The 19th-century belief that chandeliers were only appropriate in the parlor, dining room or living room is archaic. Today, chandeliers appear as often in kitchens and even bathrooms, infusing these personal, comfortable spaces with historic character. Follow these simple rules when selecting a chandelier for your Victorian bathroom.
1. Choose a chandelier in proportion to the room’s size so as not to overpower it. If your grand Victorian bathroom has a very high ceiling, select a large fixture. For smaller rooms, consider a single-tier chandelier with just four to six lights. If you’re not confident that you can determine what size best suits your bathroom, measure how much space you want between the bottom of your chandelier and the top of your head.
2. Hang your chandelier in the center of the room or above its focal point, such as over a claw-foot tub. Your chandelier should look at home but still be surprising enough to make a statement.
3. If you decide that the beautiful crystal chandelier you bought feels like it’s “too much” for the bathroom, don’t get discouraged. When you installed the chandelier, you most likely had to assemble all the crystals. Step back and take a second look. Are there drops and crystal chains that could be removed? Removing just a few items can entirely change the look of a light fixture.
4. Try painting your chandelier a bold color. In a neutral bathroom, a chandelier painted in a vibrant Victorian jewel tone, such as ruby, sapphire or amethyst, catches the eye. To complement the chandelier’s reflective qualities, consider a light, shimmering wallpaper.
5. Genuine Victorian fixtures can be hard to find and quite expensive. If a beautiful antique crystal chandelier is not in your budget, consider repurposing an old fixture. You can dress up a simple metal chandelier, keeping in mind the four characteristic elements of Victorian fixtures: glass, beads, crystals and ornate metal designs. Add strings of beads, crystals or etched glass bowl shades to create the perfect period effect. You can also find Victorian reproduction chandeliers online or at your local lighting store.
6. Complement the chandelier with the right sconce. On its own, a chandelier cannot illuminate your entire Victorian bathroom. For function’s sake, you’ll need to install sconces above your vanity, which is the perfect opportunity to complement your chandelier. Choose unexpected fixtures that mesh with your bathroom’s overall look but still contrast with your chandelier. Look beyond the bath-fixture aisle; for a romantic look, consider candlelight sconces dressed with crystals. For an eclectic look, try a traditional-style outdoor sconce in a metal finish that matches your chandelier’s.
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Written by Marlena Cavanaugh
Photography by Jaimee Itagaki