Chandeliers serve two very important purposes—to light up a room and serve up eye candy. For this #TipTuesday, three interior designers share their thoughts on chandelier selection, placement and splurges. And now, we present you with some seriously enlightening design advice…
Profession: Owner, Caroline Kopp Interior Design, Westport, CT
What is your rule of thumb when it comes to choosing a chandelier? Knowing the right scale is the most important factor in choosing a chandelier. The size of the chandelier needs to be considered within the context of the whole room—that includes obvious factors like ceiling height, but also the scale of the furniture in the space. Going bigger with lighting is a great way to add some impact and drama to a room. One of the biggest mistakes I see in design is when a light fixture is too small; it’s such a missed opportunity.
What is the main challenge you find when selecting a chandelier? Helping clients visualize how a chandelier is going to work in their room can be challenging. I find that mocking up the dimensions of the chandelier helps my clients to understand what the drop should be and how much space the fixture will occupy.
Are there any rooms that always call for a chandelier? If you have the ceiling height for it, a great light fixture adds interest and a sense of luxury to most any room. Nothing creates ambience like excellent lighting. The trick is to use more than one light source in a room and to always have a dimmer. I like to have a chandelier and some small downlights on dimmers, which allows for many options for creating different moods in your space.
What was the best chandelier splurge a client has ever approved? I love Apparatus Studio—their Cloud chandelier (pictured below) is definitely worth a splurge. I showed one to a bachelor and I was so happy that he trusted me with this unexpected choice. Installed in his very linear, manly space, the chandelier adds soft organic forms and a sense of lightness. It’s such a fantastic focal point in what might have otherwise been a predictable room.
I also encourage clients to embrace the new LED lighting technology, as it allows for cool and unusual forms that are very of the moment. Lighting is prone to design trends, so it’s worth it to invest in artisan pieces that you don’t see everywhere. They stand the test of time after the trend dies down, and most importantly, the craftsmanship ensures a long lifespan.
Profession: Owner, Sullivan Design Studio, Menlo Park, CA
What is your rule of thumb when it comes to choosing a chandelier? When it comes to choosing a chandelier, scale and style are crucial. It’s important to establish how glamorous the room will be. Chandeliers should make a statement—they should have a strong point of view and ideally be something original that you haven’t seen before and will not tire of over time.
What is the main challenge you find when selecting a chandelier? While we love custom fixtures, they are not budget friendly and generally have a long lead time. That said, even when shopping retail, we seek to source unique solutions that will endure the test of time.
Are there any rooms that always call for a chandelier? A dining room cannot be complete without a chandelier!
What was the best chandelier splurge a client has ever approved? To complete our clients’ dining room, we helped them select the Jewel HL 27 Chandelier from YLighting. With its delicate crystal drops and floral motif, this fixture is an elegant way to bring the outdoors in.
Profession: Owner, Ginger Barber Interior Design, Houston
What is your rule of thumb when it comes to choosing a chandelier? I always consider the style and scale of the room when choosing a chandelier. It is so key to make sure it’s an appropriate size and proportioned within the room correctly. In addition to scale, I find quality to be just as important.
What is the main challenge you find when selecting a chandelier? One of the biggest challenges I face when selecting a chandelier is scale. It’s so important to have the right proportions in any room.
Are there any rooms that always call for a chandelier? I always think an entry stairwell and dining room make for the perfect chandelier spot. The stairwell and dining table frame any room and the chandelier can make or break these important spaces.
What was the best chandelier splurge a client has ever approved? What a splurge! I remember one pair of overscaled, simple Italianate chandeliers that were a challenge but just splendid. It was very difficult to find a pair, especially for this huge, oversized room.