Lighting the Way — Chandeliers Add Interest and Style to Informal Spaces

It used to be that chandeliers lit two rooms—the entrance way and the dining room. Now, however, chandeliers are enjoying a renaissance of sorts, and finding their way into other areas of the house.

To this end, the American Lighting Association  offers the following information on this latest trend in home and interior design, one that can transform your space—and your lighting.

What’s changing about today’s homes?

Homes have become less conventional and more a reflection of an owner’s personality. This means that rules of thumb are just that, and decorating can be a mix of traditional and modern.

“A lot of people are trying to make their homes a little bit more unique, so they are pulling away from chandeliers in traditional spots,” says Jeff Dross, corporate director of education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting.

So why chandeliers?

No longer do chandeliers only come dangling classic crystals and brass fixtures. Today’s chandeliers are available in a range of sizes, shapes and colors. Yet, despite the many varieties, these statement-making fixtures have some commonalities. For instance, their height and structure naturally pull the eyes up and around a room, creating movement. Color or crystals can add visual charm and appeal, as can using different materials for the fixture arms, such as iron, pewter or chrome.

“The illuminated candles and brilliant sparkle of crystal chandeliers provide multiple light points and create a vivid, less static environment,” says Mike Hadank, director retail sales of North America for Swarovski Lighting.

Unlike their ’60s and ’70s counterparts, homes today have become havens that embody rest and relaxation for owners. Master bedrooms now have vaulted ceilings and are used as reading rooms as much as they are for sleeping. Bathrooms have become larger and more spa-like, and guest rooms get just as much design attention as other rooms of the house, which means decorating these spaces can no longer be an afterthought.

“I continue to see chandeliers being used in guest powder rooms. It’s a room really designed to be purely functional, but homeowners want it to look interesting,” says Dross.

How are chandeliers changing?

Smaller light and electric sources enable lighting designers to create fixtures that are more compact in diameter, and are using newer colors and styles that are more adaptable and easily customized. In addition, proportions and center columns are changing to accommodate both tighter spaces and ceilings that range from eight to 12 feet. As overstuffed furniture becomes less popular, the scale of contemporary chandeliers works well for new streamlined spaces.

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