Chandeliers With Flair: From Totally Traditional To Definitely Modern

crystal chandelier close up

Chandeliers have been giving us light for centuries. When it comes to a stylish chandelier, are you a traditionalist or a modernist?


I used to have a love affair with chandeliers as a child. I loved pausing historical movies when the camera panned down from the ceiling unto the dancers, catching the light from a magnificent chandelier heavy with ornate crystals and real, flaming candles.

There’s something quite regal about this ornamental piece of lighting. For a long time a sign of wealth and power, the chandelier is now part of our every day life, though. Some retain their traditional, candle-like shape (without the actual flame, though, thank God!) and others have gone through a modern transformation.

Let’s have a look at some of the current trends when it comes to chandeliers.

Traditional chandeliers are still in

Even though we’re way past the ballrooms of Versailles, the traditional chandelier with plenty of crystal garlands and two or three levels of candles is still quite popular.

A traditional chandelier will add sophistication and flair to any room. Although it’s usual to have them in the kitchen, some homeowners have installed them in their living rooms or even their bathrooms. (Way to take a bath in style!)

Of course, traditional chandeliers work better with traditional decor. They suit rooms with a stately, ornate style, such as elegant dining rooms or large living rooms meant to entertain. Pair with damasked fabric, lush carpets or precious wood floors and Chesterfields.

glass chandelier close up

Try a minimalist chandelier

If you like the idea of a chandelier, but not so much its baroque look, go for a minimalist chandelier.

A minimal chandelier keeps the general shape and features of a traditional chandelier, but have far fewer candlesticks and crystal garlands. One row of candles strung along a single chain of crystal is my idea of a minimalist chandelier.

It still looks elegant, but it doesn’t have the heaviness of a full-on traditional chandelier. If your style is a little pared down but still with traditional influences, the minimalist chandelier is perfect for you. Use it in the kitchen or the living room; it even works well for a bedroom.

modern chandelier candlesPair this chandelier with bright and/or dramatic decor, or use it to give a touch of elegance to your minimal style. Often, this type of chandelier is part of the decor, not its focal point.

Modern chandeliers make a statement

As you can expect of modern designers, of course, the chandelier has undergone a modern rethinking.

The modern chandelier is inspired by the shape and style of traditional chandeliers, but interprets light and movement in different ways.

For example, modern chandeliers may feature stainless steel branches with light in crystal bubbles. It might look like planets orbiting a centre, or an explosion stilled at the right moment. It might use an expected color, like lime green, or unusual materials, like driftwood or industrial copper.

rustic kitchen chandelier granite countertops

Modern chandeliers exist in all shapes, sizes and colors. Therefore, it’s hard to give specific instructions on how to use them. Of course, you should first go with taste: if you like the shape or style of a specific piece, it’s probably for a good reason.

Then you should match the style with your decor. There are industrial chandeliers, rustic chandeliers, eclectic chandeliers. See if you can match materials used in the chandelier to materials in your home; matching colors work too.

As long as the chandelier reflects your tastes and your style, it’ll suit any room you decide to use it in.

Light, multiplied

I think what I like the most about chandeliers is how they multiply and enhance light. It’s less kitsch than a mirror ball!

This light keeps us awake long past sundown, talking at the dinner table or dancing the night away in the living room. Ever watchful, chandeliers cascade light from above to illuminate our activities, like we’re not alone. The light can be soft or stark, muted or naked, but it’s always present.

No matter your style, a chandelier will bring light and style to whatever room you choose to install it in!

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