Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Decorating Your Chandelier: Creating Holiday 'Masterpieces'

Dining room light detail
This Christmas (you know, the month I wasn't actually blogging) I was busy decorating my house for my favorite holiday.

When we moved into our house 25 years ago it was new and I chose all of the lighting fixtures along with most everything else as the house was being built. But as usually happens, our tastes change with time and when we redid our kitchen a couple of years ago, the dining room chandelier and kitchen lighting fixture badly needed updating.

Back in the late 90s my husband and I took a trip to Italy with some friends. On the trip we scheduled a visit to Murano, a tiny island near Venice noted for crystal and glass. Ornate chandeliers were everywhere and I remember turning my nose up (as if I could afford one anyway) at them thinking they were terribly ornate and hopelessly old-fashioned.

In the kitchen..
a more modern look.
Back to the kitchen redo. Three years ago crystal lighting was enjoying a reniassance and I jumped on board. I chose a 'shabby chic' two tier clear crystal light with blue accents for my dining room. A decorator who helped with the kitchen chose a modern looking fixture to be used in a peaked ceiling area of our kitchen.

These fixtures have become centerpieces of my holiday decor and I'd like to share some tips and photos with you today.

  • A couple of branches of white birch sold in most garden stores around the holidays. 
  • Inexpensive silver and bright green (or any color to match your room) ornament sets available in stores like Michael's, Target or even your local supermarket.
  • Low-cost crystal and mirrored garland from Pottery Barn. 
  • Ordinary silver ornament hanging hooks

  • Start by inserting the branches in the chandelier. You might have to cut them down a bit depending on the size of the fixture. 
  • Drape the mirrored or crystal (or both) garland around the light creating scallops. 
  • Hook the ornaments onto the branches catching spots where they can hang without sliding back and forth.

Really, that's about it. It's probably important to step back a bit now and then to see how it looks but randomness is good and probably essential to creating an artistic 'masterpiece'!

  • Now that Christmas is over I purchased some hot pink ornaments on the reduced table in Target and will remove a few silver and green balls and fill in with the pink to celebrate Valentine's Day.
  • For Easter:  I created a similar arrangement using pussy willow and cherry tree branches. I hung pastel Easter eggs instead of Christmas balls and covered the center with green moss. I didn't photograph it back then but will do so this year and share it with you.

Happy decorating.
I'm already looking forward to spring!

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