Friday, 6 July 2012 9:00 AM
There was a time when a chandelier was considered a bit old fashioned.
No longer, chandeliers are back.
To celebrate we've caught up with the folks over at Roast Designs, who've given their top ten tips on buying a chandelier.
1. Commission or retail
Grayson Perry recently said, ‘The future is bespoke.’ (BBC Radio 4) and we couldn’t agree more! We are delighted that there seems to be a move away from a disposable culture to the considered acquisition of individual items that will endure and be treasured for years to come.
Commissioning a chandelier is not an inexpensive option, but it is not necessarily the most expensive either. By commissioning a piece you will never regret your decision - you will acquire a beautiful chandelier which perfectly fits your needs.
2. Which space or room
Artistic lighting defines and creates a beautiful space. We have installed huge pieces in stairwells, sitting rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and bedrooms and even added the “Je ne sais quoi” to the bathroom of a French chateau!
Because chandeliers can work in every room of your home, our advice would be to choose carefully for maximum enjoyment - or you may just find yourself taking many more baths or holding dinner parties in your hallway.
3. Where in the room
The convention is to locate a chandelier in the centre of a room, beneath a ceiling rose, opposite a large mirror and above a fireplace. We love seeing chandeliers in unexpected places too however. If you love bigger, more dramatic designs then you may wish to consider installing your chandelier by a corner, perhaps above a favourite armchair.
It is also possible to protect a chandelier by safeguarding the space beneath it - for example with a coffee table, chair, stereo etc. This has been surprisingly successful for clients with children who tend to treat their living room as a sports-pitch!
Now is a good time to define your budget. How much you wish to spend will obviously impact on your options.
Define your ideal price range: What is the minimum amount you would expect to spend for the chandelier of your dreams? What is the absolute maximum you would be prepared to spend? Within this range what is your preferred spend?
Most people start by deciding (or trying to decide!) the style they want for their chandelier. There is certainly a very wide range of options. The traditional chandelier has enjoyed resurgence and such familiar pieces certainly add glamour and beauty to a room. They are undoubtedly statement pieced.
Whilst traditional chandeliers are often the first option people think about when deciding to splash out on a centrepiece for their home, they are far from the only option.
The range of contemporary chandeliers is also huge and if you are looking for something a little different you can choose designs incorporating cups and saucers, deer antlers, paper, umbrellas, coral, spectacles - the sky really is the limit.
The one thing we have learned about size is that bigger is generally better. We have never been asked to return to make a client’s chandelier smaller but we have returned a few times to extend a piece (especially where a chandelier had been positioned over a dining table, a situation in which clients are often cautious of size).
You also need to be confident that the chandelier is safe. Consider how high it needs to be, ensuring head clearance is important.
Scale drawings will help you visualise the impact of a variety of different sized pieces and your designer should be happy to provide these. Or you could just use a big cardboard box!
When you invest in something special, you need to be sure you will enjoy it for many years to come.
With a chandelier, the colours are very important:
• Do you choose neutral colours that you are confident you can live with forever?
• Or will the space be neutral giving huge scope for colour in the chandelier?
• Is the room so eclectic that the subtlety of a neutral chandelier will be lost?
Let your imagination run wild. We were very flattered when a client saw an early press image of our violet blue design and created her whole kitchen around it. She is now quietly delighted when people tell her how well the chandelier works in the space!
Think about the effect of the chandelier both when it is illuminated and when it is not.
• How much light do you need the chandelier to cast?
• Is the chandelier the only source of light in the space or does it need to work with other lighting sources?
• Do you want to achieve a warming, cooling or neutral feel for the room?
• Will your chandelier reflect or absorb colour and light?
• Which effects do you like in terms of quality of light/shadows reflected on walls and ceilings?
• Will your chandelier offer beauty and/or interest when it is not illuminated?
• How easy (or not!) will it be to clean the chandelier?
It is important to consider:
10. Speak to us
We couldn’t end this guide without suggesting that the one thing you should definitely do if you’re considering buying a statement chandelier is to speak to us at Roast Designs. We’ll be delighted to help.
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