Once confined to large, lavish spaces, chandeliers were traditionally all about opulence, symbols of success hanging overhead in visions of crystal, gold and silver. Today's designs reflect more surprising and eclectic ideas but in their whimsical twinkling, there's still a nod to the old magic. Here are three very different takes on the grande dame of extravagant lighting.
THE FLOATING BRANCH
It's hard not to escape into childhood fantasies of Wind in the Willows-style tree-trunk homes or hobbit odysseys when you're sitting beneath one of Jessica Bodner's creations. For this one, she drew inspiration from her obsessive gardening hobby to sculpt a branch light in forged steel (from $3,600). www.bodnerchandeliers.com
Philadelphia-based artist Adam Wallacavage has a thing for tentacles. "I redid an old town house, and the theme of my dining room was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," he says. His new chandeliers are equally devoted to marine life not just giant squid and octopuses, but also smaller sea creatures and an imaginary one: the six-legged hexapus ($6,000-$18,000). www.adamwallacavage.com
THE SHINY BOTTLES
For 20 years, lighting sculptor Warren Muller has been collecting all manner of scrap at flea markets, auctions and junkyards, and transforming that ordinary stuff into illuminated art. "I favor old tools, farm equipment and industrial parts," he says. Here, a salvaged crate is combined with unearthed Moxie soda bottles to make a light that throws a rustic glow ($3,600-$250,000). www.bahdeebahdu.com