After my contribution to an article in the month of August, Special Features journalist for Deccan Herald, Ruth D Souza contacted me again the next month for inputs on her next feature. This is in a Q& A format.
Here are my questions for a story on chandeliers.
1. How relevant are chandeliers in the current residential design scenario.
Chandeliers are still relevant and current in every home owner’s lighting design scenario. As much as Chandeliers as an industry has seen change, in make, size, finish and design, the relevance of it in residential design is still current.
The preference of ‘modern chandeliers’ is most seen with lesser components with the design modulated to suit apartment living rooms, instead of the double-height bungalows for which they were originally designed.
It adds infinite charm and glamour to a design scheme.
2. With the shrinking size of homes compared to yester-year what kind of homes would you say they are best suited for chandeliers, in terms of proportion.
Nowadays chandeliers are made for smaller homes and rooms. They are sized to be the focal point in living rooms and bedrooms, and often even bathrooms. The prevalence of crystal chandeliers is lesser, but the basic design has been mimicked in glass, stainless steel and paper. The shape alludes to the grandness of the item when they were probably five times the size of modern chandeliers with usually over 100 separate parts per piece.
Most homes that are designed by designers will feature atleast 3-5 such pieces that act as focal points of individual rooms. I will admit to using them myself, in different materials and finishes and sizes, as they serve very well to finish the look of the room.
With the wide variety of designs that are available nowadays both in shape and materials and finish, it is not uncommon to see atleast 2 pieces in every home, even a simple 3 bedroom flat. I can say though that there is a preference for pieces that are cheaper in terms of maintenance. Not really price.
3. Where can chandeliers be used in a home for best results
Chandeliers are used primarily in living rooms, i.e. if the living & dining room is L-shaped, a similar or same piece can be used as the main focal elements in the living and dining room ceilings’. The shape and its derivative piece can also be used as a floor lamp in one corner of the room.
They also can be used in Master bedrooms to add the requisite drama and glamour if so desired by the clients. We have even used them in Master en-suites where a certain look was desired.
I will admit that it is favoured in villa projects, with more variety of chandeliers now being available for selection. Here they can be used in entrances, living and dining rooms, family rooms, and master bedrooms. They are also used to great effect if there are any double-height spaces that connect the different floors of the building.
4. How do you choose a chandelier
The choice of a chandelier is often ruled by budgetary concerns, but there is no need to fear. There is a chandelier for every budget now. It is important to understand the space under purview.
- To understand the proportions of the room is critical. Size does matter. There has to be a co-relation between the piece you select and the space you select it for. Understand the proportion of the space.
- Select the design of the piece based on the concept of the room. It normally should either match the concept or be a contrast to it. For eg: a room that is ultra-glamorous in design can be outfitted with an extravagant piece of glass and crystal and SS as the crown in the jewel. Conversely, with a simpler more ‘homey’ concept for a room or an industrial-Minimalist theme for the room, the same extravagant piece may be selected to work as a contrast and thereby allow the piece to stand out in full-glory.
- The materials of the piece should also be thought of. Like the previous point, you should either go for a material that is already present in the space, thereby presenting one homogeneous design or go for a contrast and play materials against each other, for eg: the simplicity of Stainless steel in a room of rich fabrics and upholstery, the wonder of beveled glass and bronze detailing in a minimalist room of exposed brick/ concrete cladding, the evocative paper chandeliers against a stone cladded wall, a ceramic confectionary piece in a minimalist white design, the examples are many.
5. Is there such a thing as easy-maintenance chandelier
Thanks to the wonder of modern design and technology, chandeliers today can be easy-to-maintain. There still are elaborate pieces that have over a 100 separate parts that make up the whole, but there are also simpler designs that allude to the glamour of erstwhile chandeliers whilst being of easy-to-maintain materials such as paper, single-piece chandeliers of glass, Stainless Steel, SS and glass, other metals such as Copper and Bronze, Ceramic etc. The options available, not so extensive in Bangalore, but definitely in Mumbai and Delhi allow every home-owner to have that one focal chandelier in their house, irrespective of their budget.
The definition of a chandelier says: ‘A branched, decorative lighting fixture that holds a number of bulbs or candles and is suspended from a ceiling.’ It does not always have to be branched in the traditional idea of successive steps, either ascending or descending in terms of size and shape, as nowadays the same idea is conveyed through design and form.
This is the unedited version of the inputs given to a Feature Journalist for the Deccan Herald.
The link to the article that appeared on Deccan Herald on 27th September, 2013 is here: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/359505/light-up-show-stopper.html