Admittedly, I have a bit of a chandelier fetish. If I had my way, in addition to the usual suspects of living, dining and bedrooms, I would put a chandelier in the master bathroom and closet, office, entry way, basically any room with walls and a floor. Chandeliers add style and elegance, ambience and warmth but are often misunderstood and mischaracterized as excessively feminine. While that description certainly fits chandeliers from certain periods and provenances, just as many are transitional and contemporary, rustic and industrial, fitting for the most bachelor of pads. I’ve comprised a list of categories that, for my money, provide the most and the best.
Art Deco– Made mostly of metals (aluminum, nickel, bronze and a combination of the three) and glass, (smoked, frosted and black), these were the chandeliers hanging in fabulous theatre foyers in the 20s and 30s. Definitely dude-friendly, they have real presence and style without being too stylized. Best in entryways and libraries.
European– In imagining the traditional chandelier silhouette, you are referencing those from the European continent circa 20th century and before. Romantic and dramatic, most readily available (antique and reproduction), these feature arms and crystals and (unfortunately sometimes) cherubs, angels, other religious and familiar iconography. Best in bedrooms and bathrooms.
Contemporary– The chandeliers of today seem to provide dual functions: hanging art as the primary, lighting as the secondary. Some play on the traditional form with unusual material (crystal encased in white rubber), while others play with deconstruction using salvaged metal, tangled electrical wires, and strips of oak. On the less avant garde front, Jason Miller’s celebrated ceramic antlers are in high demand, and Tord Boontje’s Swarovski crystal blossom branch embodies more divine inspiration than any cherub possibly could. Best in living and dining rooms.
Mile High Style Tip: dingy little antique stores are great places to find chandeliers that are cheap and chic . Make sure to look up.