Cute, Modern, and Cheap(er) Ceiling Fans

Jonathan Adler Bedroom Architectural Digest Shelter Island2019 edit: Check out an updated fan roundup here!

We don’t have air conditioning in the best town in the world because the weather, much like the people, is friendly and easy going. I love you, SLO. There are usually only a few nights a year that require supplementation to the ocean breezes blowin’ through the window. Those nights happened to occur this week, just as our old gross master ceiling fan gave out, and really pushed me to make a quick decision and purchase. I debated skipping a fan in here when nothing jumped out at me and getting a huge rad light and a portable fan instead, but then I talked myself down from that cliff…no reason to live in discomfort just for the sake of design. “Good design” should intrinsically make your life better, not leave you dripping with sweat and dreaming of window air conditioning units. (Who am I kidding? Reasoning didn’t actually pushed me towards this decision. It was the until-now-not-noticed ceiling fan in this Jonathan Adler room. If it’s good enough for JA, it’s definitely good enough for dumpy me.) Ceiling fans are hard because there are so few examples of amazingly designed rooms with fans. Designers either completely forego ceiling fans or go with the white on white…which, to me, seems like a cop-out. If you are going to go with a ceiling fan, at least own it and get a great looking one. The white isn’t fooling anybody into thinking there isn’t a fan up there, and usually just looks cheap, in my opinion.

The problem, we all know, is that there aren’t many great looking ones in existence. Many bad fans, very few decent ones, especially at decent price points. I was really banking on there being a ton of great options in brass if I held off on purchasing a year or two after purchasing the house. Wrong. Ceiling fan designers: What are you even doing with your life? Ceiling fan design is still lagging even while other home products (faucets, lighting, hardware) jet off into the future with so many cute, modern, brassy options currently. So, the same as it ever is, the ceiling fan search was a lame task and I didn’t come up with anything that I loved as much as my other ceiling fans, though I did unearth some decent options, all of which I’m sharing here! Sadly every fan I’m considering involves some sort of painting on my part (per usual) because I’m stickin’ to brass in this house. There are a ton of great options in nickel or aluminum, so those of you looking in that family have an easier road ahead.

My only requirements were a workable wood tone (light maple to match our floors or a realistic walnut to tie into our furniture), either brass or matte black metal, and a clean/interesting design. Oh ya, and kinda on the cheap side too because I’m also on the cheap side and dropping $400 on a fan isn’t happening. Here are some of the contenders:

GE Phantom. REAL WOOD, good looking, clean lines, interesting, but not sure about the “bourbon” finish:mid century modern ceiling fan woodCasa Delta-Wing. Again with the real wood. This fan is really, really pretty. Change that oil-rubbed bronze to black and it’d be perfect:

Casa Delta-Wing with light. The same fan as above but with a brushed nickel finish and a light. So much better without a light, but lights are practical and this fan is nice:

Possini Admiralty. This would fully be my first choice if it wasn’t out of my price range. The wood blades (tung?) are gorgeous: *Update: it goes on sale sometimes and I totally scored it for a great price, painted it and love it!

mid century modern ceiling fan wood

Modern Fan Ball. Adorable and fun, with a maple blade option on some sites, but pushing my budget:

mid century modern ceiling fan

Designer’s Choice Quattro. LOVE the bullet shape. The nickel won’t work for my house but there’s also an elm wood and oil rubbed bronze option. This fan in a satin brass would be a certain yes!! Ceiling fan designers???mid century modern ceiling fanHampton Bay Trusseau. Like the cone shape, the reversible maple/walnut blades, and the price: *Update: I purchased this one and returned it because the blades look cheap/fake in person, though the housing is quite nice.Casa Vieja Revue. I’m feeling the modern design and low profile:

Casa Concourse. Unsure about this one? Great price, reversible maple/walnut blades, but maybe too choppy looking:

mid century modern ceiling fan

One of these is shipping to us right now as I write! Let’s hope we (not the me part of we, just my husband) can get it installed before next summer! UPDATE: here’s what we bought and it only took two summers to hang it….


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