Chandeliers used to be associated with grand entryways and formal dining rooms. Rarely did they show up outside these traditional settings. But today’s homes find the fancy fixtures shining in unusual places, from the powder room to the master bath, mudroom, nursery or bedroom.
Janet and Frank Kafoure of Zionsville, Ind., eschewed traditional dome lighting in favor of chandeliers, pendants and other whimsical illumination.
An antique chandelier welcomes the Kafoures when they step into their mudroom. A beaded fixture lights the guest powder room. An elaborate chandelier sits over the master bathtub. Two chandeliers light the master closet. The bedroom that Janet decorated for her two nieces features a chandelier with a girly glass daisy motif, adding a touch of childlike elegance to a bedroom that’s been designed to resemble a dollhouse setting.
“I don’t own one traditional ceiling globe,” Kafoure said, pointing out the different fixtures in her home. “I’m sort of addicted to this kind of lighting.”
Indianapolis homeowners are more than willing to stretch their design imaginations and move chandeliers outside of the entryway, says Rebecca Randolph, a lighting specialist with Indiana Lighting. Higher ceilings and larger rooms mean there’s plenty of space for a hanging light fixture these days.
The master bathroom is a popular spot, with the chandelier adding a touch of indulgence for those pampering soaks, Randolph says. Kitchens are enjoying the chandelier trend as well. Randolph likes to top islands with one or two smaller chandeliers.
“It adds drama,” Randolph said. “Depending on the one that you choose, it can be an art piece or a focal point. Plus, it also adds more light, because it’s usually three or four or even more sockets, and each socket can go to 60 watts apiece.”
Go toward the light
Dana and Sam Huston of Fishers incorporated chandeliers into their home’s interior design, installing them in the laundry room, powder room, office, master bath, daughter’s bedroom and Dana Huston’s private office. The Old World-style chandelier in the office adds a fashionable flair to the room where she works as a regional vice president for Arbonne International.
“It’s just very feminine and classy,” said Huston. “I wanted something sophisticated but feminine.”
Try something new
Jeffrey Dross, senior product manager for Kichler Lighting, a Cleveland-based lighting manufacturer, is thrilled to hear these stories. He encourages homeowners to be daring when it comes to chandelier placement.
Chandelier manufacturers realize that not every home boasts high ceilings and spacious rooms. They’ve come out with smaller alternatives, known in the industry as mini chandeliers. Kichler has its own brand, Chandelettes, which are about 15 inches in diameter, as opposed to the typical chandelier that can be 27 inches or more, Dross says. The smaller versions are just as ornate and detailed as their larger counterparts, so there’s no need to sacrifice elegance for space.
“They look really impressive, but they’re just very tiny,” Dross said.
Today’s chandeliers come in a variety of colors and finishes, with dark finishes remaining popular over the last couple of years, Dross says. But lighter colors are starting to re-emerge on the color palette. Nickel continues to be a strong finish, offering a silvery satin finish. With gray emerging as the new neutral in interior design, Dross expects nickel will remain strong.
While most people associate chandeliers with a hanging chain, there’s no fast rule that says they have to hang, says Ann Jansons, selections coordinator for Gradison Building Corp., which built the Kafoure home. Some chandeliers come ready to be flush mounted on the ceiling. Others can hang from just two or three links and still look fashionable, she says.
The large variety means that chandeliers can be considered for almost any room, from the great room to the closet.
“Run the gamut of whatever you want,” Jansons said. “Do something fun and unexpected in those places.”