Add a touch of elegance with a chandelier

Chandeliers are the most elegant and timeless lighting fixtures you can have in your home, but new twists on old styles and exciting new designs make them a perfect choice for modern and contemporary decorating, as well.

Although some chandeliers can be expensive (think authentic antiques or oversized and intricate designs), many designs are very affordable and are worth every penny for the impact they have on your space.

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Antique Chandeliers

Antique chandeliers are hot items for people who want to add authentic elegance and history to their homes. Traditional antique chandelier styles include:

  • Crystal Chandeliers. These are probably the most recognized type of chandelier and also the most elegant. Often, they're very ornate, with dozens or even hundreds of crystals backlit with candles or bulbs, depending on the era.
  • Wrought Iron Chandeliers. Again, these lighting fixtures are very elaborate, but the iron itself is the focal piece. Intricate scrollwork and patterns give many designs a more airy feel, while others are heavier and less embellished.
  • Brass Chandeliers. Antique brass chandeliers were probably the most simple in terms of adornments, but they often made up for it in size. Brass lent itself nicely to tiers of candles or bulbs, which were impressive without needing embellishment.

There was also a lot of material interplay in antique chandeliers — brass and wrought iron were often mingled with crystal to create unique and interesting pieces. Antique candle chandeliers are still available, but nowadays, the antique bulb chandeliers are probably a more practical choice.

Modern Chandeliers

Modern chandeliers blend the materials and styles now commonly used in pendant lighting with the multiple globe style of traditional chandeliers. Brushed nickel, aluminum and copper are now common materials, though brass and wrought iron are still used.

While you can find many modern interpretations of the crystal chandelier, glass globes or fabric shades are probably the most popular choices nowadays. Wavy, freeform stem designs are also the trend of choice, overtaking the traditional straight or loop chandelier design.

It's also a modern trend to think outside the elegant chandelier box. You can now find chandeliers inspired by your interests, with nature designs, sports designs or even antler chandeliers for the hunters out there — you're only limited by your creativity.

Choosing a Chandelier

When choosing a chandelier, take into consideration the size of the room and the amount of vertical space you have, particularly if you're hanging the fixture over a piece of furniture. Also remember that it's very easy to overwhelm a room with the wrong chandelier — make sure the design you choose complements your style rather than complicating it.