Ideal interiors : Enhance your home décor with chandeliers

I was very impressed recently when I visited a friend, whom I was not aware that she had such a magnificent home.  Everything was in place, but I was more fascinated by her chandeliers.
L-R : Jean Claude Van Damme lighting up. ; supermodel Kate Moss ; Kanye West smoking a cigar ; prince harry.
L-R : Jean Claude Van Damme lighting up. ; supermodel Kate Moss ; Kanye West smoking a cigar ; prince harry.

I was very impressed recently when I visited a friend, whom I was not aware that she had such a magnificent home.  Everything was in place, but I was more fascinated by her chandeliers.

Everything was placed at the right place in the house, and each was a unique piece. All the time I was in that home I was just looking at the beauty of her chandeliers.

As I looked harder, I realised that it is never wise to use a chandelier to dress up a casual house, or make a modern house look more traditional. Instead, find one that works with the decor you already have in your home.

There are different chandeliers to suit different decor styles;

• Iron chandeliers are good for a classic or antique look. Because they can be very heavy, many “iron” chandeliers are lighter-weight metal with a slightly textured black finish.

• Wood chandeliers can look rustic or contemporary.
• Crystal chandeliers offer a glittering, formal look, meant to impress.

• Antler chandeliers are a unique style made from the antlers of deer. No deer are harmed -- the antlers used in chandeliers are ones the deer have already shed and left on the ground.

• Brass chandeliers also lend a formal look, and are popular as a brightener for small spaces.

According to my friend; different chandeliers have different basic needs. For example when hanging an antique chandelier glistening with crystal or a contemporary chandelier sparkling with halogen bulbs, it’s important to keep a few basics in mind:

• If you want to hang a large chandelier that weighs more than 15 kilos, you will need to install a special ceiling box that can handle the added weight.

• Once hung, chandeliers are difficult to get to. Think about how you will clean the chandelier (they tend to be dust magnets) and replace bulbs, and consider installing a mechanism for lowering the fixture, particularly for foyer chandeliers or other multi-storey spaces.

• Whenever possible, install a dimmer switch for your chandelier, which will allow you better control of the lighting in your room.

Again, if rooms in your house are large, don’t try to save by installing small chandeliers -- it will just look silly. However, if you have low ceilings or just like the look of smaller fixtures, consider hanging two or three of them down the length of a dining table, for example. A standard rule is to add together the dimensions of your room in feet, then get a chandelier with a diameter that’s close to that number of inches

Also when hanging that decorative chandelier, don’t hang it too low, since the bulbs can create a large glare. Chandelier height depends on the style of the chandelier--crystal, simple, many-armed, elaborate.

It also depends on the height and decor of that particular room. You wouldn’t hang a small pendant chandelier near the ceiling in a simply decorated room!

A rule of thumb for crystal chandeliers: If your dining room is eight feet tall, hang the chandelier 30 to 34 inches above the table. If the ceiling is more than eight feet high, shorten that chandelier chain by an additional three inches. (You can also use a two-tier chandelier.)

The chandelier should also be higher if it’s a “bowl” style and you can’t see through the glass. In an eight-foot-high dining room, most chandeliers will hang about 30 inches above the dining room table.

Installing chandeliers can brighten and beautify living spaces, but it’s not a step to be taken lightly. Ideally, the chandeliers you choose will be part of your family’s life and home for many years. Some things to keep in mind as you plan the decor of your room:

• Before you fall in love with one of the beautiful dining-room chandeliers you see in hardware shops, think about how long you’re going to be staying in your house. If you know you’re going to be selling your house within a few years, choose something light-colored and neutral, rather than an heirloom for your children.

• Hanging chandeliers can be a tricky task if you don’t have much experience with electricity or home repair. Budget for whatever professional help and/or tools you will need.
• Pay attention to whether your chandelier requires standard bulbs, and how much they cost.

These few tips I am sure will help some of us who have been thinking about putting up chandeliers in our homes to enhance the decor.

Ends

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