You’ve dreamed about it for years, and you finally have a place to hang a crystal chandelier. Now that it’s time to shop for your magnificent fixture, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for. You want a chandelier that looks beautiful and provides just the right amount of light, but it should also be accessible for cleaning and maintenance. Bringing those elements together can make the decision difficult, but you don’t need to be an expert in interior design to find the right kind of chandelier for your space. Take note of the tips listed here to make the shopping process easier.
Before You Buy a Crystal Chandelier
The product photos online can help you narrow down your choices by size and shape, but before applying these filters, look at your space critically. Identify the exact spot where the fixture will hang and measure the space around and below, giving yourself some generous parameters to work with. This guide for determining where and at what height your chandelier should hang will help you immensely! If your chandelier will overhang a table, you should note the table’s width and shape. As a rule, a light fixture shouldn’t be larger than a table below and its shape should be similar. For that reason, you might choose a round fixture for a round table or a rectangular fixture for a rectangular table. Rules are made to be broken, of course, and you’ll find many examples of beautiful designs that contrast the table shape against the fixture above.
When shopping, ask what the fixture’s primary purpose is — do you plan to rely on it for all of your lighting, or is it more of a decorative piece? The answer is important in helping you decide on the number of bulbs or candles to search for. Also consider the theme and style of the existing decor in the space. If you have an industrial vibe at play, consider a fixture that incorporates iron or metal into the scheme. Likewise, a room with cottage style decor might require a chandelier with vintage elements such as white iron hardware or distressed paint. There are times, however, when a light fixture might reflect a style or era that’s not expressed elsewhere in the room. This is the case with eclectic or fusion styles, which can be exciting and very contemporary. If that’s your angle, you have even more options to choose from.
How to Clean a Chandelier
Like all light fixtures, crystal chandeliers require care and maintenance in order to retain their beauty. Throughout history, engineers have developed methods to assist the staff of elegant mansions with the cleaning process. One such method is the “winch,” a pulley built into the ceiling. When the fixture is brought down to eye-level, it’s a more simple process to dust and clean it.
You won’t need to install a winch for your chandelier unless it’s extremely large and heavy, but you might take a few steps before installation that will make cleaning it easier. If the chandelier is installed by an electrician, ask if the mount can include a sliding hinge that allows the entire fixture to be removed without interfering with the wires. This is an ideal set-up for large chandeliers, but smaller models may not require it. No matter what size your chandelier is, ensure that you can reach it with a ladder or step stool every so often to remove dust, spider webs, and other debris that inevitably builds up over time.
You want the crystal to look lustrous, so a deep cleaning every few years might require removing the chandelier crystals (also called droplets) and polishing them by hand with gentle soap or window cleaner. Examine your choices carefully when shopping — if the crystals aren’t removable, cleaning them will be even more of a chore. If the crystals can be removed, develop a process to help you reassemble the chandelier. In her book Chandeliers, author Elizabeth Hilliard recommends first photographing the assembled chandelier and labeling the pieces with masking tape or tags before taking it apart. This is especially important if your fixture has more than one style of crystals allowing you to return them to their proper place. Most experts recommend glass cleaner or mild soap and water for cleaning and polishing the crystal units. For the frame, you can use a damp sponge and mild soap, or you can turn to specialty products like stainless steel cleaner or wipes. Whatever you decide, make sure to consider safety first by ensuring your ladder or footstool is secure. Give yourself plenty of good lighting and keep a flashlight handy.
Finding Replacement Chandelier Crystals
Your chandelier should last for many years, probably even decades. If you ever need to replace a droplet or another part, inquire first with the company that manufactured your fixture. Bellacor and most other lighting suppliers keep a database or catalog of parts, so they should be able to help you if keep your chandelier’s paperwork on file for reference. If the manufacturer is no longer around, which may be the case with an antique chandelier, you still have a few options for replacing parts. Conduct an online search for craftspeople and architectural antique dealers who know about chandelier restoration. You’ll find these folks on sites like Etsy and other online marketplaces. If you still can’t get a match, it might be possible to hire a freelance glass or metal worker to recreate your missing piece. Look on Etsy or do a Google search to locate an expert who can help you.
With a solid understanding of what’s required to care for and maintain a crystal chandelier, you’re in a better place to shop for the fixture of your dreams. Browse through our catalog for a range of choices — you’ll find chandeliers for rooms of all sizes and shapes. We also offer chandeliers designed for modern and contemporary decor schemes. Save your favorites to a list and when you’re ready to buy, your chandelier will be on its way in no time!Shop Crystal Chandeliers