Sedate or ostentatious, chandeliers long have served as a room’s focal point, most at home over a dining table. But they are not limited to that application, and these days are not at all relegated to traditional brass light fixtures with candlesticks or classic sparkling crystals.
Like candles, the glow from chandeliers can be mood altering and romantic (especially with dimmers). The hanging fixtures can add sophistication — even glamour — as they lend weight to dead air space.
Many of the newest chandeliers will steal the design show with big scale, exaggerated proportions, an emphasis on architectural or sculptural form, a pop of colour or obvious decoration. It’s about the light, but so much more. Expanding the palette of materials, and fusing them in fresh ways .Taste has become more eclectic and it’s much more about personal style quirks.
Supersizing has been a theme in lighting design for some time. The concept seems to really have taken off with The Big Shade, which perhaps is rooted in hotel and restaurant design.
Another modern take offers the shade interpreted in metal; especially beautiful, in, say, polished nickel with its warm, reflective qualities. From the shade style a hybrid has evolved: the more embellished shade-plus. This is curious, as the simple form is tricked up, combined with things that dangle — mother of pearl discs, metal links that resemble jewellery, and crystals. Combinations can be subtle and arresting, as in a fixture with a rectangular shade called “Mimi” from Horchow. Like a waterfall, faceted crystals rain down from within a golden organza shade, striking a balance suitable for minimal or traditional interiors.
Even traditional chandeliers can change personality simply by taking on colour — orchid, for example, in a classic glass style from Cyan Design for Horchow. New York jewellery artist Dorian Webb ramps up her lighting design with breathtaking chandeliers from her high end company Viaggio. Her Tutto Tutto exquisitely juxtaposes colourful Venetian glass and semiprecious gems in an astonishing 9-foot long piece that trails off like a kite tail. The designer sees it as the perfect solution for two-story foyer spaces.
And then there’s a trend that some are calling “rough lux,”the teaming of natural materials such as rough hewn or reclaimed woods with coarse fabrics such as burlap. Often large scale, the pieces translate well with interiors furnished in what’s known in the trade as Belgian modern, a look that Restoration Hardware has adapted as a new signature. It’s characterized by casually comfortable furniture with pale wood frames and natural linen upholstery, which has an elegance about it because of its scale and form.
Whether your taste trends to Baccarat crystal, spare, smooth and clean-lined shapes or a bit of both, consider a new chandelier as central illumination or as a supplement.
And then there’s a trend that some are calling “rough lux,”the teaming of natural materials such as rough hewn or reclaimed woods with coarse fabrics such as burlap.