Chandeliers in Unexpected Places

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A black beaded chandelier adds punch to this kitchen

Nothing warms up and personalizes your home decorating like a good dose of the unexpected - like hanging chandeliers in unusual places. It offers that little pop of surprise that elevates a room and hints that the person who put it together has taste and sensibility rather than just an eye for codified style. Lighting is one of the easiest ways to introduce the unexpected into your home décor and the right fixture in the unconventional place can be daring, whimsical or even romantic. Take the chandelier, for example. There’s virtually nothing that says tradition and stuffy convention quite like an elaborate crystal or decorative iron fixture hanging from the ceiling - and nothing that gives you quite the same pop when you pry it from its routine context.

A contemporary kitchen with the requisite stainless steel appliances and island bar suddenly takes on a happy touch of old world elegance when lit with a black-beaded chandelier. The unexpected impact is that introducing a touch of  elegance somehow warms the space and brings its clean contemporary lines into sharper focus. Who knew?

To give a bath room extra elegance, add a chandelier over the bath tub.

A hanging crystal chandelier really comes into its own when paired with an graceful standing tub and the crispness of a euro-styled bath. Add a dimmer switch and suddenly all that pristine white and gleaming nickel takes on the soft glow of romance.

A chandelier gives adult sophistication to a baby's bedroom.

A chandelier (hung out of reach) over a baby’s crib? Why not. It’s hard to imagine that a tot  wouldn’t be delighted staring at that elegant glitter. One of the things this example points out is how the impact of the hanging fixture is magnified by sympathetic pairings - in this case, a couple of wonderfully rococo chairs. If this baby doesn’t grow up with an appreciation of unconventionally stylish design, it’s certainly not mom or dad’s fault!

A chandelier add whimsy and elegance to this horse stable.

A beaded crystal draped chandelier ought to look absurd in a stable’s box stall. . .and yet. This example may be over the top, but it’s rich in what it suggests about the chandelier’s power to imply a certain formal beauty and a sense of humor.

Artist Werner Reiterer creates street art by hanging a chandelier from a light post.

If there was ever a stunning example of just how versatile an elaborately traditional chandelier can be, it’s this public art piece by Werner Reiterer with a sly sense of humor. Let’s face it, wouldn’t all our streets be better and more romantically evocative places to stroll and daydream if they were lit with such fixtures? Here’s to the romantic flexibility of formal chandeliers once freed from the foyer or dining room.  

Photo credits:  Dominio Magazine,  Nate Berkus decor,  Annie Schlechter "Room for Children" Rizzoli,  ChandiDesign,  Werner Reiterer

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  • Austrian artist Werner Reiterer has a similar outdoor chandelier exhibit at the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

    From the museum's website: "The sculpture consists of a brass chandelier connected to a bell located on the reception desk of Proof On Main restaurant. When a visitor to the restaurant rings the bell to call for a table, the chandelier begins to breathe in and out deeply while the lights simultaneously pulsate."

    More here - www.21cmuseum.org/.../reiterer-chandelier.aspx

Chandeliers in Unexpected Places