Need Ceiling-Fan Advice: city apt, skinny 76" foyer, 8.5' high

We’re burning up here in the foyer of our NYC studio apartment, which we somewhat pretentiously refer to as “the computer room”.

The foyer is cut off from the living room by an entryway, and the air conditioner is in the living room. Overhead, we have a light fixture which Herself my girlfriend has long thought hideous, and since the wiring is there we were thinking of putting in a ceiling fan. Ceiling fan would have its own light, and fan would distribute and circulate air to sooth our sweating heads below.

That’s the theory.

After a day’s worth of online window-shopping, we’re concerned about where to find a nice looking ceiling fan with a nice light fixture that doesn’t have a wingspan on it more appropriate for the ballroom of King Ludwig of Bavaria. Lengthwise, we’re good, and heightwise not too bad (8.5 foot ceiling) but from side to side the walls are only separated by about 76 inches. The big Hunter fan reseller sites seem to be pushing the 57" models, with only a couple of unattractive 42s and some really K-Mart-quality looking 36-inchers here and there.

Anyone know if and/or of:

a) people who have put 42" or even 57" ceiling fans in spaces as narrow as ours and who were happy with them, or, alternatively, who weren’t and who would advise us not to try it;

b) resellers who will customize them by putting on shorter fan blades or playing mix-n-match between component parts? We found a non-Hunter reseller that gave that option for a brand “Casa Vieja” and were allowed to pick the drive motor, the blades, the light fixture, etc. separately. Only problem is – the only size the blades seem to come in are 57". The Hunter-fan reseller sites seem to divide up their fans by blade size – looks like we can pick a model without a light fixture and then add a light fixture, but we’d be stuck with the basic appearance, and there aren’t many choices for the smaller blade lengths. Anyone know if it’s common practice for ceiling-fan resellers to simply swap out the blades for shorter ones? Any reason that wouldn’t work?

c) the practicality of having Opal stand behind us waving some palm branches instead?

If the fan is mounted exactly in the center, I don’t think there should be any problem with 4-5 inches on each side of the blades. Unless, of course, you don’t like the look. I’ve installed quite a few, and they don’t wobble or anything. The speed of the air when it reaches your heads shouldn’t be much affected by the proximity of the walls.
Do use the proper electrical ceiling box, though.

I just bought a Casa Vieja fan with 42 inch blades, so they have them. I don’t have a narrow space, but it doesn’t take up much room. (It replaced one that broke - but after 6 years.) I bought from a place
called Lamps Plus which is on-line also. I think I still have the box, I can give you the number if you want. I kept the older, bigger blades of my old fan, and it looks like they’d work fine also. I put my old light kit on the new fan also (though I had to rewire it a bit.)

If you can’t find something, I can hold up my old blades to make sure the screws would fit. If you can find the Casa Vieja website, maybe Hunter would order the fan for you.

Oh, ditto on using the right celing box. We got these installed when we had ceiling lights put in (the former owners of this house must have been part bat.) I had no trouble installing the fans, but I wouldn’t have wanted to put in the box myself.

That would be immensely helpful! If the screws are standard then we know (barring the usual liveware problems with getting them to let us order it that way) that we can order the fan we want and substitute smaller blades