  I should mention that it’s a LOT lighter & more silvery than pictured here.  Definitely a galvanized steel finish, but fresh and bright, not moody like in the photo.
In our bedroom, (BEFORE photo, below) we still have the ceiling fan that was here originally. At first I thought I’d replace it with a light fixture but we love sleeping with our patio door open (We’ve knocked out the entire wall you see below with the windows on it & replaced it with a massive glass door, which opens to out little garden.) and I’ve been absolutely LOVING my ceiling fan at night.  So… we’re replacing the original fan with a new ceiling fan and I’m on the hunt.  I love the Restoration Hardware one we selected for the breakfast room so I might go there again and possibly paint it black.
  So… even though ceiling fans are a typical designer “no no,” I have to say that they do give a house a certain type of feeling that I really love.  Tom Scheerer – who is probably my absolute favorite interior designer- uses them in his work a lot.  His projects feel fun, fresh, laid-back, cool, relaxed and totally down to earth.  There’s an authenticity to his work that really resonates within me.  Some of the homes he’s worked on feel so perfectly “undecorated” which is the best type of design to me.  I can appreciate a perfectly pulled together room -and even go gaga over them- but I truly love and get excited about the more imperfect spaces.
Here are a few (okay way more than a few) examples of Tom Scheerer’s work so you know what I mean:

The bones of the homes he works are typically so interesting.  There’s an age and a patina to the houses themselves.


He might even love botanicals as much as I do:

So many of the elements he uses are unexpected:


I can’t imagine pitching this flag idea (above) to a client but it’s perfect!!!  His work inspires me to think a bit more outside of the box.
This living room, below, is such perfection to me:


I could move right in.  When I first saw my new house, I thought about that room.

In his work, I’ve noticed lots of photos of great transitional spaces.  Hallways and stairways are often overlooked due to budget constraints and priorities being elsewhere, but when I look through his work, the hallways seem to lead you through the story of the home so perfectly.  It really shows how important these often-overlooked spaces are:

Love this stairway shot:



…And the foyer, below, is so down-to-earth and inviting.  It really feels collected as most of his work does.

This bedroom, below, is such a great mix.  It’s got more going on than a lot of what I’ve shown does, but I just love it.  His style is just so much fun and so fearless.  His spaces feel happy, which isn’t always “in,” especially not right now, but it’s the type of spaces I strive to create, and he does them so perfectly.  There’s a cheerful clutter to this pretty room that I love.  It’s the epitome of “charming” to me…
This room, below, is a little “cooler” (both in color scheme and in style) but it still has a that great relaxed-collected feel:


…So… now that you see how crazy I am about Tom Scheerer’s work, you can see how ceiling fans might have grown on me:
I think about the vibe in the room above more often than I should.  I just love its simplicity and the cool vintage island feel it has.  Tom Scheerer seems to have quite a bit of work in the Bahamas and I find myself just wishing we could go on a vacation in one of those homes.  (He did India Hick’s guest cottage there!!)
 Ceiling fans definitely affect the vibe of a space.  To me, they make a room feel more summery, a little lazier in a way.  A little more relaxed and they call to mind vacation or “island time.”  They make me think that the windows are open and that relaxing is going on.  I don’t associate ceiling fans with suits and work, but more with bare feet and fun.  They don’t work in every house and with every type of architecture- especially in DC-  but it’s the feeling I’m after in our place, which is sort of contemporary-natural, so I’m excited about that.
Here’s another space that’s really inspired me.  (Remember Justin’s old nursery with the blockprint-inspired canopy we made?}  I’d never noticed the ceiling fan until now:


Ceiling fans almost always look great on porches:


When are you not relaxing or having fun if you’re sitting on a porch??

And, in the photo below, the ceiling fan is just one of the many clues that the home is somewhere wonderfully warm:



A lot of his fans are black and I love the contrast here:


Something like that would be great in my bedroom.
This modern fan, below, just seems to disappear, which is perfect for this room, which actually does feel a little but more “put together” than some of the others.  If you mentally take out the fan, you can see that the formality goes up a hair…


And finally, one of my favorite spaces, check out this dining room:
The fan becomes this interesting sculptural element that again, plays up the island location of the home.  It’s the perfect example of functional beauty and appropriateness.
…So.. and I know it’s a fairly controversial topic 😉 😉 … what are your thoughts on ceiling fans?
Does location matter?  When are they appropriate?  Are they ever okay?  Love them or hate them??
ps- I am SO in the mood to go somewhere tropical for a project after these pics!! Anyone need a decorator??

If you’d like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.