The mere mention of ceiling fans may conjure up sweltering summer days, but they can be useful at any time of year, in almost any climate.
“Even in wintertime, in a room that has a fire going, a fan on low can keep the heat circulating,” said Michael Cox, the principal of the New York interior design firm Foley & Cox, who has installed them in homes from Canada to the Caribbean. “It keeps the overall temperature of the space a little more regulated.”
Unfortunately, they aren’t always aesthetically appealing — especially in recent years, as the market seems to have been flooded with clunky models.
“I compare fan design to lighting design: There’s generally a lot more bad than good,” Mr. Cox said. “It’s a bit of a needle-in-a-haystack search. But there are certainly a lot of great options out there.”
Choose carefully, he added, and it “becomes a piece of sculpture almost, hanging from the ceiling.”
Does your fan need a light? If so, look for a design with the light integrated into the fan, rather than tacked onto it, Mr. Cox advised.
How will you control it? Fans can be controlled by wall switches and pull chains, but “we always prefer a remote that can be tucked into a drawer or a box” when you’re not using it, Mr. Cox said.
How large should the fan be? “Bigger is better,” he said. “If you’re going to have a fan, it should look strong and functional.”
Fan with remote control and optional light by Ron Rezek for the Modern Fan Company
$436 at Design Within Reach: 800-944-2233 or dwr.com
Fan in resin, aluminum or bamboo finish with remote control and optional light
From $688 at Haiku: 855-734-9418 or haikuhome.com
ABS plastic fan with remote control
About $240 at Build.com; 800-375-3403 or build.com
Steel-and-wood fan with remote control and optional light
From $769 at Rejuvenation: 888-401-1900 or rejuvenation.com
Irene Hugger 3-Blade
Metal-and-wood flush-mount fan with remote and wall controls
From about $572 at YLiving: 800-236-9100 or yliving.com
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