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It’s only natural: while in the midst of working on outdoor projects, I start thinking about interior changes that I’ve never gotten around to completing. I mean, how much interest can one have in digging through Georgia clay before they start thinking about more awesome things like light fixtures, amiright?

Lately, I’ve been considering how much time I spend in my primary bedroom. And yet, almost shamefully, this perpetual DIYer has never upgraded the ugly “temporary” boob light — that was first installed not long after moving in — to something more substantial.


I guess I always figured that the right fixture would just serendipitously come along one day, much like some of the other light fixtures have in this house (don’t you love it when something just finds you?). But perhaps it’s eluded me for so long because I haven’t been able to decide on the biggest element: should I go for the pretty light, or the functional one?

It’s no secret that ceiling fans aren’t that pretty. BUT I also live in Atlanta, where it gets hot as Hades for a significant portion of the year. So, as much as I would like to skip right ahead to something aesthetically pleasing, there’s part of me that knows that a ceiling fan is the more practical option. It is a lot of ugly, though.

After an exhaustive search of thirty minutes (when you know you’ve got losing odds with your choices, that’s about all I could spend on this needle in a haystack), I found only two options I really liked. The first (from Shades of Light) has a sleek profile and a good color combo, which I don’t entirely hate, and the price tag is pretty reasonable too. The second (from Lowe’s) is similarly priced, but it’s more of the classic 5-blade style and with more contrast.

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Ceiling fans might be getting slightly more stylish than how they used to be, but let’s be honest: they simply have a hard time competing with these beauties!

left / top right / bottom right

All three are from Shades of Light, but the first one literally costs more than what I paid for all of the flooring in my entire house! So, no (still pretty, though). But I did find two comparable lights that look just as elegant.

top / bottom left / bottom right

So tell me, those of you who have had a similar dilemma: what did you ultimately choose? And are you still happy with your choice? I’d love to know!

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  1. I went with a ceiling fan in the bedroom (I am practical that way) and found pretty lights for the “public” area of the house

    1. I hear ya. I live in the Carolinas and I just can’t sleep without one at this point, particularly in summer. Nothing like stale, humid air to lull you to sleep….

      I can use desktop type fans for the kids rooms (they’re REALLY small rooms), but I have ceiling fans in the master, the playroom, the living room, and the guest room (because my guests *read – inlaws* complained… yes really. and a lot). Dining room, office, kids rooms get pretty lights. I try to use coffee table lights exclusively in large public rooms so that the fans are more for circulation only, though I keep the light kits on them for when someone loses an earring or something and we need that soviet interrogation strength light.

  2. Having the same dilemma! Our current ceiling fan is salmon pink (no lie!). The only light source in our bedroom is two sconces on the wall, so a pretty overhead light would be so wonderful…until I remember that we don’t have central AC in our house, and the fan is a workhorse. So, leaning in the fan direction, hopefully with the ability to get one with a lighting option, to increase the light in our room. The pretty ones are so much more my style though!

  3. I’d go for a fan if I lived somewhere hot. No point it being pretty if you’re uncomfortable all night, then ironically not even seeing the prettiness of the light as you’re trying to sleep. lol. If you’re looking for an opinion on the fans then I think second fan is the nicest one, the first one seems a bit dated looking.

  4. Ceiling fan all the way! I live in Texas, so I feel your pain on the heat factor. You will never regret putting a ceiling fan in over a light fixture…especially in your bedroom. And personally, I never use overhead lighting in most rooms in my house (except rooms like the kitchen and bathrooms where task lighting is important). So even if I had an overhead fixture in my bedroom, it would rarely be used whereas my fan is on all night every night and a lot during the day as well.

    I have switched out all the ceiling fans in my home over the last 4 years (well, all three bedrooms had one and I wired the living room to have one too) and REALLY like my MinkaAire fans. I put this one in the living room (although, 18 months later, I have yet to actually use the light on it): https://www.build.com/minkaaire-aluma-ceiling-fan/s420508?uid=1719488. And I used this one in the bedrooms (to save a bit of dough): https://www.build.com/minkaaire-kewl-ceiling-fan/s867483?uid=2217612. I’m a big fan of white fans in small houses/rooms because they tend to disappear into the ceiling and keep the room from feeling closed in. Oh, and all MinkaAire fans that I’ve come across come with two downrod sizes so if your ceilings are 8 feet tall like mine are, you can use the shortest one to keep your tall friends from hitting their heads.

    Good luck!

  5. I have so many similar dilemmas to you as a single DIYer. I relied on your backsplash posts to do my own subway back splash on less than flush, plum, level, smooth walls! So, thanks!

    On this front, I think you’ve got to go ceiling fan! This isn’t the room that everyone sees as their first impression of your design sense. So, the risk of a little “ugly” isn’t as high. And, sleep is so important. A lot of (unintended!) hot nights are not fun. Go with the ceiling fan, and get some glam, statement table lamps or floor lamps, etc. The drama in the bedroom can come from someplace other than the overhead lighting ;)

    1. Haha, can I just say that I love that you felt the need to add “unintended” in there? As a single DIYer, I got you 100%! Thanks for the laugh!

  6. Ceiling fan all the way! We grew up in the Atlanta area and have lived in Florida for a couple of years. Anywhere in the South requires a ceiling fan in the bedroom! I love choosing “pretty lighting” for the nightstands. A nice lamp or a light on the wall. Save the pretty hanging lights for offices, entryways, and dining rooms!

    Found your blog a few weeks ago, and I’ve enjoyed reading! Good luck with your lighting selection!!

  7. I’m in Nashville, so I’m team ceiling fan all the way. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have it be August with no ceiling fan when I tried to sleep.

  8. Ceiling fans win, hands down. We’re also in the Atlanta metro area and we even use our ceiling fans occasionally in the winter! I recently replaced the ugly gold chandelier in my office with a white MinkaAire Dyno. Two thumbs up! Maybe go with awesome nightstand lamps if you’re craving a statement light?

  9. I have ceiling fans in my rooms. But for some reason I want you to buck the trend of these comments of being utilitarian and get one of those gorgeous light fixtures, crank up your a/c or set up an oscillating fan and just chillax in your bedroom, wallowing in the beauty of your new overhead light.

  10. I assume you have Air Conditioning – so I would forget about the fan and go with something you LIKE to look at!

  11. Another vote for team ceiling fan. In my house in Indiana I ended up adding ceiling fans to bedrooms with blank ceilings. Now in North Carolina I couldn’t imagine having to lose sleep because I had a pretty ceiling light!

  12. How is the a/c in that room? Is it good enough in summer without the benefit of a fan, or does it stay warm?
    I cannot sleep in a warm room, so that would be my first consideration.
    We have a bedroom that’s 24ft long and 17ft wide at the widest, and even with 2 vents, and brand new a/c unit, we NEED that fan!
    Same in our living and family rooms. Without the fans to move the air, it gets stuffy. I’d have to lower the a/c (and raise my power bill)
    to keep it comfy. No way.

    We cooled a 2280 sf mobile home last month, running a dryer a few times a week, big refrigerator, ect, for 154.00, no joke. And we keep
    the a/c on 77 during the summer. Guests don’t like my fans? Don’t look at them! Besides, how many times do you really have folks over
    that even notice stuff like that?

    If they are judging you b/c of a ceiling fan, you need new friends, lol.
    Fans, all the way!

  13. Being in Arizona, I’d say “Ceiling fan” hands down! Have you tried searching on Houzz? They have some really interesting ceiling fans that are hard to track down elsewhere, I’ve found. (I’ve even found a surprising number of things that work with my steampunk fascination. . . .dangerous, lol) But yeah, gimme dat air flow, ESPECIALLY in a bedroom, and doubly so in the summer.

  14. I like the sleek ceiling fan with light combo, but I live in a region (humid) and area (need to keep the windows closed to not hear the night train 4x overnight) where it makes or breaks my night of sleep with AC or not. We use it year round, so I have my pretty bedside lamps and sconces, and leave my ceiling pretty but functional. I would ask yourself how you like to sleep and if it makes a difference to you.

  15. I live In Portugal so 40 degrees is not unheard of in the summer so we are not only hot we are sticky to with the high humidity. I now live with AC which I don’t like because it leaves me with dry eyes in the morning and I still find that its not enough and need an extra fan in the room. Personally if I didn’t have AC I would still go with the pretty light and have a good fan in the summer right by the bed. Is it hot all of the time where you live or do you have seasons. Practical maybe the best option but its never going to be pretty so I suppose you have to ask yourself this…yes it isn’t a room that everyone sees but is this about what everyone sees or is it about what you see. I don’t decorate my home for others I decorate my home for my pleasure and of course my comfort. Ceiling fans have to be the most ugly things I have ever encountered and if I had to have those things in my home I would move! Until they come up with a prettier design then it would be ceiling light for me and fan by the bed! However, that is just my opinion, I love all the light designs apart from the globe one and hate all the ceiling fan designs! Salmon pink Megan…wow who chose that colour I wonder! haha

  16. I live in Atlanta and couldn’t live without ceiling fans. A white one would be a good option for the bedroom.

  17. Definitely a ceiling fan! I think most ceiling fans are abominably ugly, so I chose a small, sleek, all white modern style fan that’s very unobtrusive against my white ceiling. I wouldn’t trade it for the prettiest light in the world!

  18. Sarah; I live up north, outside of Chicago and we use our ceiling fans year round and usually 24/7. They circulate the heated air that rises in the winter and circulate the cooler air in the warm months. I will never not have a ceiling fan, I love them so much. We went with a very light wood (almost a whitewashed) blade so they don’t stand out so much and we have a remote control so there are no pull chains hanging down. I would put the pretty lights in the public areas of the house like the entryway and dining room. And you can always add a pretty table lamp or two in the bedroom at eye level.

  19. Ceiling fan – and maybe one of those down-tube skylights? I saw that combo in a Homearama home a few years back – really nice light flooding into the room. I guess it’s not an option if you like a dark room, or have migraines and require a dark room…

  20. I live in Florida so as much as I would love to pick pretty I really can’t if I want to sleep. I have more glam lamps and am currently looking for a fun chandelier for our closet hall.

  21. I second (eighth?) the many comments to go with the fan! We have that exact Hunter fan you linked in our Master Bedroom and absolutely love it! It is super quiet and I think has a nice clean contemporary look.

  22. I snagged a Restoration Hardware desktop fan on sale that I keep on one nightstand (somehow it works with the overall look of the room!) and use during the warm months, and I have a cute light fixture above the bed. I put the fan away during the winter and I am left with just the beautiful light fixture! It feels like I get the best of both worlds, although you’ve got some cute fans to choose from.

    When we first moved in we’d 100% planned to install a fan (and even: (1) paid an electrician to wire the room for a fan and (2) purchased the fan!) but just decided that the bed was a little too tall for a fan. Somehow it made the room feel small (we have the PB Farmhouse Bed), which is why we ended up with the alternative situation I describe above.

  23. ceiling fan!!! we live north of boston and use our ceiling fan year round all the time. we have vaulted ceiling in the bedroom, though, so even when it’s not hot out, the fan keeps things moving. but for those hot nights, it is a life saver! i agree with ryan about minka aire. they have some really cool looking options, and are very inexpensive! we have 3 in our house that i installed 2 years ago. got them on amazon. they have many colors and sizes of downrods.

  24. Heck, I’m in Canada and I have a ceiling fan. Sure it’s not the prettiest, but when it comes to sleepy time, I’d much rather be comfy than pretty. Beyond the movement in the air, the white noise of the fan also helps drown out what’s going on outside. I grew up without a fan in my bedroom and there were hot summer nights that were just unbearable. So, go fan. And save those gorgeous lights for another room…

  25. I live in Tx so I know hot Too! If you don’t mind the sound of a fan, I would get a pretty light, then make or buy a standing (maybe a tripod) fan. Or just one in a pretty color for the dresser. Best of both! Good luck!

  26. I love the second ceiling fan. So much prettier than the first, and you’ll be cooler all year long.

  27. You don’t have a fan now, how do you manage the heat? I saw go with pretty, stick with another solution for comfort!

  28. We went with a ceiling fan. It isn’t as pretty, but my husband and I don’t agree on the room temperature and it really helps to keep both of us more comfortable.

  29. Another vote for the ceiling fan. We put Monte Carlo Fan Company Discus 52-in fans into our master and several other rooms and I think they have a nice clean look. We’ve loved them. I totally agree with CJ on putting the glam in your bedside tables since those you’ll be looking at way more often. And I think either the Discus or the fans you picked above are actually attractive or certainly not ugly.

  30. Have you seen the Haiku fans? Pretty Handy Girl just posted about them. They are super pretty and sleek! I’m eyeing one / saving my pennies for one.
    I have to have a fan at night. Too hot in the south not to!!
    Good luck!

  31. I chose to do ceiling fans in all the bedrooms of my house. For normal ceiling height ones, we did these (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B004SCFDMG/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&th=1) and in our master we went a bit bigger because it’s a bigger room with a vaulted ceiling (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B003G7IKHE/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1).

    Oh, those aren’t affiliate links or anything, I use the Amazon Smile program so a portion of my purchases goes to my favorite charity, so my browser automatically opened up the smile.amazon.com page. Sorry!

  32. I also vote for the ceiling fan. Comfort over aesthetics every time for me! The new ones aren’t that ugly and they make a world of difference when you’re trying to sleep. I would love to have a beautiful chandelier in my room, but it would be worth it to get rid of the fan. Your room is big enough that you might consider a decorative light fixture or two somewhere else -perhaps over your night stands.

  33. One of the first things we did when we bought our new house last year was replace the 2 old ceiling fans in the master and family room, and add fans to the remaining bedrooms and office. No regrets here, it gets hot! I would for sure do a fan in your bedroom. Save the fancy lights for your hallway or foyer, or an office or dining room. My husbands office has a lot of computer equipment, so a fan was a must for him (and he even got a window ac unit!) My office however has a great vintage light I bought on ebay :)