Guys Doing Stuff: Installing a Ceiling Fan

While clothing is my bag, I am not immune to delving into other subjects. I stick to men’s fashion as a rule, but when counseling others on the importance of good design in your life, I can digress to interior decoration. It is an offshoot of my basic interest in texture, color, pattern, shape, and form. Clothing is a practical and utilitarian expression of the universal artistic principles that apply to any art form. On top of tradition (basic pieces like shirts, pants, tees and jackets), you overlay trends of the time. There might be a color of the season like pastels for spring and brights for summer. Shape effects the cut of a jacket and the narrowness of pants. Think of cuffs, lapels, pocket stitching and the like as adding pattern and texture.

The same principles are true of interior design. Take a simple ceiling fan for example. If it is a modern version, it will be clean-lined and free of decoration so that it will fit into any room theme. Old-world fans look like turn of the century items by contrast. You can get some ideas of these designs here: The blades of the unit act like geometric forms piercing open space. The central light fixture may be a round globe either unadorned or etched glass. The pattern of forms teases the eye, especially as the fan whirls when in operation. It is almost like an abstract mobile sculpture. Texture comes from the wood grain of the blades or the shiny metal surface if the fan is super contemporary. You would choose a finish that matches others in the room. Some people like to combine metal and wood as long as there are enough instances of each to create a “look.”

The wood or metal can be painted a color to match your theme or have only a gloss or matte finish so as to disappear into the ceiling and not enter the décor. It is a matter of taste and what you like. People especially love colors in kids’ rooms and wood and metal combinations in modern kitchens. The fan should never clash with but add to the ambiance. A patio fan might have blades that look like rattan, for example, if you are going for an island look. Like men’s fashion, ceiling fan design is a world unto itself with many choices and even Facebook pages for this stuff. This also goes for installation. I like to install these beauties; it is part of my conception of guy’s work. I understand the options that work in different kinds of spaces.

In a nutshell, you need a brace to mount a ceiling fan if you choose to put it on the side of a beam or joist. You will also need the proper tools to cut into the drywall to insert the brace. Give yourself about an hour. Before you start, have a brace, tape measure, stud finder, pencil and drywall nearby.