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Chandeliers are often thought of as existing only in formal dining rooms. We think of them as ornamental light fixtures laden with crystals and flickering incandescent bulbs (and even candles, historically), where dinner parties or holiday gatherings take place. Originally constructed with an array of hanging crystals meant to illuminate a room with refracted light, modern designs are sleeker but no less striking. So, why not bring something that can make such a big and bold statement into your living room? From brass to wood, to glass, to modern LED or fluorescent, a unique chandelier will not only illuminate your space, but also take your decor to the next level. But before we show you some inspiration, let's define what makes a light a chandelier and not a pendant.
According to Lightology, a chandelier houses multiple light sources, usually arranged in a branch light system, whereas pendants typically suspend a single light source or a cluster of lights from a single source or chain. Make sense? OK, now here are some living room chandelier lighting ideas that break with tradition but still set off a room.
Chandelier Idea #1: Teardrop Effect
Add a whimsical feel to your living room with a crystal chandelier that's not so traditional. This pretty fixture looks like delicate teardrops, bringing both a boho vibe and elegant finish to your space.
Get the Look: CB2 Teardrops Capiz Chandelier, $349
Chandelier Idea #2: Modern Metal
Chandeliers are not all about crystal; a modern piece like this one can be just as elegant. Providing directional lighting all while looking like a modern work of art, this fixture is midcentury modern but would work perfectly in any era.
Get the Look: West Elm Light Rods LED Chandelier, $599
Chandelier Idea #3: Throw a Little Shade
Leaning into a little tradition but still sleek and modern, this fixture takes the shaded lamp and steps it up, resulting in a bold centerpiece in any living room. The style says, "I'm playing it a little safe," but the scale says, "I am the center of everyone's attention, deal with it."
Get the Look: Birch Lane Caton 5-Light Shaded Chandelier, $389.99
Chandelier Idea #4: Quartz Crystal
There's nothing more striking than a crystal chandelier, and this one is all about being modern chic. Its contemporary lines and unexpected splash of brass, along with what looks like an over-the-top cluster of precious stones, is just the right amount of fancy.
Get the Look: Shades of Light Crystal Dandelion Chandelier, $1,930
Chandelier Idea #5: Less Is Way More
Keep it simple and striking with this modern Sputnik-style design. It's functional in that it lights the room well, plus it packs a design punch with a three-pronged cluster of old-school lampshades — and makes an eclectic addition to any style room.
Get the Look: AllModern Utica 3-Light Sputnik Chandelier, $132.99
Chandelier Idea #6: Go Home and Go Big
These ultramodern fixtures are all about the wow factor. Taking the glass chandelier conceit and bending it all the way backward with exposed bulbs. Hang in a corner, as the centerpiece of your space, or install as a pair. Whatever you decide to do, it's sure to be a conversation starter.
Get the Look: Hidalgo 12-Light Sputnik Chandelier, $529.99
Where to Shop
We could keep going because, as you probably can tell, we get lit up talking about lighting. Here are some of our favorite spots to hunt for your chandelier: