Intricate beauty, undeniable impact
Chandeliers are to other lights what palaces are to houses. Ever since the first medieval chandeliers held candles on crossed wooden beams and suspended them from the ceiling of a great hall, designers have tried to draw the eye upwards with increasingly creative, opulent, efficient, and generally spectacular ways to hang lights from ceilings. From the arabesques of Venetian soda glass to the diamond-like refractions of Bohemian crystal, they’ve built standards upon which modern-day designers have been able to expand, elaborate, and have fun with.
Check out the list below for an assortment of chandeliers that add something special to various environments. From classic to contemporary, these luminaires all capture the attention of onlookers in their own unique way.
Handblown tubes of opaque glass that rise from dark to light form the basis of this vertical chandelier meant for high-ceilinged rooms. Powered by a 40W LED and available in black, bronze, brushed brass, and polished nickel, Miller’s creation manages to be both subtle and eye-catching at once.
Though its name hearkens back to the buildings for which chandeliers were invented, Miller was inspired by the movements of the rook – or castle – in chess, which can move any distance, but like the tubes of glass projecting out from small cones of bronze, brushed brass, or polished nickel, only in straight orthogonal lines.
When chandeliers first started getting elaborate, their arms and balusters would sometimes be draped in ornamental garlands called festoons. New York designer Barlas Baylar’s Atlantis is all festoons. Highlighted in Wallpaper’s 2018 Design Awards issue for its organically marine form, its hundreds of illuminated lengths of nickel chain look like they’re not only floating, but propelling the light itself.
Where Baylar’s design is reminiscent of a sea fauna, Papi and Yaghmai’s is more floral, its flowing lines redolent of an especially elaborate kelp undulating in a current.
Diego Bassetti and Andrea Panzieri of Milan’s Studio 14 have created a nickel version of a cup running over with the Volver suspension lamp. Lit by 45W LED and also available in black nickel, gold, and bronze, it is luxurious without being ostentatious, as at home in a kitchen as a ballroom.
LED bulbs and reflectors are nested in twisted steel creating a bramble effect that marries horticultural and industrial into a unique confabulation. Amsterdam-area atelier Brand van Egmond, founded in 1989 by architect William Brand, known for its unconventional brilliance, doesn’t disappoint with Delphinium.
Coruscating steel roses in a brier of tubing, dotted with petal shaped LED bulbs and pendant crystals is as close to a hanging plant as chandeliers get, yet it’s meticulously and cleverly wrought, with happy and sad faces hidden on petals behind each rose.
Though on the face of it an homage to one of the most famous of all Dutch paintings, the design of this Brand van Egmond chandelier is anything but obvious. The basic lines reach back to Rembrandt-era copper chandeliers, and the elements of Nightwatch are flat like a painting – but in their arrangement, they form what amounts to a three-dimensional image of chandelier.
With the diffusers giving the chandelier a weighty counterbalance to the light-as-air artist herself, rendered in floral mesh, this creation proves that Kenneth Cobonpue, the industrial designer from Cebu, The Philippines, is at the top of his game.
The first Black winner of the US National Design Award in 2015, Burks has collaborated with Roche Bobois, Ligne Roset, and Harry Winston. With this chandelier from Parachilna, a Spanish company named for an Australian town, Burks has created a set of black and gold modules of anodized aluminum that can be combined in any number of configurations.
Hayón’s chandelier hangs like a concentrated snow squall, its 24 30W LED bulbs suspended by metal, ceramic, steel, and glass.
The dense collection of panels both polished and matte serve to shade, reflect, and diffuse light in this piece inspired by jewelry and architectural cladding.
A collaboration of one of the world’s foremost designers with one of the world’s most renowned makers of crystal and glass, this black crystal version of the more traditional Zenith chandelier can be hung with or without its black shades.
Starck gives himself playful rein here as he incorporates clear crystal deer-head shapes in acid yellow among 18 black and gold leaves of Murano glass. Can be customized both in colour and choice of animal.
This resplendent piece demands attention and commands a room. Available in anything from three levels to the 10 pictured here, this edifice of Baccarat crystal built on an infrastructure of hidden steel is the height of elegance and decadence.