I've recently been given the enviable task of picking out a chandelier, and I have to say—chandelier shopping is the next best thing to tiara shopping. Here are my top 10 finds, each of them sparkly, fun, pretty, and far more affordable than most respectable tiaras...
Mobile Chandelier, West Elm, $279
I'm not sure why I love chandeliers with adjustable arms so much, but I do. Maybe it's because if you're spending a few hundred dollars on something, you should be able to futz with it as you see fit? The Mobile also has an adjustable height and a cloth-wrapped cord, and I really want one, please. Available in Antique Brass, Antique Bronze, or Polished Nickel (shown).
Odyssey 4 Chandelier, Schoolhouse Electric, $349
This one is at the top of my wishlist for a high-ceilinged entryway. It's flexible ("the arms radiate from the center and terminate in a swiveling socket cup, allowing for some play with light placement"), it's well-made in the USA ("features handcrafted materials that are custom built in our Portland factory to exacting specifications"), it's made of high-quality materials (actual brass rather than brass-painted whatever), and it's so pretty! Available in Antique Black or Natural Brass (shown).
Clive Chandelier, Crate & Barrel, $379
I realize that spiders have eight legs, but I still find this chandelier deliciously spidery—it's like what Arachne would weave by if she didn't want to strain her eyes. The Clive comes with a matching ceiling plate and one of each of 12-inch, 18-inch, and 24-inch extension rods. Available in painted Brass or Bronze (shown).
Framework Chandelier, West Elm, on sale for $299-$399
This is my top pick for over a dining room table, though I might be tempted to use different bulbs. I'm definitely tempted by the 16-bulb style that's available for $374-$499. The Framework has an adjustable height, grey cloth-wrapped cord (grey!), and can be used with a sloped ceiling. Available in Polished Nickel or Antique Brass (shown).
Mid Century Orb Chandelier, Pottery Barn, $399
With 10 frosted, oversized bulbs, the Orb would cast such a lovely, flattering glow over a table. It has a ceiling plate, hangs from a metal rod, and was designed for an 8-foot ceiling. Available in Bronze.
Staggered Glass Chandelier, West Elm, $249
This one appeals to me because the combination of bronze and chrome means that it could work well with a variety of metals (flatware, hardware, etc) rather than forcing you to commit to one. It is adjustable, has a cloth-wrapped cord and four glass shades, and can be hung from a sloped ceiling. Available in Antique Brass with Clear shades or Antique Bronze with Chrome Ombre shades (shown). [Note: this was previously available in an awesome 8-light version for $399—perhaps it will return?]
Laboratory Mini Chandelier, All+Modern, $378
This wonderfully angular chandelier was "cleverly designed around the filament tube shaped bulbs by incorporating them into the actual shape of the framework. With a socket on one end and a faux socket on the other, the bulbs seem to form a continuous electrified circuit." It is intriguing, unique, and a nice change of pace. Available in Weathered Zinc.
Panorama Chandelier, West Elm, $399
It's probably obvious by now that I prefer chandeliers with exposed bulbs, but I love this one, too. As with the Staggered Glass Chandelier above, I appreciate the variety and flexibility the Panorama brings to a room. When it is off, it appears silvery and white, but when it's illuminated, it glows warmly in bronze. The Panorama is made of mercury glass, and its height can be "adjusted in 12" increments from 6" to 42" using adjustable length tubes (included)." Available in Antique Bronze.
Sylvestre Brushed Nickel Chandelier, Home Depot, $75.95
I was determined to include one under-$100 option in this roundup! The Sylvestre has been given 4.5 stars, has an adjustable chain, and is clean and classic, but I also like the Progress Chandelier (3-light) from Lowe's, the Dunwoody (3-light) from Home Depot, the Stockholm (1-light) from IKEA, and the Falco Chrome (drum) from Home Depot.
Meelano 3-Light Mini Chandelier, All+Modern, $284.99
I don't even understand this one, but according to one of its reviews (both 5 star), "It's like a cloud of big brass sequins!", so clearly I need one in every room of the house. And one on my head.