DIY or Buy: Empire-Style Beaded Chandeliers

Empire chandeliers, with their theatrical and opulent crystal beading, are a fun alternative to the traditional chandelier look. At the high end, whether antique or reproduction, these beaded beauties can be very pricy. Happily, there are a handful of great DIY options out there — as well as some decent and affordable modern day knock-offs that use less expensive materials but look pretty fab.

There are two main components to this type of light fixture: the top two-thirds is called the tent and the bottom section is called the bag, which hangs from the circular frame. The beading can be crystal or wood or plastic or whatever suits your fancy.

FIRST ROW
1 This fabulous robin's egg blue chandelier was custom made by Simply Salvage on Etsy for Krista at Kiki's List.
2 Two fabulous drool-worthy versions: on left is Oly Studio's Jenny Chandelier from Candelabra, $2,925. Made with electrified natural shell. And below is the very pricey (more than $6k) Annabelle pink jade chandelier from Marjorie Skouras Design.
3 Here is a helpful guide to chandelier parts from Antiques Buzz (a great blog!). There are two main components to this type of light fixture. The top two-thirds is called the tent and the bottom section is called the bag, which hangs from the circular frame.
4 Gus and Lula blue DIY chandlier.
5 Admittedly, this DIY job one is not an Empire chandelier. But with the beading the fixture takes on a similar look. Fom Do It Yourself magazine via Journey Chic. Made from an IKEA base and wooden beads.

SECOND ROW
6 French Empire crystal chandelier from Restoration Hardware, $1,425.
7 Baja beaded chandelier from Urban Outfitters, $39.99.
8 Alessandra 5-light chandelier from Ballard Designs. Made with hundreds of cascading natural capiz shells. $749.
9 Camille chandelier from Ballard Designs, $199.
10 Antique French beaded empire chandelier from Paris Hotel Boutique, $1,975.

(Images: As credited above.)

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