I lived a relatively normal childhood. My parents kept a tidy home and tried to be current with their furnishings. I am of German descent, so cleanliness was a virtue in my parents’ house. It was easy to check and see that everything was spotless as my Mom and Dad had the habit of putting 75 or 100 watt light bulbs in every socket – in every ceiling fixture, in every room. My former aversion to chandeliers and overhead lighting in general stems from the fact that you could get “sunburned” while stretched out on the floor watching TV in my parents' living room. The room was that well lit.
I believe many baby boomers experienced a similar upbringing. There was a period of time when overhead lighting was frowned-upon in domestic interiors. Chandeliers in particular acquired a bad rap over the years. Grand ceiling spaces once reserved for chandeliers became the domain of recessed lighting.
My personal "I-saw-the-light" moment happened during a trip to Paris more than a decade ago. I was staying in a quaint hôtel particulier near the Louvre, and it had the most magnificent chandeliers. Perhaps it was being in the famed City of Light, perhaps it was because I was on vacation, but I have been enamored with chandeliers every since.
Traditionally, chandeliers have been large, ornate, multi-armed light fixtures dripping with faceted crystal ropes and drops. These dust-collecting behemoths typically graced dining room ceilings, and large entryways and foyers. While these classic chandelier forms still exist, this iconic light fixture has recently experienced a rebirth. New materials and new shapes have made chandeliers cool again.
One of the first reincarnations of traditional chandeliers happened with the introduction of color. Imaginative designers infused glass with bold new colors, creating sleeker versions of historic designs. These designs often pared down or completely eliminated crystal drops and ropes. The red chandelier is a great example of this style. Clean lines pay homage to the classic chandelier form, while the vivid red gives it a much more contemporary aesthetic.