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Modern Crystal chandelier

Glacier LED Wave Linear Suspension by Allegri by Kalco Lighting

Looks We Love: Modern Crystal

With new and innovative designs redefining how crystal can illuminate a room,
modern crystal lighting has come a long way from the traditional tiered chandelier of the past.

SHOP MODERN CRYSTAL CHANDELIERS

For centuries, the cut-crystal chandelier has been a sparkling symbol of luxury and glamour. Originally used as a statement of wealth and extravagance by the French upper crust, crystal chandeliers were most often seen in spaces like cathedrals, museums, theaters and other places frequented by the "Who's Who" of European society. The earliest chandeliers were purely decorative, created without any lights at all. The illusion of light was created simply by the shine and sparkle coming from the glass itself. Later, candles were added where the crystal could magnify the flickering flames.

Crystal lighting originated in 16th-century Milan, Italy, when gem cutters used clear quartz rock to create ornamental pendants and beads for dressing metal candelabras. Quartz contains lead oxide, the secret ingredient to crystal's majestic, prismatic effect. Today, crystal is produced using a variety of methods (hand cut, machine cut, or hand-blown) and with varying degrees of lead oxide content.

With the advent of the LED, the classic Versailles-style chandelier has evolved drastically. Crystal is seen in styles ranging from modern minimalism to rustic farmhouse and with price points even accessible to those outside of French royalty. Read on to explore how today's crystal fixtures fit into the modern space.

When bringing crystal into more modern décor, consider a contemporary multi-light pendant. Often embodying the same grandeur of a traditional chandelier, this style fits right into the same placements that a classic chandelier would, like above a dining table or suspended over the center of a grand entryway. The Jefferson LED Multi-Light Pendant by Italian designer LODES features orb-shaped shades made of Bohemian crystal, known for its crisp clarity and high brilliance.

Crystal's ability to be shaped into different forms and textures makes it the perfect option when looking to bring a natural quality to interiors. The retro Rock Crystal Oval Starburst LED Chandelier by Levi Wilson for Hammerton Studio draws from the lively Sputnik-style fixtures of mid-century modern design, seamlessly blending retro style with the tactile nature of hand-blown glass rock.

Though often overlooked, bathrooms are a prime environment for the luxurious look and feel of crystal. When working with smaller spaces, opt for tubular pendant lights like the Lina LED Mini Pendant by Allegri by Kalco Lighting to maximize space without overpowering the room. The multifaceted finish of its pebbled Firenze crystal shade also helps to bring depth and texture to décor while providing sparkle.

While crystal does evoke a graceful and feminine air, modern designs are incorporating unexpected materials to give it a more rugged feel. Coined as “industrial chic,” the Industrial Banqueting Linear Suspension by Michael McHale Designs stands out for its daring use of traditional, fully leaded crystal paired with the rough and robust look of repurposed steel pipes. Combining styles offers added versatility, especially in the case of masculine and feminine décor.

An even balance between the dazzling light of crystal and a simple, minimal shape can make just the right amount of an impression on a space. For this, ring-shaped chandeliers offer the perfect solution. The simple contours of the Cassini Oval Suspension by Schonbek make for a welcome addition over a living room or dining table, while its densely packed clear Swarovski crystal brings an ethereal quality to the room.

You don't need to give up on traditional taste to bring a modern crystal piece into your home. Many designs still evoke the classic lines and multifaceted cuts of past fixtures while offering a transitional touch that ties nicely into modern décor. The Lily Buds Chandelier by Fine Art Handcrafted Lighting is ideal for brightening a bedroom with a soft and delicate touch, infusing a floral-inspired design into a modern silhouette while recalling the tiered look of classic chandeliers.

Although crystal has a centuries-old legacy of luxury and glamour, it has evolved to become more accessible and versatile than ever. Innovative designers use crystal to create pieces unlike anything we’ve seen before, while many are delivering new and exciting ways to preserve the unmistakable charm and beauty of a classic crystal chandelier.