Thursday, July 18, 2019

Fitting grace

Fitting grace

How to choose the right chandelier for your home13 Jul 2019 | 10:12 AM

It is no secret that each one of us has dreamt of a home adorned with an exquisite chandelier, the crystals of which reflect a magical swirl of lights creating a magical effect.

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Vikas Gandhi

It is no secret that each one of us has dreamt of a home adorned with an exquisite chandelier, the crystals of which reflect a magical swirl of lights creating a magical effect. Chandeliers change the look and feel of any space by virtually adding another dimension to the character of a room. Today’s modern, contemporary, and transitional styles offer an ever-expanding array of chandelier designs. Choosing a chandelier, however, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Here we outline some factors that  you should consider while selecting the perfect luminaire for you home: 

Design affinity

In order to know which chandelier will fit best into the overall scheme of things, the first thing you need to do is decide/determine the overall design language of your home — is it modern, traditional, minimalist, grand. This is important as a chandelier is something you add as a design element, and therefore,  it must be in sync with its immediate environment. Just imagine a host inviting you warmly into her grand new home where the drawing room has vintage gilt-edged teak furniture and lots of rich ruby and emerald green tapestry…and as the sun goes down she flicks a switch. You look up, only to gasp — for there is a very expensive (your host would never buy anything else) chandelier that is beautiful by itself but its whiteness clashes with the warm design language of the rest of the room, immediately detracting from the upmarket-ness of the home. The right chandelier would have evoked a sense of wonder and maybe envy, but the wrong one is a very expensive mistake. So, understand the need of the space, and look for that piece that complements your room setting perfectly. 

Space available 

Once you have the design language sorted, you need to figure out the size of the chandelier that will be apt, not for you, but for the space it adorns. There is no point in trying to stuff a really large chandelier just because you are in the mood to splurge and absolutely ‘love that huge chandelier (or the great deal you got on it)’. 

On the contrary if you have a very large space a small chandelier may just get lost and go un-noticed. It’s imperative to get the proportion right, so your latest prized possession adds to the look of a room. 

Chandeliers are a great addition to decor, as long as the scale is right. They are impactful and useful in foyers, living rooms, dining rooms, and even en-suite. 

Selecting the right luminaire for the right space, however, takes some knowledge, so it’s always good to run your choice by a professional. 

Fixture family 

One way to ensure continuity in the design language is to get a whole family of lighting fixtures — if you have a beautiful ornate chandelier, your wall lamps, pendants must also follow similar lines. If the room is modern and minimalistic and has a chandelier that is more geometrical, mix-and-match the lighting fixtures from a similar family of design. It is always better to look for one with a three-dimensional volume created in a sculpture-like and functional design that can be seen from all sides and from below. The fixture can be dramatic and large and designed to be the center or corner of the space. 

You can also create layers of lights, including strips that can range from warm white lights to high-end remote-controlled RGB lights in cove areas, to downlights, pendants and spot-lights with varied beam angles that add drama to a room by creating visual interplay. Layered lighting also allows you to change the ambience according to the time and mood of the day as well as personalise and enhance the room’s character. 

If you have a special wall, or a corner, you can always focus on it using downlights or uplights especially when there is an art piece on display.

Types of crystals 

Chandeliers have always been synonymous with luxury and status. It’s the material that goes into making the chandelier that makes or breaks its tag. Whether it is Murano glass or Asfour crystal or then borosilicate, each of these have their own unique properties that lend premiumness to the chandelier and the space it occupies. The size and type of material used finally dictates the effect it has on its surrounding. For example a heavy crystal base chandelier gives a soothing and a harmonised effect to the overall ambience of a room, while a luminaire comprising translucent white finish glass emanates a brightness ideal for breakout places. 

Whatever the choice, a chandelier makes a statement about you and your home and can range from the sculptural to handcrafted to modern — but each adds drama in its own way. If your design style is eclectic and you can’t identify a particular theme, concentrate on the mood you want to create and choose a chandelier that fits that mood.

You can love or hate it, but you can’t ignore a chandelier. So choose one carefully.

— The writer is Senior VP, Lighting, Usha International

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