Q. I’m not a fan of traditional ceiling fans. Are there any other options?

A. We don’t blame you. The omnipresent five-bladed ceiling fan with a limp pull cord is a bore. "[Traditional fans] are very bulky," says Lori Bohner, a sales consultant at Lightology (215 W. Chicago Ave., 312-944-1000), which carries fans as well as lighting fixtures. "And it seems like something is looming over your head-like you’re going to be attacked by a fan."

One less threatening option is to install a small, good-looking fan somewhere other than the middle of the ceiling. Matthews Fan Company’s Bianca Direcional ceiling fans (www.matthewsfanco.com) weigh only seven pounds and measure 16 inches across. "They’re really petite. You usually tuck them in the corner of the wall or the ceiling," Bohner says. Angled toward the center of the room, the three-bladed fan increases air flow.

Another choice is a ceiling fan in which the blades are hidden. The industrial-looking Escalade from Fanimation (www.fanimation.com) is relatively small-the housing has a 20-inch diameter-and conceals its blades inside a round grille. Six lights can be installed around the grille’s perimeter.

Finally, consider a sleek contemporary version of a traditional fan. The Modern Fan Company (www.modernfan.com) has a good selection of sophisticated models in brushed aluminum and other finishes. The Altus, a three-blader with spare, sculptural lines, is not at all boring-or frightening.

All three types are available locally at Lightology and at Max’d Lighting & Interiors (1800 N. Clybourn Ave., 312-787-6293).
-Laurel Jorgensen

Have a design or renovation question? E-mail us at chicagohome@chicagomag.com. Sorry, we cannot take questions by phone, or guarantee individual responses.