'D' for Decorating

14 Ceiling Fans that Don’t Look Terrible!

Our house does not have central air, and Chicago summers are hot and humid. I was a little concerned that we would be uncomfortable as the temperatures rose, but it hasn’t been too bad. A shady porch for enjoying a breeze helps. 10′ tall ceilings inside and transom windows above the bedroom doors help. Window A/C units help. Portable fans help, and though I’d rather choose fixtures for looks alone, ceiling fans help. There are four in the house already, and we’re planning to add at least two more.

14 Ceiling Fans that Don't Look Terrible!

Here’s what I’ve been looking for in a fan:

  • simple and classic, early vintage style, or industrial-inspired

  • nothing too modern or so simple that it looks cheap

  • light kit optional (depends on the room — lamps/sconces are adequate in bedrooms)

  • four or five blades

  • no gimmicks (gyro fans, palm leaves, etc.)

  • black, bronze, or brass (in another house I might prefer white, but here I don’t think the color works as well)

  • roughly 48″ across, give or take a little

Some of these are available in several finishes, but I tried to stick to black or dark bronze for the roundup so they could be compared more readily by shape and style than by color. Many are also adaptable to house a light kit, and the down rod can often be adjusted for height.

14 Ceiling Fans that Don't Look Terrible! | Making it Lovely

Classic Bistro Style

  1. 52″ Harbor Breeze Classic Outdoor Ceiling Fan, Lowe’s, $80

  2. 42″ Progress Lighting Airpro Builder Ceiling Fan, Lowe’s, $111

  3. 52″ Sea Gull Lighting Quality Ceiling Fan, Lowe’s, $171

  4. 43″ Gemma Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan, Home Depot, $242

  5. 52″ Bistro Ceiling Fan, Restoration Hardware, $289

  6. 54″ Ainsworth Ceiling Fan, House of Antique Hardware, $310

  7. 52″ Heron No Light 4-Blade Ceiling Fan, Rejuvenation, $450

  8. 52″ Hunter Original Ceiling Fan, House of Antique Hardware, $463


  1. 52″ Progress Lighting North Park 4-Blade Ceiling Fan, Lowe’s, $214

  2. 42″ or 52″ Lapa Ceiling Fan, Barn Light Electric, $446

  3. 42″ or 52″ Machine Age Polished Copper Ceiling Fan, Barn Light Electric, $475

  4. 52″ Industry Ceiling Fan, Restoration Hardware, $499

  5. 60″ Peregrine Industrial No Light 4-Blade Ceiling Fan, Rejuvenation, $500
    also seen in the leading image, with an LED light

  6. 52″ Earhart Ceiling Fan, Restoration Hardware, $579

p.s. I totally should have had two matching post titles in a row.

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  • Claire
    July 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Great ideas! (48″ is 4′, not 6′)

    • Making it Lovely
      July 22, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Did I make that mistake somewhere? I’m not seeing it. I had a line in there about 48″, give or take 6″, but I reworded it in case that was the cause of confusion.

      • Claire
        July 22, 2015 at 4:39 pm

        Oops! Wasn’t paying attention. Saw you said 6″ variance, not 6′ fan. Hehe :/

  • katy
    July 22, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    THANK YOU! We desperately need to replace our ceiling fans and 99.9% of the options out there look awful. We need the light kit, and a light kit option that gives really great light, so if you ever fancied a roundup of options with amazing lights as well, I would love it. This is great though – I was beginning to lose hope in a decent looking ceiling fan.

    • Making it Lovely
      July 22, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Almost all of these will work with a light kit! I think only two of them don’t.

  • Katie
    July 22, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    These are great! We just replaced the ceiling fan in our master for one that was a little less 90’s and had a light. We had a pretty small budget and I wasn’t pleased with any of the light kits I found so we went with this one:


    It reminds me of old airplanes. :)

  • Rebecca
    July 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    We’ve got this bad boy in our house and have been really happy with it. Works really well and has a nice wall control that’s hardwired in. The price was a little hard to justify, but it was the only fan that I liked enough to commit to.


  • Catherine
    July 22, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    we just had the 60″ Harbor Breeze Classic Outdoor Ceiling Fan installed in our family room – it’s not the center piece of the room and that’s fine. It moves a lot of air, which is what we needed. We went without the light kit. I think the light kit dated it.

    • Making it Lovely
      July 22, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      The light turns a lot of acceptable fans into ugly/dated fixtures. It’s like shopping for a dress, vs. separates. You can find a skirt that flatters easily enough. Same with a top. Combine the two though, and it’s got to fit just right, or it will need alterations.

      Find a good light? Easy! Find a nice ceiling fan? Maybe not easy, but doable. Combine the two? There are basically three in existence that have done this successfully (the rest need “alterations”).

  • Erin
    July 22, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    What is the ceiling fan in the top picture? Am I just missing it in the list below? I love that one!

    • Erin
      July 22, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      Oops never mind. I just saw the note on #13. Of course I love one of the most expensive ones.

  • Amanda
    July 22, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Fellow No-AC-Chicagoan here. People really underestimate what a ceiling fan can do! I found the Hampton Bay Gazebo II which has a light included that is reminiscent of the school-house style lights I installed (replaced boob lights). I found I’m super picky about ceiling fans – it has to blend with my 1928 building’s craftsman/deco style. I just have to wait for it to go on sale!

    Fan: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-Gazebo-II-52-in-Natural-Iron-Indoor-Outdoor-Ceiling-Fan-YG188-NI/202528706#certona_recommendations

  • Bleubook
    July 23, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Ceiling fans are the bane of my existence. I too live in an 1890s Victorian. In our 3rd-floor bedroom, I went with a simple flush-mount that I don’t hate…the third floor is very clean and modern, with no period-specific details.

    The sleeping porch is another story. I, being I, fell hard for the Hunter Fans 1886 series…but there was no way I could afford it.http://www.hunterfan.com/Ceiling-Fans/1886-Limited-Edition

    So I searched and searched and then found this, a decent facsimile…
    http://www.wayfair.com/Quorum-68-Turner-2-Blade-Ceiling-Fan-28682-QUF5553.html and at a limited sale price of only $115! But in a hideous maize color…HELLO SPRAYPAINT! I went with some matte black textured Krylon, and the ancienne ceiling fan of my dreams was within my reach. YATZI!

    I have yet to mount said fan, but when I do, I’ll post a pic for ya.

  • Ellen
    July 23, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Nothing about ceiling fans, but the comments are closed on your post “Grisaille Wallpaper” from last year and I just came across this http://rebelwalls.com/collections/no-3-greenhouse/bellewood-grey-toile/ The size is customizable. Also comes in rainbow;).

  • Malia
    July 24, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Thank you for this! And glad for the additional reader suggestions. We’re set to replace some awful fans in our new house in the near future.

  • Rejuvenation
    July 29, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Love your line up! Thanks for including Rejuvenation!

  • Julia
    August 4, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    There’s a shop called Beacon Lighting in Australia and they actually have some pretty awesome fans. They’re mainly more contemporary but there’s some traditional options too. Not sure if they’re available outside Australia though.


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