Versailles, Buckingham Palace, Highclere Castle (the location for Downtown Abbey), the Hermitage, and Palacio Real de Madrid all have magnificent chandeliers. All around the world, chandeliers have been installed in great buildings and homes to symbolize grandeur and taste. But having a royal background (or being a Vanderbilt) is not necessary to enjoy the opulence of one. I believe you can bring that type of elegance and sophistication into any home; it’s a matter of finding the fixture that best fits your space.
For Green Isle, the home at the center of my home makeover show, we have been searching for something that has a nod towards history – with old world charm but with the functionality needed for today. This search has taken my attention everywhere I travel, and in and out of many stores and buildings for inspiration.
Lately, I’ve spent so much time looking up at these types of fixtures everywhere I go. (Apologies if I’ve done it in your house!) It’s rare today to find an antique chandelier that still holds candles. In the mid-1800’s many chandeliers were converted to gas, even many in cathedrals and other holy places; newly constructed ones were built for gas to begin with. After the switch to electricity, even some of these were converted once again. Now, I’m not looking for such a traditional one – I’m in love with the convenience of flicking a switch – but I do want the look.
Someone suggested creating one by commissioning a custom piece. There are a lot of options to consider. Should the frame be silver, gold, another metal, or even wood? Would crystal, porcelain or metallic pendants look best? Perhaps the lights themselves should be uncovered; but then again, small shades could look lovely – but then made of what material? And how many lights in total? Hmm, I think it’s best to keep looking and searching – I think the “perfect” one will suddenly speak to me.
So if you find me swinging from one it won’t be because the search has driven me mad, it will be from the desire to celebrate – I must have found the perfect one!