Let’s face it. Most new homes today come with some pretty dull lighting. The ubiquitous “mushroom lights” dot every corridor with their yellow dim glow while bronzed builder-grade fixtures and fans hang drearily in the center of the common spaces and bedrooms. Even some of the most expensive properties can feel like a time warp to the Mediterranean obsession of the early 2000s, or a trip to a soap opera set. While these standard lights get the job done and sell the house, they do not (usually) fit the décor of its future occupants.
Truthfully, there are no 100% iron clad rules for picking the right lighting for you and your home. It is a personal decision that must take into account a number of intertwined factors to include the space, the existing décor, and the personality of the occupant. The below are some guidelines that you can use to make an educated decision about what type of lighting is best for you and your lifestyle.
The Sputnik/Urchine Chandelier
If you love the Madmen era or have a futuristic taste, this is the right chandelier for you. While it can go in just about any room, I find that it really works best in smaller, more-intimate spaces like offices or family rooms. There is definitely a masculine side to this fixture that makes it perfect for a refined man cave or a dark-paneled study. That being said, it can also suit more feminine tastes, particularly if a lighter option with more crystal is chosen. You can even pair smaller sputniks for use in your dining room or kitchen as over-the-counter/table pendants if you’re looking to make a statement. Don’t be intimidated by the retro, mid-century look. I have an urchine-style sputnik in my own office that goes marvelously with the space’s muted glam décor.
This piece is a great go-to for the dining room or over a kitchen island. Don’t be misled into thinking that the word “rectangular” means dull. There are a wide variety of stunning rectangular chandeliers that are anything but boring. Keep in mind that you will need to have a well-placed electrical receptacle to use a rectangular chandelier as you cannot expect to swag the fixture like you can with other types of lights. This fixture may also work well in a living room if you have a rectangular coffee table to suspend it over and a lower ceiling height.
These lights have a modern, functional vibe to them that makes them perfect for spaces of activity, namely the kitchen and dining room. Two to three well-spaced pendants of the same kind provide excellent lighting for kitchen islands and dining room tables alike. There are pendants available in both a clean, modern minimalist style or ones that are plated in glamorous gold and chrome hues and dripping with crystal. Task lighting, like pendants, hangs long and low but tends to be more muted in its appearance while concentrating light on the peripheries of the room over work spaces. Examples of this would be in a home-school room or a food prep area.
Imperial Modern Crystal Pendant Chandelier
When you think of chandeliers, this is probably the style that comes to mind. The Maria Theresa chandelier has its origins in the palaces of 18th century imperial Austria, bearing the name of its most famous royal advocate. Over the centuries, candles, whale oil, and gas eventually gave way to electric bulbs. What has not changed is the stunning and timeless look. This fixture style is not for every home or even every room. If your space and furniture are sufficiently glamorous and stylish to begin with, or if they have traditional vibes, then this may be the light for you. These chandeliers are perfect for grand entryways, living rooms, and expansive ballrooms in both residential and commercial environments.
Empire II Crystal Chandelier
If you prefer something a bit more modern but in the same vein as the traditional Maria Theresa, check out some of these chain tassel and orb chandeliers that incorporate the very best of both worlds.
Juliette Iron Orb Chandelier
Based on the traditional style, but with a modern twist, these chandeliers are excellent for bedroom and living spaces. These fixtures come in a variety of styles with some dripping with crystal teardrops and others sporting smoked glass panes. Some round chandeliers double as fans, or “fandoliers.” These exquisite pieces allow you to have your cake and eat it too by having an amazing looking chandelier that unveils its hidden fan blades at the push of a button.
Fernanda New Modern Chandelier
Last but certainly not least, the most stunning of them all (in my opinion): the branch chandelier. This piece takes lighting to the highest levels of artistic design. Branch chandeliers express forms found in nature such as icicles, flowers, and tree branches. As you can see in the example below, this chandelier style would look wonderful as a conversation piece in a living or dining room. These fixtures are most at home in spaces that mix contemporary and traditional elements.
Finaly Gold Icicle Chandelier