Shopping - Buying Guides

Buying guide: Chandeliers

Add an elegant touch to any room in your home with a new or vintage chandelier. Here’s how to shop for one.

Chandeliers add an elegant touch to any room in the house. In recent years, we've seen them take flight in grand kitchens, feminine baths and whimsical kids' rooms, in addition to the formal foyers and dining rooms where they've traditionally held court. Here's what you should know if you're in the market for one, whether new or antique.

No doubt you know chandeliers come in a variety of styles. Many replicate an ornate, historic look. But if your tastes run modern and you want something a bit more glam than pendant lights, contemporary chandeliers are the answer.

The best way to find a chandelier that matches your style is to see what you like at the decorating stores you already frequent (or by perusing magazines). Once you have an inkling of the styles you gravitate towards, trips to lighting superstores will be less overwhelming.

Chandeliers run the gamut from inexpensive to très chère.

Over the past five years or so, major retailers have made leaps and bounds when it comes to offering affordable, high-quality and stylish chandeliers. (TIP Home Depot has a reputation among design insiders for its cheap 'n' chic selection.)

Keep in mind that "used" doesn’t automatically mean "bargain-priced." True, well-priced and eco-friendly salvaged pieces can be found at flea markets, online and at Habitat ReStores. But exquisitely refurbished antique chandeliers can command prices well into the thousands of dollars!

If you buy a new chandelier, everything you need to mount it will be included in the box, and, of course, the wiring will be up to date. This may not be the case when you buy a used one, however. Fortunately, rewiring an old chandelier is an easy task for experienced DIYers. Not you? Don't fret. It can be done at any lighting repair shop or you can hire a handyman to rewire and install it for you the same day.

Image courtesy of Restoration Hardware

This article is featured on Home decor buying guides

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