Here, Soho Home Lead Designer, Jessica Sims-Wilson, debunks the myth that chandeliers are only at home when swinging from the lofty ceilings of country estates or towering townhouses.
While initially intimidating, chandeliers are much more accessible than you might think, and they come in a range of shapes and sizes. From romantic hand-twisted Italian glass to retro, angled shades, Sims-Wilson shares how to use a variation of chandelier styles suited to different spaces.
'I've had Soho Home Design clients who think their home is too compact or modern for a chandelier, but there are so many styles that almost anyone can make this type of lighting work for their space,' says Sims-Wilson.
'In my opinion, a chandelier is the key to making a room look designed. It elevates the whole concept and takes the space to that next level.'
Whether you're redecorating one room or your whole house, Sims-Wilson shares the lighting styles most suited to different areas of the home.
Make an impact in an entrance hall
'I get excited about entrance halls because as the first thing guests see, it sets the tone for your whole home. If you'd like to work a chandelier into this space, I suggest optimising the staircase, if you can, and hanging an elongated style down the centre.
'The Antonella is perfect for this. Inspired by the central chandelier at Babington House, its tapered silhouette hangs low, so optimise any ceiling height you get in that area. Otherwise, go for a pendant like the Renato; it's subtle enough to work in most spaces while still being eye-catching.'
Opt for softness in a bedroom
'In a bedroom it's natural to look up to the ceiling, so a chandelier can make a big difference, but it's important to get it right. A tip is to consider the different viewing perspectives and choose a style that looks good from all angles - both walking into the room, and in bed. Most importantly, though, is that you can't see the bulbs from underneath.
'Typically, I advise clients to lean into a traditional chandelier look, with a feminine feel and softer light emittance. A favourite of mine is the Elba, which features handmade glass discs clouded with delicate white swirls. Its tiered shape creates some interest, but the cream-toned glass looks glowy when lit.
'The Lara is gold-toned with diamond-shaped glass shards that have a fleck finish, hung on a brass frame. The warm metallic effect is complemented by the light, which bounces off the base and shimmers, bringing an old-world feel - ideal for a bedroom. It's also more compact, so as bedrooms are usually smaller than a living room, it's a good fit space-wise.'
Find balance in the living room
'Living areas change throughout the day and serve us in a multitude of ways, from entertaining guests to napping on the sofa. Finding the right lighting for this space can be difficult as you need an all-rounder, but we have designed a selection of chandeliers with this in mind.
'When we launched the Isobella, it became my go-to suggestion to clients. We use a layered lighting approach in our Houses, with light sources all around the room at different heights. This notion inspired the multi-shade design of the Isobella, and the raffia shades disperse the light for a flattering glow. It works with contemporary and traditional interiors, and will take you seamlessly from day to night.
'I'd recommend using a chandelier in the living room because often the furniture in this space sits low and you need something to draw the eye up. Just be careful of your door swings, and check you can open them fully without hitting the lights.'
Go big in the dining room
'Choosing a chandelier for the dining room is by far the most fun. Go for something big and showstopping, because no one will walk underneath it, so it can be as low and wide as you like.
'The dining table is an opportunity to make a statement, and our Juliana signature chandelier is ideal for this. With dozens of rose-tinted, scalloped glass tubular sections, it creates a flowing effect that seems to go on forever. It's also crafted from hand-blown Venetian glass, which is a talking point.'
Nod to task lighting in an office
'Anywhere that you're performing a specific task - this could be reading a book in your favourite armchair, cooking on the kitchen or working in an office - I'd advise using task lighting.
'Task lighting has a hard shade that allows a single beam of light to shine wherever you need it. The Oliver chandelier is an interesting fusion of typical desk lighting and a chandelier, bringing a modern feel to a classic idea.
'It's actually one of my favourite styles across all of our lighting. The powder-coated black mental against the solid brass frame has that wow effect.'