Crystal Lighting - What it Says Today

When I think of crystal chandeliers, sconces and other cut-crystal lighting, I immediately think “whoa that’s a bit fancy schmancy”. What comes to mind next though is that this place is classy. The appeal of light sparkling through cut glass never goes out of style.

The History of Crystal Lighting

The art of glass making has been developing for thousands of years, but it wasn't until the early 1500s that an Italian inventor discovered a process for making high quality colourless glass. In the ensuing centuries, it was discovered that faceted, leaded glass enhanced light sources, spreading and scattering the light and creating an amazing effect. For hundreds of years, only wealthy individuals and institutions could afford these new crystal-enhanced lights.

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the cost of producing crystal decreased, but crystal lighting didn't lose its luxurious reputation. Crystal chandeliers and pendants were popular in the main entrances, parlours and dining rooms of upscale houses but they were hardly ever seen in more casual rooms or more modest homes.

Crystal Lighting For Everyone and For Everywhere

For many years, crystal chandeliers were the height of craftsmanship. It required many months and a bunch of designers, metal-smiths and finishers to complete a piece. While chandeliers are still labour intensive to produce, quality pieces are now available to almost anyone who wants to add class and light to their home. Today, you can be adventurous with crystal lighting. Modern design sensibilities have freed us from old-fashioned decorating constraints and with the array of styles, sizes and colours of crystal available, any room in the home can be brightened by crystals.

Try coloured crystal sconces or a crystal-trimmed table lamp instead of a nondescript model. You can add sparkle to bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways by installing simple, elegant wall sconces or replacing tired old ceiling fixtures with new flush-mounted pieces. Sometimes, new lighting is all that’s needed to resurrect a room that has become a bore. I love seeing room designs with a lot of of wood, stone, textile art, or other rustic elements combined with an six to eight candle, clear crystal chandelier. The contrast between the earthy elements and the pure, cool crystal can really lift a room in an unexpected way.

Coloured Crystals

The finish colour of the crystal fixture makes a big difference to how the fixture is perceived. White enamel finish combined with cut crystal can be either opulent or casual, depending on the design. Silver or nickel is modern and elegant and brass or gold reads as traditional and formal. Coloured enamels create a bold, modern look. Try small, white or pastel crystal sconces in a baby's room or a black chandelier in the dining room with icy or jewel-toned wall paint for a striking effect.

From a delicate, single-bulb sconce in a guest's bedroom to a 250 kilo custom masterpiece adorning an opulent mansion, nothing conjures a feeling of wonder quite like crystal. Crystal lights truly make a space memorable.