Background and Basics Chandeliers have been used to illuminate households since the medieval era. During that time, chandeliers were made of wood and used candles for illumination. It wasn’t until the early 1700’s that the chandelier with crystal accents we are familiar with today became popular. Since their creation, the elegant light fixtures have been a symbol of wealth and luxury. Today, chandeliers can be afforded by almost anyone. Chandeliers with crystal accents vary in their extravagance and complexity. Typically their affordability depends on the materials used to produce the light fixture; chandeliers with are large number of decorative crystal prisms, beads, or bobbles (accessories labeled as chandelier dressing) are more costly than those of more humble aesthetics.
Where to Find Affordable Chandeliers Flea markets, re-sale shops and antique stores are fantastic places to find modestly-priced crystal chandeliers if you are willing to hunt and be open-minded. Chandeliers bought through these venues are typically hundreds, possibly even thousands, of dollars less expensive than what you would buy from a big-name retailer. While digging through the eclectic items of an antique or thrift shop, don’t be discouraged if you find a beautiful chandelier that is missing its crystals, as most antique and vintage chandeliers may be without their dressing. Often times crystals in great condition can be found and bought separately and added to your chandelier. These crystals are easy to apply due to the pliability of their metal appendages and all chandeliers, you will notice, have tiny holes embedded along their underside. Simply adjust the metal on the crystal prisms, poke the appendage through a hole and close it tightly shut. If desired, pliers can make this process even easier and a lot quicker. Bags of crystals can be found for as little as $20-$50, allowing you to personalize your chandelier in a unique and inexpensive way.
Decorating with Your New Chandelier Do not stress about your crystal chandelier looking inadequate if you do end up buying the dressing and chandelier separately. In my experience, it is not often you will find either crystal pieces or chandeliers that don’t retain their standard, classic French look. Some chandeliers, particularly French-country style, will come with or need miniature lampshades. Finding some that have a fun, modern pattern or a color to match your house’s scheme will add an individuality to your chandelier. Either way, chandeliers with crystal accents or lamp shades are a unique and inexpensive addition of light and beauty to any homeowner willing to dabble in decorative know-how.
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