Functional & Decorative
A chandelier, suspended over the dining table, serves its functional purpose with decorative allure and flair, adding emphasis, sometimes drama, to the dining area. In prominent view, with typical expanse, chandeliers help to create a focal point. Dimmed, the fixture can add mood lighting.
A chandelier can add charm to a dining area:
The chandelier in this room is an antique. Image sourced from Elle Decor. Designers: Alex Papachristidis and Alen Orenbuch. Photo: Timothy Kolk.
Likewise, in the kitchen pendants lights provide task lighting in addition to playing a decorative role — adding interest, even punch. Often in this application the fixture has a low size profile. You’ll find no lack of styles available in colored glass as well as other materials.
In my quest for colorful suspension lighting, I found myself to be the proverbial ‘kid in a candy store’. Not able to restrain myself, you’ll find a ‘big bag’ of ‘candy’ below. Not just ‘candy’, the selections offer an abundance of ideas that may lead to just the right light fixture for your interior decorating project: a fixture that can add a colorful element in a dining room, great room, or kitchen area.
Chandeliers — the Many Looks
In a Traditional Vein
In traditional styling the majority of chandeliers options (with the exception of some glass options), while varied and abundant, are not in a colorful vein. I’ve found these options:
The Stellare Chandelier from Donghia in Venetian glass; color: Fieno.
1. From Design Within Reach (DWR), a Murano Glass Chandelier in red – a reproduction of a 17th-century Venetian-style.
2. This Carousel Lantern chandelier, of mid-century Hollywood inspiration in Lollipop Red wrought iron, is from Currey & Company.
3. Also from Currey & Company: the Parker Pendant, an intriguing design made of steel wire; also in Lollipop Red.
Contemporary and Modern Styles
Fun, fanciful, bold, sleek, playful — colorful contemporary ‘chandeliers’ run the gamut.
1. The Dracena S glass chandelier has a Gothic theatricality. From: Leucos. Designed by Diego Chilò. Available in two sizes and five colors. Available online at YLighting.
2. From AXO, the SP Muse Suspension is made of fabric and metal and is available in a vast range of colors. Online sources: YLighting; Lumens.
3. Created by Sander Mulder of the Netherlands, the Carat pendant lamp is made of anodized aluminum and comes in multiple “colours”.
For a bit of Big Bang impact:
The Big Bang from Foscarini Lighting has a dynamic quality that derives from its structure of large irregular planes and the play of shadow and light. Made of methacrylate, a material with a translucent quality that diffuses light, the fixture is available at YLighting.
1. The Femme Fatale from Fire Farm is available in Copper Mesh, Brass Mesh and Stainless Steel Mesh. Copper Mesh shown. Designer: Elizabeth Meredith.
2. From Tech Lighting, the Powell Street Pendant by 2 Thousand Degrees is shown in Satin Nickel with Sunrise Orange. Also available in White.
3. Agatha, shown in red, designed by Luis Eslava Studio for LZF (Spain) in 2009, is available at YLighting.
1. The Leda 6 suspension lamp, designed by Omi Halloween in 1995, is made in Italy by Artemide. I found it at Hive.
2. From the London firm of Established & Sons the Tank suspension, designed by Alexander Taylor, is made of sheet aluminum folded to mimic a pleated fabric lamp shade resulting in an industrial look. Available on line: Unica Home; YLighting.
3. From the Italian firm Foscarini, Supernova was designed by Ferruccior Laviani in 2000. The suspension lamp is shown in Multicolored lacquered aluminum. Available in Matte aluminum. Available at Hive.
Small Profile Pendants
Available in many installation options, such as track, rail, or monopoint, these smaller fixtures are typically used over kitchen counters, islands and peninsulas.
Pendants in Glass
Below is a selection of colorful glass pendants. Mostly in contemporary styling, they can be elegant, sleek, charming. Many are in the size often called ‘mini’ pendants.
Textured Glass Styles
Small-profile pendants in textured glass add an additional design element to the equation.
The Solaris S is sleek and contemporary:
The fixture was designed by Toso, Massari & Associates in 2005 and is manufactured by Leucos. Shown in Iridescent Green
Due to the historic origin of the glass techniques involved, the following fixtures are great for a vintage or rustic look.
The manufactures and further info:
1, 5, 6: Jamie Young. Available at Candelabra.
• Contemporary mercury glass, the common term for silvered glass, contains neither mercury nor silver. The technique, as I understand it, originates from the early 19th century.
• Seeded glass has its origins in the 15th century. Seeded glass softens the light emanating from the fixture.
2, 4: Tech Lighting.
3: Designed by Jean-François Crochet; imported from Italy and available at Y-Lighting.
Multi-color options are available in the fun Happy Kiss pendant:
Individually signed, this colorful crystal pendant designed by Caleb Siemon and Carmen Salazar can be found at Unica Home.
Options in Other Materials and Sizes
1. The Corona pendant from Fire Farm is available in hemp, and white, bronze and gold dupioni silk, with or without beads. Available in chandelier size as well. Bronze silk shown. Also available at Lumens.
2. Designed by Marc Sadler in 2008, and manufactured by Foscarini, the Tress Piccola suspension lamp is made of a composite material and is available in three colors: black, white, and red. Available at YLighting.
3. The Harlequin Square pendant is from Fire Farm. The material is hemp muslin.
4. From Hive, the Romeo Soft S1 and S2 pendant (reflecting the size options) was designed by Philippe Stark in 1996. The shade is made of plissé cloth. Manufactured in Italy by Flos.
Mid-Century Modern and Influence
If Mid-Century modern is your style, here are a couple of options:
1. From Ameico: Flowerpot is a Verner Panton classic from 1968 in signature orange.
2. The Corona Stack from Rejuvenation is inspired by Mid-Century modern design. Available in four fun colors; Neptune Blue shown. Chandelier version is Corona-Tri.
A Few Notes
- When selecting a suspension fixture be aware of:
• The Mounting method and options.
• The finish options of any metal parts.
• The voltage ‘method': low voltage or line voltage.
• The type of bulb the fixture uses and whether there are options. (In the industry a ‘bulb’ is called a ‘lamp'; what is referred to in the general public as a ‘lamp’ is called a ‘luminaire’ or a ‘fixture’ in the industry.)
- If you need to employ an electrician for wiring and installation:
• Be sure to get quotes and compare rates — rates can vary widely.
• Online consumer rating sites, such as Kudzu, can be helpful in finding contractors in your area.
- Additional online sources for fixtures: Arcadian Lighting; Form+Function; AffordableLamps; 1StopLighting; CSN Lighting.
- Check out retail lighting and light bulb stores in your area which may carry some of the fixtures mentioned in this post.
It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane…It’s….
…a Constellation! …The Constellation Series 2913 from Fire Farm.
Bringing to mind a folded paper plane or an origami bird, the Constellation chandelier, designed by Adam Jackson Pollock is available in four sizes (approximate as described by the manufacturer): 3ft, 6ft, 9ft, and 12ft in diameter. Yes, that’s right: feet! It gets pretty large. I can imagine one of the larger sizes filling the cavernous space in a very high-ceilinged dining area.
The metal points are made from perforated steel with “internal light diffusing petals.” The color options: Dichroic color-changing, shown, and white. As one walks around the dichroic version, the color changes dynamically, as described on the Fire Farm site.
For a bit of entertainment, and to view the fixture suspended in clusters of different sizes, watch this charming video, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, inspired and created by Fire Farm: www.youtube.com
Very fun, even to the very end!