Home Inspirations: All that glitters

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• June 9, 2012

Marie Coquin chandelier designed by Phillipe Starck. Photo: Baccarat.

Women love them. Men often aren't crazy about them.

They are romantic and sexy. The right one with the perfect dimmer switch setting makes anyone look beautiful.

They are dazzling and add style and a touch of refined culture to a space.

They go anywhere in the home, including bathrooms, closets, a walk in pantry. I have even seen one in a laundry room.

You can spend a little or you can spend thousands.

Zenith chandelier with clear pink and mist crystals by Phillipe Starck. Baccarat. Photo: Wrenda Goodwyn.

Chandeliers are an accessory that can make an entry or dining room. It does what the perfect necklace does for an outfit. And as with jewelry, before you head out the door, you want to know that you selected the right one.

In southwest Florida, many homes sacrifice chandeliers for ceiling fans. While women are most likely willing to say goodbye to a fan in hopes of adding a beautiful, sparkly chandelier, men often need to be coaxed into considering one.

Even Ernest Hemingway, living in sultry Key West was not happy when, upon returning from a fishing trip, discovered that his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer had replaced all of the ceiling fans in the home with her exquisite collection of chandeliers from Paris. Pauline, who worked for Vogue in Paris, got it. Sometimes, beauty wins over function. They are still hanging in the Hemingway Home today and are a main attraction. The guides are quick to point out that they all think of Pauline on hot sweltering days, as the authentic home still has no ceiling fans. Thank you, Pauline.

Marie Coquine floorlamp. Photo: Baccarat.

Zenith midnight chandelier. Photo: Baccarat.

So, on a misty, dreary day last week in New York City, I found myself on the 10th floor of the Decorating & Design Building (DDB)on 3rd Avenue. Despite the weather, the DDB was sparkling.  It is the home of the soon-to-open Baccarat Showroom, the only one in the U.S. This sneak, preview/hardhat tour arranged by Kravet for a group of lucky designers, offered a chance to view and touch these beautiful creations as they hung in an unfinished showroom. It didn’t matter.  They could hang in your garage and they would leave you speechless. Each one is a treasure.Zenith midnight chandelier. Photo: Baccarat.

The world’s most prestigious creator of crystal, Baccarat was founded in 1764. Fun fact: one red crystal is placed in every chandelier.  Look closely and you will find them.

But the reality is that these creations are fantasy to most of us. Sigh. 

But every home can use a little bling and a chandelier adds razzle dazzle to any room.     

So consider a few tips if you are thinking about one for your home, as selecting a chandelier can be a bit overwhelming:

West Elm Capiz chandelier. Photo: West Elm.

Don't be afraid of the price. Chandeliers can be purchased reasonably. Favorite sources: www.westelm.com and www.potterybarn.com.

Consider where to hang your chandelier. They are perfect in a dining, entry or living room. But not so good in a den where you need light for reading.

Other favorite spots:  Bathrooms and walk- in closets. 

Another great location an outdoor space, patio, porch. Just make sure it is made for outdoor use.

It is all about quality when it comes to price. Bigger is not always better. A small Murano glass chandelier will cost much more than the largest glass chandelier.

On a budget? Check out Lowes or Home Depot. You can find an inexpensive chandelier and embellish it with beads, shells, ribbon or decorative trim to make it fit into your decor.

Go to flea markets, consignment ships and garage sales. You will likely find one that just needs a good cleaning, new bulbs and a little paint.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog