Regal Lighting for the Throne Room: Style

Medieval Chandelier

Medieval Illustration of a Chandelier, Wikipedia

There’s something so royal and luxurious about chandeliers. Dating back to the medieval ages, the chandelier was typically only used in the most affluent homes as decoration (a few candles placed on a few boards and then hoisted above everyone’s heads was considered decoration? Mind the wax!). Thank goodness the appearance of the chandelier has expanded to include greater artistic expression, often shown in the way of decadent crystals, curlicues and precious metals. They’ve also become more accessible to a wider audience, so plebeians (like me) can now enjoy the eye candy in their own homes as well.

While dining rooms and entryways typically play host to this type of luxury, I’m most impressed when chandeliers are hung in the bathroom, or “throne room,” if you will. After all, since most of us visit this room several times a day, it just makes sense to make it sparkle that much more! But since chandeliers are now available in a huge range of styles, choosing the right “bling” for your bath can seem overwhelming. So here are a few inspirational looks and a bit of advice when it comes to creating the perfect tenor for your throne room.

Break the Ice with Modern Artistry

If you’re working with marble tile, cement, or other kinds of stone in a light color, consider a modern fixture to give the bathroom energy and flavor. Too much stone can feel like a landscape of ice, and by adding something unexpected and artistic, that cold and stark feeling is instantly broken up and rounded out with welcoming warmth. For example, the Moooi Smoke Chandelier gives this predominantly white and clean-lined bathroom a dramatic twist for a modern take:

Moooi Smoke Chandelier

Photo from project by designer Nacho Polo

Keeping up Traditions

If you’re going for something more romantic and sweet, crystals are always a safe (and gorgeous) bet. By coordinating (not necessarily matching) bathroom hardware to the chandelier’s finish, the reflective bling factor can be magnified. Light-hued walls and a claw foot tub complete the look. Here’s a traditional chandelier that lights a glamorous bathroom designed by Nate Berkus (LOVE how the floor tile and marble sink help tie the room together!):

Traditional Chandelier

Photo from Domino Magazine

With the right decorative accents and perhaps an assertive color palette or pattern, the same simple chic look instantly transforms into contemporary cool. Here, a classic Baroque-style chandelier balances the strength of modern wallpaper and royal blue molding for a more contemporary take on the traditional chandelier:

Baroque Style Chandelier

Photo by Pieter Estersohn for Elle Decor

Transitional = The Best of Both Worlds

If traditional is too “pretty” and modern is too “loud”, opt for warmer finishes and shade opacity for a more transitional look. The Ribbon Chandelier by Hubbardton Forge creates the same sense of luxury and romance without the use of dripping crystals and frou frou shapes. Instead, a rich earthy bronze finish strengthens the overall look of the space while swooping chandelier arms and frosted shades create a soothing atmosphere.

Hubbardton Forge Ribbon Chandelier

Photo by Hubbardton Forge

Here’s another example of how to use a transitional piece above a bathtub. The honey-colored shades and black finish offset the sparkle from crystal facets, grounding the piece without denying any of its star power. It’s drama without the noise, elegance without pretension:

Traditional Chandeliers

Photo by KT Designs

You can shop these bathroom chandeliers and more at In my next post, I’ll go over how to choose the right size of bling to buy. Sometimes too big really is too big. After all, it’s not a ring… Stay tuned!

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