Intricate And Dramatic Chandelier Designs And Their History
The glamour and elegance that chandeliers bring into our homes has become something that we take for granted. But it wasn’t always like this. The first chandeliers were nothing more than two pieces of wood tied together to form a cross with spikes at the end that held the candles. They may seem very simple now but back then they were only used in churches and large gathering places which pretty much means chandelier lighting was a symbol of status and wealth right from the beginning.
The term “chandelier” comes from French where it was adapted from Latin and it basically means “candle holder” which was an accurate description of the item at first but later the sense was lost. Chandeliers evolved from being very simple and primarily functional to being more ornate as the materials and the production techniques improved over time. Initially made of wood, chandeliers then also became available in metal, glass and crystal.
During the 18th century, glass chandeliers were being created by Venetian glassmakers and by Bohemians. It was also during this period that the baroque and rococo styles emerged, the latter being defined by lots of leaves, flowers, garlands and other decorative elements, usually made of bronze. Russian chandeliers then created their own styles, being identifiable by the colored glass.
With the industrial revolution, decorative objects (chandeliers included) became available to more people. When the electric light bulb was invented the designs and structure of chandeliers changed and designers started using completely new ideas and finding inspiration in nature. In 1965 glassmaker Daniel Swarovski entered the chandelier business and turned these light fixtures into eye-catching decor elements.
As they started growing in size, chandeliers became more extravagant and illumination became their secondary function. This made them mainly decorative. Today, modern chandeliers are just as much decorations as they are light sources, with exceptions on both sides. We’re now living in a time when it’s possible to find any type of chandelier variation you desire, whether it’s minimalist, contemporary, rustic, vintage, made of wood, of metal, glass or with any other particularities.
Designed using techniques passed down generation after generation, the Rezzonico chandeliers have a rich history that goes back to the 17th century when the Rezzonico family, one of the richest in Venice, asked a glassmaker to create an impressive ballroom chandelier that would show off their status and wealth. Ever since then, the Murano chandeliers created by Gianni Seguso recreate that magnificent style. The chandeliers you see here are handmade in Murano.
This is the Atlantis chandelier, a shimmering beauty with a vibrant and unique design inspired by the beautiful energy of the ocean. The chandelier features hundreds of nickel chains draped over the frame which create an organic, cascading effect. Every chandelier is made using almost 3 miles of chain handcrafted by master Italian artisans.
The Stream chandelier is also designed using huge amounts of chain. It has three cascading tiers that use more than 3 km of metal chain and, as its dramatic look suggests, this is not by any means a cheap chandelier, especially if you want the limited edition gold-plated version. Naturally, the chandelier becomes a focal point no matter where or how you display it.
The Tesoro chandelier is the type of light fixture you would display above a staircase or in a room with an extra high ceiling. The chandelier features a metal frame covered in strings of handmade Murano glass drops that have irregular forms and various different color tones. The light bulbs fit inside custom-made glass covers. This beautiful crystal chandelier comes in two sizes.
Rectangular chandeliers are excellent choices for the dining room. They can be paired with rectangular dining tables and they can look very elegant. This one is a two-tier chandelier from Bella Figura created using square-cut Murano glass. It can look exquisite in dining rooms but also in kitchens, above islands or bars.
The Pentagon chandelier also has a rectangular shape. It’s a contemporary ceiling light which can be displayed above dining tables, kitchen islands, breakfast bars and peninsulas. Also, its elongated form can emphasize the size and shape of a room or complement other design elements present in the space.
It looks stunning and impressive and you can only make the most of its beauty if you have a double-height ceiling or if you display it on a staircase hallway. Keep in mind that such a chandelier could easily overpower a small room so design the rest of the decor accordingly. The Waterfall chandelier is eye-catching but also quite simplistic.
The classic version of the Pentagon chandelier has been reinterpreted here and transformed into a stylish drum chandelier able to fit beautifully in a lot of modern and contemporary spaces. The design is versatile and glamorous, taking advantage of the inclination towards geometric patterns that these styles show a preference for.
Simple, sleek and modern, the Hyde Park Chandelier has a steel frame that holds a set of drum shades with diffusers available in more than 200 silk colours. The overall design has the flair and charm needed to brighten up a contemporary living room and to add a warmth touch to its decor.
The Concertina chandelier is a modern light fixtures defined by surprising contrasts. It has a round body which offers diffuse and pleasant light decorated with a series of brass V-shaped strips that resemble wooden tree branches.
All three chandeliers displayed here are beautiful and each one has a special something that makes it stand out from the others. Starting from the left, we have the Bond Street chandelier that puts together a circular brass frame and a series of clear lucite rods in various different diameters and lengths. Then comes the Curzon Street chandelier which has a rectangular shape with curved ends, ideal for rooms with low ceilings or for dining spaces. The one on the right is the Villanova chandelier decorated with tiers of Murano glass drops.
The juxtaposition of the glass panels gives the Gateaux chandelier a really sculptural and eye-catching look while the proportions allow it to become a focal point in double-height spaces. You can use this light fixture to add drama to a room without creating an overwhelming look.
This is Annello, a crystal chandelier that can easily fit in almost any modern or contemporary interior decor. Its design is made up of three circular elements decorated with clear cut crystal bricks installed on a polished stainless steel frame.
Designs such as the one featured by the Pavuk chandelier showcase the intricacy that these light fixtures reached over the years and the journey from purely functional to aesthetically pleasing and extravagant beauty.
Similarly, the Angelus chandelier has a highly graphical and intricate design guaranteed to stand out. We’d imagine this black chandelier in an industrial-style living space or in a double-height hallway or stairwell with beautiful architectural elements such as a vaulted ceiling or arched windows.
With a name like Champs-Elysees, it’s easy to guess where the inspiration for this chandelier came from. Or is it? The design is inspired by the Champs-Élysées bowl designed in 1951 by Marc Lalique and features delicate leaves reminiscent of the beautiful trees on the famous boulevard.