Written by Serena Berger
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For some, the idea of a chandelier conjures up the opulent excesses of The Phantom of the Opera or the wealthy society of Europe in days past. Glistening crystals dangle and catch the light of many tiny bulbs, illuminating a room with warm bright light. There is really nothing like an ornate chandelier to command attention in an entrance way with a high ceiling--and if you choose to decorate with one, chances are it will be the focal point of your design.

There are, however, more modest chandeliers that can be incorporated into any design scheme in any room. From the elaborate and gothic to the spare and sleek, a chandelier is really any hanging light fixture with multiple bulbs. A simple wood or wrought iron chandelier can add warm light to a den or library without seeming over-the-top. A smaller chandelier with Swarovski crystal drops can perfect a romantic bedroom, whether you have a mahogany four post bed with gossamer hangings or a simple oak bed frame and down comforter.

Chandeliers Can Be Used in Any Room You Love

Sometimes the juxtaposition of disparate elements brings a room to life in a way that more expected choices would not. Chandeliers can be made of wood, crystal, nickel, brass, or even corroded metals. Why not pair a glittering and seemingly formal crystal chandelier with denim or leather in a living room or den where you spend a lot of time? It's the decorative equivalent of a silk and lace camisole with your favorite jeans, or a French-cuff shirt under a wool coat with simple pants--unexpected, classy, and unquestionably compelling.

If you are hanging a chandelier in a space with lower ceilings you have to be very careful to select the right size chandelier and hang it at the ideal height. It's easy to make things feel disproportionate (either too big or too small) or to hang your chandelier so high that you don't really get to appreciate it or so low that it's in your way. For example, the lowest point of a chandelier should be 36 inches above a dining table, and a chandelier should always be centered considering all of the architectural features of the room. If you have any doubts, you should speak with an interior designer or experienced furniture designer or salesperson to make sure that you are comfortable and happy with your chandelier once it had been placed.

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