Monday, May 25, 2009

Types Of Traditional Dining Room Chandeliers

A traditional chandelier can become the focal point of your dining room.

Chandeliers add a formal look to a traditional dining room. Because chandeliers have been a mainstay in dining rooms for hundreds of years, there are many types to choose from. Although chandeliers have been used since ancient Egyptian times, the modern chandelier as we know it was originally invented for French King Louis XIV. The chandeliers in his court held candles; in fact, the word "chandelier" means "candle holder" in French. Today, chandeliers are much more user friendly. With the flip of a switch, your dining room can sparkle with dozens or even hundreds of beautiful lights. Does this Spark an idea?

Candle Chandelier

Candle chandeliers create an intimate ambience.

Before electric lights were common, chandeliers held pillar or taper candles. Some of these candle chandeliers had small lampshades over the candles to keep them from being blown out if a draft blew through the room. Today, many electric chandeliers use this same theme. The light bulbs may be shaped like candle flames, and the bulbs rest on top of thin shafts that look like candlesticks. You may also see little lampshades over the light bulbs. Candle chandeliers add a very formal look to a dining room.

Victorian/Crystal Chandeliers

Crystal chandeliers reflect natural light from nearby windows.

During the Victorian Era (just before the turn of the century), decor leaned toward the highly ornate. To match the heavily decorated fringed draperies and pattern-heavy wallpapers, chandeliers became more complicated. Chandelier makers started adding crystal and glass pendants to hang down from the branches of chandeliers. These crystals reflect the light from the chandelier and cast light off in all directions in the room. Crystal chandeliers have an ethereal look.

Wrought Iron Chandeliers

Wrought iron chandeliers have a heavy presence.

Originating in Mexico, wrought iron chandeliers have a heavier look than crystal or candle chandeliers. Wrought iron chandeliers come in many shapes and sizes. They may have ornate filigrees or be very simple and staid. Some have almost a Gothic look that would work well in a very traditional dining room. Be careful with the size of wrought iron chandeliers because their visual weight can easily dominate a room if there aren't other dark-colored focal points.

Venetian Glass Chandeliers

Venetian glass chandeliers can be quite dramatic.

On the island of Murano in Italy, Venetian glass chandeliers have been made for hundreds of years. Legend has it that a monk in a Benedictine monastery experimented with blowing glass and turned his experiments into chandeliers. The blown glass is combined with swirling metalwork in bronze, gold or silver to create several-tiered designs. The price is usually dependent on how complicated the metalwork is, but genuine Venetian glass chandeliers are very expensive. There are many imitations, however, that are still beautiful and much more affordable.

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