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Vintage, Cottage, and Antique Ceiling Fan Ideas

There’s a steampunk festival that is held in a nearby town every summer. Everyone descends on the community, gets dressed in their very best, and we all have a great time enjoying one another’s company. There is even a kinetic sculpture race held during the weekend.

The highlight for me during this festival, however, is the artisan’s market. A couple years ago, I fell in love with this dual-fan design with a direct ceiling mount and a central light kit that immediately went up in my home. Some ceiling fan manufacturers have embraced the idea of a vintage, cottage, or antique ceiling fan design since then as well.

You might not have a local steampunk festival to attend, but you can still include a beautiful vintage design in your home with these ideas.

1. The Faraday Design

This is the ceiling fan design that caused me to fall in love with the vintage look. You can opt for a dual fan design with or without a light kit, depending on the manufacturer. There are some 3-fan designs that are available as well. Because the fans are circular and shaped more like a box fan or oscillating fan instead of the bladed design of a traditional ceiling fan, the 3-fan design should be reserved for large rooms only.

Several different finishes are available, though Minka Aire provides 4 and other manufacturers tend to provide 1-2 at most. My personal favorite is the oil-rubbed bronze look. Example: Minka Aire F802 ORB Vintage Ceiling Fan in Oil Rubbed Bronze.

2. Belt-Driven Designs

This vintage look is a solid addition to any home that has limited space. You need to have 7 feet of clearance under most building codes from floor to ceiling fan blade. Some homes have ceilings that are 8 feet or less, especially in small cottages or older tri-level designs. Even flush-mount ceiling fans struggle to make the grade with those low ceilings.

Belt-driven designs can come to the rescue. The fan can go right up to the ceiling, with just 6 inches of clearance for some models, which means very low ceilings can still have a ceiling fan. That is possible due to a belt that runs from a mounted power unit that is separate from the fan.

As an added benefit, some designs can run multiple fans simultaneously. You could even mount the motor in one room, run the belt through the wall, and have the fan in another room.

Example: Fanimation Kellan Housing in Dark Bronze.

3. Canning Jar Ceiling Fan

One of the beautiful things about the vintage collections that are available from ceiling fan manufacturers is that they are very flexible. You can swap out light kits, lampshades, and even some blades to create your own customized look. One of my favorites is the fusion of the canning jar chandelier and the ceiling fan.

Here’s an example of a canning jar chandelier if you’ve never seen one: Kichler Eight Light Linear Chandelier.

And here’s an image of a ceiling fan that has been retrofitted with a canning jar fixture. (Via Etsy)

Now what I like to do is to complete the look by using a modern Edison bulb. Sold by Aplstar, you receive a modern bulb that works in standard receptacles, but with the vintage teardrop shape and warm yellow light that only old bulbs could provide.

These are the bulbs I use for my vintage look: Edison Vintage Bulbs on Amazon.

4. Windmill Ceiling Fan

If you’ve ever driven through the rural US West, then you’ve undoubtedly come across the occasional windmill. During the homesteading days, windmills were used as a way to pump water from a well. Some farmers still have water access in arid climates because of this simple technology.

The windmill design also makes for a stunning vintage ceiling fan idea. Weathered oak is the standard finish, but some manufacturers have introduced brushed nickel and wooden finishes for a richer look.

These ceiling fans do require more maintenance since they have 10+ blades to them. Look for damp or wet rated options for your best investment.

Example: Quorum Windmill Ceiling Fan.

5. Palm Leaf Ceiling Fans

This vintage look is usually reserved for the best outdoor ceiling fans, but some indoor models are available as well. The design of the ceiling fan itself is fairly standard. It is the configuration of the blades in this design that is unique. Each blade is manufactured to resemble a palm frond.

Example: Honeywell Sabal Palm 52″ Tropical Ceiling Fan.

If you enjoy a vintage look, there are ceiling fans that will provide you with the perfect final touch for any room. Whether you’re outfitting a cottage or you love antiques, it is easier than ever before to install the perfect ceiling fan.

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