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There is never a single answer to questions of design, but put creative, expert minds together and chances are you'll solve your style conundrums or find the guidance you've been looking for to help you decorate a space. With that in mind, we've put together a panel of designers and a design blogger to share their secrets, straightforward principles and simple tips.

The first topic is an often confounding issue of lighting, which can be overlooked but, designers say, is probably the most important element in a room. After all, you can have nice pieces, but if they aren't lit well, they're not going to look nearly as good as they should. And if you're one of the many people adding chandeliers to rooms these days, you should know that hanging it properly makes all the difference to a space's look and feel. What are the rules about how to hang a chandelier?

In an open room

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"Hang it low. That's it. That's the rule. As low as you can within any given space. People put them too high and it doesn't give any depth to the room. Generally, something that's hanging from the ceiling will balance the room a little bit more when it's lower."

Sara Parisotto

Designer and co-owner of Commute Home.

Style: "A bit of a foot in the past with sights on the future."

Above a table

"The one mistake I consistently see is a light fixture's hung too high. The rule of thumb is 30 to 36 inches from the table. And if you're debating, should it be 30 or 36, it should be 30."

Christopher Jones

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Founder of

Style: "Modern maximalist."

Installation is not a DIY project

"Call a handyman. That's my rule. Call the people who designed it, the manufacturer or a handyman. There's definitely ways to do it, and it's important. Somebody else has more knowledge."

Robin Lewis

Interior designer at Elephants Limited and a host of Reno vs. Relocate.

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Style: "Purist, solutions-based design."

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More


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