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The Magical Allure of the Chandelier

Ever since Louis XIV enclosed a terrace at Versailles and transformed it into the Hall of Mirrors, chandeliers have captured our imagination and drawn us to their beautiful reflective light. In the previous post I wrote of creating contrast in a room. Anytime you create contrast you capture people's attention and what could be more attention grabbing than hanging a chandelier in an unexpected place?
The kitchen is an exciting and unexpected place to hang one.  If your ceilings are not high, there are plenty of vintage 5 to 8 arm chandeliers from the 30's and 40's made to hang from a lower ceiling. A chandelier should always be hung a minimum of six feet from the floor. If you haven't the place to hang one in the center of the room, consider placing a large chandelier in a small out of the way space. The juxtapostion of an overscaled chandelier in a small space can really make a statement, as can taking a minimalist space and hanging a grand beauty.
If you have never purchased a chandelier because you didn't want to clean it, cleaning is relatively simple. I remove the crystal prisms and soak them for a little while in  a 50-50 white vinegar /alcohol solution, then wipe them dry with a lint free cloth. I prefer torpedo shaped frosted bulbs to the flame tipped clear ones. The flickering bulbs that simulate candlelight are interesting but do not produce much light. You will want the combined wattage of your bulbs to be 200 to 400 watts depending on the size of your chandelier.
In addition to the beauty at the top of this post here are a few magical ones I have come across at barn sales and auctions this year to inspire you...oh la la y'all!

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