design ramblings | episode 8 | ceiling fan debate

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Design Ramblings31 Comments

Ceiling fans can be a hot topic, believe it or not.  There are folks who are all about function.  They want air moved in a room and it doesn’t matter how ugly or obtrusive the air-moving-device is as long as it’s doing the job.  Then, there are people who will remove a fan from the hottest, stalest room and replace it with a chandelier…all for the sake of form.  More often than not, males are the former and females are the latter and thus the war rages.

I do think that fans have come a long way and there are a lot more out there that can help bridge the gap, straddle the fence and make peace in the form vs. function debate.

And that is what Kriste & I are rambling about in this episode…

And, for a little fun, I took the snippets from the digital “cutting room floor” to show you some of what happens before, after and sometimes during the episodes…


I had a lot of trouble focusing this week and usually that’s a sign that I’m a little burnt out and I just need to step away from the studio and my house.  I hit a local shop on Thursday and today, my mom and I hit one of my favorite antique malls and Wegman’s.  I found some really cool things that I can’t wait to share with you.

Before I sign off, I wanted to let you know that I have a Milk Paint 101 workshop scheduled for Friday, February 27, 2015, from 9:30 am – noon.  If you’re interested in attending, you can reserve your spot HERE.

design ramblings | episode 8 | ceiling fan debate

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31 Comments on “design ramblings | episode 8 | ceiling fan debate”

  1. We have an exposed beam running across our bedroom and the previous owners screwed a ceiling fan into it, running a cord across the ceiling and down the wall to a socket. It wasn’t a priority to do something about it, so for a few years I lay in bed looking up at this ugly thing (while enjoying the breeze). One cold winter day and I had it, grabbed tools and removed it myself. It makes the room look so much better and open, but my husband was not happy. At some point every summer since I removed it, he says (while we’re lying in bed looking up at the ceiling)< "I still can't believe you got rid of the fan."

  2. We bought our new home in September and I replaced every fan with – another much nicer fan ! Fans give movement to a room. They make a room friendly- unless they are in a kichen or dining room ! Yuck.

  3. I have a fan in the kitchen I want to change to just a light, the only time I use it is when I burn something!! In some cases painting the fans the ceiling color will also make it less obtrusive.

  4. I am “the wife” and I absolutely want the ceiling fans,too. I am able to avoid turning on the air conditioning for most of the day just by turning on the ceiling fans. This enables me to keep the windows open and the fresh air coming in versus being closed up inside an air conditioned home all day long.

    Now, my husband would like to have a ceiling fan turned on “hi” while I like it on “low”, but other than that, we both like them.

  5. We have a ceiling fan in every room of our rental too… Landlords must love them! Lol! I can’t stand the noise they make or the look… One is so low I hit my head on the chain daily! Gr!

  6. We updated our old ceiling fans that had brass fixtures on them and replaced them with a more updated modern look. I am one gal that couldn’t live without my ceiling fans as we use them all year round to move air. We change the fan direction depending on the season and have them running on “low” so they are super quiet.

    However, I don’t like them in kitchens or dining rooms. Since we have cathedral ceilings in our family room and master bath they really work well with circulating the air.

  7. Totally agree, this is a hard one! I also had a ceiling fan in my kitchen that was mainly used(not too often 🙂 for getting rid of that inevitable burnt smell. Well, finally (thankfully!!) it broke and the hubby let me switch it out for a chandy. I haven’t looked back since, although once in a while he says “I wished I could have just fixed that fan, it was so useful…” If a company offered a pretty cross between the two, maybe with new bladeless technology (is there such a thing?) I would be interested!

  8. Marian, I just wanted to say thanks for your blog. I recently moved to a lonely country and have appreciated checking in with you, like an old friend, each morning. You mentioned the feeling of burnout, which I can totally relate to. Thank you for your discipline and effort to have a new post ready for each day!

  9. I lived in South Texas for a quarter of a century in a one-story house, and I installed a ceiling fan in every room in the house (except the kitchen) just in order to survive. It made an enormous difference in one’s comfort during the e-n-d-l-e-s-s hot weather (100° in February one year), when the laboring A/C simply couldn’t keep things comfortable, though running virtually constantly (and it was a brand-new system, too). Now I live in a 90-year-old two-story house in the middle of the country and find things are not nearly so dire (although I just installed a second complete A/C system upstairs. No window units for me!). Even in this house, however, I still have a ceiling fan in my bedroom — I need that moving cool air in summer. Do I like the appearance of ceiling fans? NO! I’d much rather have a beautiful chandelier in my bedroom (with my antique Victorian furniture)! But necessity is necessity. I always feel sorry (for the uncomfortable nights to come) when I watch decorating shows on TV and the designer pitches out the ceiling fan!

  10. Fans are so energy efficient. We have them in our bedroom, the dining room (I know, not great, but it moves our uneven AC air all around) and the family room. Our old house has too many hot spots for us to live without fans!

  11. I dislike the look and feel of ceiling fans. I currently live in Montana, but have lived in several Southern states and would replace every ceiling fan if I could have. I use box fans and try to hide them behind chairs, etc to circulate the air, but not be seen. I wonder why that’s never an option for men?

  12. I love my ceiling fans, I have one in my kitchen and bedroom, and I need them both, in the kitchen to keep the air moving mostly in the summer it gets hot even with the air on, and in the bedroom I use it all year long, because sometimes I need it in the winter, yes I know, and some day you might get there too.
    I have been in a lot of old farmhouses over many years and they rely on there ceiling fans, don’t have air conditioning so ceiling fans have always been for them, so I guess if you want a true
    farmhouse look you need a ceiling fan.

  13. Hi! I am in South Carolina, so the ceiling fan is a definite must in our hot humid climate. I wish I could get rid of, but couple our hot weather and a woman of the “hormonal” age Nope not getting rid of them! Especially upstairs.

  14. I loved your “ramblings” about ceiling fans. I’m someone who gets excited about installing ceiling fans (or having someone else do it) but I understand the functionality for those who are in warmer climates. I like your perspective about the height of the ceilings. I agree that cathedral ceilings make fans much more attractive and less distracting!

  15. I live in TX, and I’m hot-natured ~ and especially love my ceiling fans! We have them in every room possible, tho *I* personally don’t consider the dining room, kitchen or “breakfast room” as fair game (who likes cold food?!?). We have what I think are quite attractive fans! They have a sort of eclectic “Hemingway” style which goes with our decor, and after all these years, have a sweet hum, which lulls you to sleep! Some historic hotels in the South have beautiful fans! They aren’t only “functional” ~ they are beautiful, at least in my eyes!

    We couldn’t live without ours, so I must find other/fun ways to use chandies!!! There are many places: in a corner reading nook, over a craft table or desk, in a window seat, over the tub (safety first, tho!), in those eating areas … I could go on and on! We’re definitely fans of fans!

  16. Ceiling fans are a necessity in the south and when we built our home I chose some beautiful fans for almost every room. I even have one in our master bath. We have three on the back porches and two on the front porch. The only regret I have is not putting one in the utility room. I got talked into a flourescent light and I’ve hated it ever since. Someday I’ll convince my husband to let me change it to a fan. The designers on tv who criticize ceiling fans and install chandliers need to spend some time in the south paying for air conditioning bills when the heat reaches 100+ degrees.

  17. Function over form every time. We live in the south, and believe me, keeping the breeze going is paramount. I agree wholeheartedly with Mary. The porches would be unusable in summer without the fans, and I love having them over the beds when we don’t have to have the AC on, but want some movement in the room.

  18. I would like to unsubscribe and I cannot find how to do that on your site. Please advise. Thank you.

    1. Sorry to hear that! You need to do that from the e-mail you receive. Scroll to the bottom and click the “unsubscribe” link and that will do it.

  19. Thinking the female dislike of ceiling fans will change once they hit menopause. That changed my attitude. I now love my ceiling fans! 😉

  20. Hi Marian, would you consider including the pictures from your ramblings in the post along with their source. Many of the pictures have been inspiring and I would like to know more. Thank you!

  21. Hi Marion…..yes, my husband and I are also about function and practicality (him) and form and beauty (me)! Of course, he wanted the fan to stay, I wanted it to go… to compromise, we kept the fan but I painted the fan blades to blend in beautifully with the ceiling. Truthfully, it was a great compromise and I have learned to enjoy the fan….and it doesn’t provide the eyesore it once did.


  22. I live in Louisiana in a 2 story house. When we built our house we resisted ceiling fans totally. After about 10 years we finally broke down and installed one in each upstairs bedroom. Now we couldn’t get along without them. I prefer fans without lights and I like very simple styles that don’t call attention to themselves. In other rooms where we don’t choose to have ceiling fans, during the hottest months we have low profile tower fans tucked as far out of the way as possible. They help keep air moving and help with the energy bills.

  23. I will say that one of the things that always drove me crazy about Trading Spaces was that they took the ceiling fans out.
    I agree that some of them are quite ugly (we have 3 right now that fit in that category) but some look much better. It isn’t an option here (Texas) to not have them, at least in every bedroom. We also have one in the family room (looks great!) and in our library we have an oscillating fan on top of a bookcase that has a remote to turn it on.
    Meanwhile, I’ve been meaning to ask Marion if her guest room is really hot and stuffy? I guess it’s that low ceiling that makes it look that way to me.

  24. We live in Phoenix, so we have ceiling fans in every room (2 in the master bedroom!) and I would never get rid of them. Of course, I’d love to have a pretty light fixture instead, but it’s WAY too hot here!

  25. What a conundrum! I am of the “don’t love the look, but truly love the benefit” school of thought. We do have them in living room, kitchen and bedroom and use them all. We have found some pretty ones which are acceptable. We also added can lights which have been great. Luckily hubs and I agree on this one…thank God for small favors!

  26. Maybe it’s because I’m from Texas, but ceiling fans don’t bother me a bit (as long as they’re simple and tasteful). I will say ceiling fans with lights look very “model home” to me (not in a good way). I think they’re a must in bedrooms, and if a bathroom is large enough, I welcome one in there, too! With all the heat and steam that a shower and blow dryer produce, I think having a fan on afterwards helps me not to sweat so much as I put on my makeup and get ready. A ceiling fan came in my kitchen which I like to circulate the air and help any smoke or smells get out of the room. So I guess I am a ceiling fan fan!

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