The most dazzling statement of elegance in a home is, undoubtedly, the chandelier. With its graceful and illuminating presence, it is most often the centerpiece of a room. Chandeliers have a long history: they made their debut in the homes of society’s upper echelons during the 15th century. During that time, keeping a home lit in the evening was a huge expense and the luxury of keeping these ornate pieces ablaze with candles was reserved for the Kardashians of the age. Luckily, chandeliers have become more accessible but it’s still heart-thumping to walk into a home and catch a glimpse of a traditional crystal chandelier like this.
The late and captivating designer, Tobias Wong, built a career out of satirizing the icons of wealth so it was only a matter of time before he took on the symbolism of the chandelier. My first introduction to Wong’s work was a pristine pair of Tiffany earrings dipped in rubber. To create one of his most famous pieces, Wong dipped an entire chandelier in white industrial rubber essentially showcasing the form while muting the luxury.
Wong’s satirical take on the chandelier led him to collaborate with chandelier producers Schonbek on a project commissioned by Swarovski Crystal. Wong’s design was revolutionary in its dismantling and reconstruction of the classic chandelier. His piece gained such popularity that it’s not hard to find a knock-off of this now iconic design.
I’ve been lucky enough to have clients who allow me to create custom lighting for them. One of my clients loved Gwyneth Paltrow’s gorgeous branch chandelier but balked a little at the $37,000 price tag. We collaborated on creating a one of a kind bronze pendant with tiny sparkling crystal leaves.
Even I haven’t been able to escape the alluring clutches of the chandelier. I’m on my third dining room chandelier in almost as many years. My electrician actually rolled his eyes when I proclaimed, “this is the last time, I promise.” Here is a selection of some my current favorites in a range of styles and prices (including a $30 decal). For more info, click on the images below.