Chandeliers, long associated with luxury, today are popping up in a wide range of prices to bring warmth and elegance into nearly any home...
Chandeliers, long associated with luxury, today are popping up in a wide range of prices to bring warmth and elegance into nearly any home.
Some interior designers see a resurgence in their popularity as a response to the prevalence of recessed lighting in contemporary homes.
“The element of sparkle is what is lacking from recessed cans,” says Los Angeles interior designer Lara Fishman, who uses chandeliers frequently. “It’s that sparkle that elevates the environment and gives the room more of a layered effect.”
Today’s designs run the gamut — from elaborate, contemporary styles with bronze finishes and glass shades to petite chandeliers in distressed white finishes with pink shades.
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The glass on chandeliers ranges from sparkling crystal to blown glass. It comes in a rainbow of hues.
Smaller chandeliers with three bulbs start around $150-$200. At most lighting stores, there seems to be plenty to pick from in the $300-$500 range. And if money is no object, there are the crème de la crème chandeliers that cost thousands.
Here are some chandelier tips and resources:
Size and purpose: Consider the length of the fixture: How far down will it hang? Is it surface-mounted? Do you want it to be decorative or functional? In a baby’s room, a chandelier may be used for sparkle, but in a larger room, it may need to be brighter.
Scale: The dimensions of a room are an easy way to determine the maximum size of a chandelier. As a general rule, a 12-by-12 room would work best with a fixture with a 24-inch diameter; and an 8-by-8 room would accommodate one with a 16-inch diameter.
Rooms with vaulted ceilings and two-story foyers can accommodate larger chandeliers.
No ammonia: “If it’s a crystal chandelier, there is no easy way to clean it,” says Peter Manukyan, owner of Filament Lighting in Los Angeles, which specializes in the restoration of old fixtures. Spray cleaners that contain ammonia can hurt the metal parts of fixtures, he says. They can also affect wiring and sockets.
Vinegar and soap: Clean removable parts with dish detergent or, better yet, vinegar and water. Wipe down immovable parts with a good cloth.
Maintenance: Smoking and cooking can leave a film and attract dust. Dust regularly or use canned air — the same kind used for computer keyboards — to keep the chandelier clean.
Retailers: Most lighting stores and home-improvement centers have chandeliers. Call your local retailer for information.
If you’re not on a budget or if you just want to see examples of high-end chandeliers up close, visit Kusak Cut Glass Works (1911 22nd Ave. S., Seattle; 206-324-2931 or 800-426-9347; www.kusak.com). The Kusaks have been in the crystal business since 1914. The shop, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, features examples of fine glass, including chandeliers.
Flea markets and salvage yards: They’re good resources not only for old chandeliers, but also for parts.
Compiled from The Los Angeles Times, The Courier-Journal and Seattle Times staff