Lighting your way
Choosing the right lighting is all about creating harmony with your existing interiors and building that hard-to-define thing called 'ambience'.
However, where harmony is important, lighting is also an element that allows you to make a real style statement - and there's nothing like a chandelier to do just that. While the word itself might conjure up Gatsby-esque ostentatiousness, modern chandeliers come in all shapes and sizes, bringing them right up to date for 2017. They complete a space just as a piece of jewellery finishes off an outfit.
"When it comes to lighting, it's important to get it right, as it's the focal point that can pull all the elements of the room together," says Leah Baker of Hicken Lighting (hickenlighting.com). "There is a trend and preference now for statement or large-feature lights suspended, such as a contemporary chandelier, in very specific locations."
It's important to keep size, shape and length in mind when choosing your chandelier - not just of the light fitting itself, but of the room it will reside in.
For a bit of drama and that extra wow factor, the dining room is the perfect room to start with. Hanging a chandelier over the table will ensure it is centre-stage, while illuminating a space perfectly for socialising and entertaining.
One warning, however: make sure the fixture is neither too small nor too large for the space it is to occupy. For example, over a dining table, keep it within the measurements of the table - a chandelier that extends beyond the table edges will create a feeling of imbalance.
However, while we may think a chandelier needs to hang slap-bang in the middle of the room, this isn't always the case - especially in open-plan spaces. A chandelier will define and establish the function of a particular area.
When buying a chandelier, it is important to think about the colour of your walls as well, advises Arlene McIntyre of Ventura Design (ventura.ie): "Darker hues on the wall can really make your chandelier pop. However, if you have lighter walls, look at the variation of Belgian chandeliers with coloured crystals to add dimension and colour reflection."
Arlene adds: "It's important to take into consideration that lighting can change the colour on your walls. Be careful with your selection. For instance, certain lights can change grey-black to a soft brown."
Take the shape of the room into account. For example, what works in the hallway probably won't work in the kitchen.
"People are investing in key lighting pieces, in maybe only one or two locations," adds Leah. "For the rest of the house, the preference is to add layers of light by using downlights, wall-lighting, accent lights and cove lighting. So when a statement piece is added, such as a contemporary chandelier, it's the stand-out feature."
Glass drops chandelier, €558.95: Old-style chandeliers sit well in Georgian-style rooms with large windows and classic pieces of furniture to match; oneliving.ie
Vintage glass, £11,040: For one-off vintage masterpieces, such as this golden glass chandelier Otto, try renaissancelondon.com
Nordic chandelier, €1,999: If you prefer the clean, unfussy lines of Nordic design, try this Astoria 15-arm chandelier, nordicelements.com
Cheeky contemporary update, €625: Pay homage to the antique chandelier but in a contemporary way. King Edison Ghost Pendant Lamp by Mineheart; dust.ie
Orange chandelier, £355: Handmade Crystal Effect Chandelier in Orange, 54cm x 52cm diameter, outthereinteriors.com
Anna Shelswell-White is editor of House and Home magazine