The chandelier is a mainstay of classic decor, harkening back to the homes of wealthy nobility in Medieval times, and gaining broader popularity on and into the Romantic period. With remarkable staying power, they have persisted as a decorative form of lighting throughout various sources of power. Candles, gas lights, and electricity have all graced these elegant contraptions. Originally designed to resemble rings or crowns, chandeliers have undergone many trends and changes across the centuries, but have remained a great go-to source for easily and aesthetically shedding light.
Chandeliers might strike you as a formal and fusty choice for a modern-style room, but there are so many variations and materials to choose from, you’re sure to find one that fits your decor and lifestyle. Though the example in the photo above mimics a classic design–candle-shaped sconces and the dripping crystals–it is actually made out of wrapped wire. You can also find chandeliers made of metal, wood, even plastic. There’s no need to go the traditional route if you don’t want to.
Then again, there’s nothing wrong with the classics. Rococo and baroque-inspired chandeliers impart an elegant, sophisticated touch to a room, and are a great choice for a formal dining room. Shaded lamps, crystals that catch and bend light, and fixtures shaped to resemble candles or lamps are all common motifs in classic chandeliers. A low-hanging chandelier can bring intimacy to a setting, creating a focal point and a fulcrum to build a room around.
Chandeliers are really great sources of illumination–they are typically centralized, well-placed, and give off a lot of light. That said, for large rooms, two chandeliers can definitely be better than one. They don’t even have to be exact replicas of each other; two different models in a similar style could give a great sense of asymmetry to a room, adding some visual interest. Along the same vein, they don’t need to be hung exactly parallel to each other either.
You probably imagine chandeliers as having a very specific style to create a very specific atmosphere–I know that I did, initially. I related them to the formal, traditional, rather frilly decor of my grandmother’s house. But with the sheer volume of choices out there, this doesn’t have to be true at all. There is a great selection of more modern and contemporary-inspired fixtures, that work on a sleeker, more-stripped down aesthetic. It’s a great way to lower the formality of a dining room, make a space seem more casual or intimate.
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I know I used ‘dining room’ in the title, but that certainly isn’t the only place a chandelier installation would work well. In general, these are stylish and practical choices for lighting–they provide a lot of illumination and don’t take up any space on the floor. That makes them great choices for foyers or bathrooms, where space is generally limited and well-traveled. An otherwise informal room with a gaudy chandelier can be a chic statement, kind of like a dress paired with a pair of sneakers.
Since lighting is a necessary and unavoidable addition to any remodel, it’s important to find a style that works for you. A chandelier makes a trendy, versatile statement, with tons of different ways to implement it, whether you’re going for casual simplicity or sophisticated elegance.
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