4 Tips to Caring for Your Chandelier 0
Taking care of a chandelier can be a tricky job, especially if it's an original and not a replica or knock-off. To keep your chandelier (or chandeliers) in beautiful and great condition, here are 4 tips to follow.
1. Weekly dusting
Chandeliers are notorious dust-traps, attracting dust and insects all the time. They can quickly get dull and the light can become dimmer over time as a result.
Don't just wave a duster at it though, as the dust will simply fly into the air and resettle on your chandelier. Use a soft cloth or a static-free duster every week to remove excess dust, and don't be afraid to get on a ladder and get up close and personal.
Whatever you do, just be careful and, if you are using a ladder, make sure it's secure and there's someone nearby to help stabilize you.
2. Monthly inspections
The older a piece is, the more susceptible it is to rust, temperature fluctuations and other potential damage. It's a good idea to inspect the chandelier once a month, or at least once every two months.
Check any glass, crystal or perspex pieces for chips and cracks. Take a look at (but please don't touch!) the wiring to make sure nothing has become frayed or exposed.
Also look at any metal part, including chains, hooks or links, to make sure they aren't bent, broken or rusted.
3. Seasonal deep cleaning
This is something that should be done seasonally, or at a minimum every six months.
The more intricate the chandelier and the more pieces it has, the less often you may want to do it to avoid accidentally breaking parts.
If your chandelier includes many glass, crystal or perspex parts, you'll want to carefully wash those in warm, soapy water every three to six months.
The timing can also depend on where in the house the chandelier is - for example, those in the kitchen will build up humidity and grease a lot more quickly that those in the bedroom.
Take your time dismantling and washing the pieces, then reassemble it when everything is completely dry. If the ceramic or other hardware parts are fragile, very delicate or have any age damage, you'll want to do this process less often.
4 - Call a professional
While it's admirable to take personal care of your Art Deco or Mid-Century Modern chandelier, there's absolutely no reason not to use a professional for the cleaning.
We're quite confident anyone should be able to manage the dusting, but maintenance and deep cleaning can present challenges for non-experts.
Get to know the materials your chandelier is made out of and learn what cleaning products are best suited to their care.
Remember that vintage and antique pieces will be made from different materials, or that the materials will have undergone different processes to modern pieces, and this can affect their cleaning and maintenance needs.
If you have any doubt at all, go ahead and call in a professional. The store where you bought your genuine Art Deco or Mid-Century Modern chandelier should have a list of providers they trust to take care of their pieces, and will happily recommend them to you.
Lamps Take the Floor 0
It's an interesting phenomenon - when people come into our store to choose lighting options for their home, they are far more likely to choose a table lamp, chandelier or sconce over a floor lamp any day. And they seemingly have good reasons.
Floor lamps take up space, they say. They are always at risk of being knocked over, and are usually relegated to occupying a corner where they end up serving time as a dust magnet, rather than the attractive, useful lighting option that they are. But I tend to feel differently.
Whether you're looking for additional lighting to either add to the total light levels of a room, or to serve as an alternative to the main light source, floor lamps can do both jobs admirably, and when it comes to Art Deco or Mid-century Modern lamps, they do it in style, with class and with flair. But how do you choose a floor lamp, and what do you do with it once you have it?
Quantity versus quality
When choosing any secondary light source, from wall sconces to table lamps to floor lamps, it's important to work out how much lighting your room really needs. Buying a floor lamp just because it's attractive and suits your decor doesn't help much if they're never turned on.
Decide whether the room needs additional lighting, alternative lighting or both, and how many extra sources you need. And remember to work out where that light is needed as well. Two well-placed floor lamps can be better than several poorly placed light sources.
The right floor lamp or lamps need to complement the style of your room. Remember, as always, that with both Art Deco and mid-Century Modern decor, these items are functional as well as attractive, so take some time to choose lamps that will serve as not just lighting, but as attractive pieces on their own, whether on or off.
For practical purposes, pay attention to things like materials - for example, if you have small, active children, perhaps it is better to choose lamps that don't have delicate glass shades. Also pay attention to stability, height and the size of the base and shade.
Location, location, location
As with any lighting, placement is important for floor lamps. You need to work out where the light is most needed and place the lights appropriately. A floor lamp, for example, can serve really well as a reading lamp in a living room or bedroom if it is placed strategically next to a sofa or the bed.
Plan the placement of your floor lamps along with the planning for the rest of the room, so that they don't end up relegated to the corner, out of the way and mostly out of sight. As with any planning, take the time to draw out a floor plan and work out where each piece of furniture and lighting should go.
One of the primary hazards of any lighting source that isn't built into the wall or ceiling is the power cord. This little piece of wire can cause people, pets and the lamp itself to go flying if due care isn't taken.
Take the power outlets into account when planning your room's layout, including the lamps' placement, and try to minimize exposure to the power cords. Try to keep them out of the high traffic zones or, if that's impossible, make sure they are properly covered by runners or rugs. If covering a cable, however, make very sure that it is in good condition, with no exposed wiring, and check on it regularly!
Bring your floor lamps out of the corner where they so often hide and give them a position that shows off their beauty while they give you all the extra and mood lighting you could possibly need, and enjoy these unique and too often neglected pieces of decor.
- Matthew Pillet
The Sconce How-to Guide 0
Most of the more modern homes I see nowadays have failed to include what I consider to be one of the most important lighting elements in virtually any room of the house: sconces or wall lights.
I feel that sconces form a vital component of home lighting and should be considered an essential, not just a nice to have. There are three reasons I believe this.
One: sconces provide the perfect combination of additional and alternative lighting sources. They easily help brighten a room if the overheads aren't doing the job, and are perfect for providing lower levels of mood lighting when the overheads are off.
Two: sconces are an attractive style element all on their own that adds to and can help cement your personal style. What better way to show off your Art Deco or Mid-century Modern prowess than with perfectly designed, authentic wall sconce?
Three: sconces are great space savers. If your room needs extra lighting but you dont have enough space for table or floor lamps, sconces are the perfect choice, because you don't need extra surfaces or any floor space to install sconces.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your sconces.
Have the talk
The first thing to do, especially if your home doesn't currently have sconces, is to talk to an electrician about installing them. They will advise you about what is possible, particularly in terms of placement, and how much it will cost you.
Installing sconces may require some rewiring, so always use a qualified, properly accredited electrician to do any of this kind of work.
The bright and the dim
While chatting to the electrician, make sure to ask about dimmer switches. One of the best ways to create mood lighting is to use dimmable sconces to control your lighting levels in any room.
Just remember, if you get a dimmer switch installed along with your new sconces, you will need to get compatible light bulbs. Make sure you have an easily available supply source in the night size and style for your chosen sconces.
Size and style
Sconces come in many shapes, styles and sizes. Make sure to choose yours carefully to suit your needs. If your space is limited, choose sconces that don't protrude too far into the room, while high ceilings lend themselves to tall, majestic sconcing.
Also, make sure to try and match them to your ceiling lights or chandeliers, and if you can't match, make sure they complement one another.
Choose the right style and placement for your sconces and they will give you many years of perfect lighting joy.
- Matthew Pillet
The Light Source 0
The right lighting can make the difference between great decor and a dull room with some expensive furniture in it. But what more can you do besides a good chandelier and some sconces?
Your chandelier gives you good overall lighting, while sconces are the answer to additional lighting or a lower-level alternative for mood setting. Sometimes, however, you just need something more.
Consider the humble table lamp. In itself a source of either bright or dim lighting, at your preference, it is versatile enough to move around to accommodate your changing decor moods, and to serve as a decor item in its own right.
Choosing the right table lamp for your needs can add not only enough extra lighting to make your room dazzling, but also that final touch of sophistication, beauty or decoration that cements your style.
The great thing about Art Deco as a style is that so much attention to detail went into it. As a design style that specifically sought to bring art into everyday useful household items, even something as simple as a table lamp could be transformed into an object of beauty, an artwork that served a purpose.
When you are choosing the right table lamp to suit your space, it helps to establish just what its purpose will be. For example, if you want something that is solely there to provide as much light as possible, you want a lamp that does that job first, and is decorative second.
That doesn't mean you should get an ugly lamp of course. It does mean looking for one with good light diffusion and possibly room for multiple light bulbs.
If, on the other hand, you already have plenty of lighting and are looking for an accent piece, consider something that's clearly designed to be beautiful, something that will make guests ask about it.
Sometimes, however, you want something that is not only a great source of light, but also exquisitely gorgeous. This, if you'll pardon the pun, is where Art Deco shines.
The beauty of functional art is that it is designed to do two jobs and do both of them well. Art Deco mastered the art of multi-tasking long before it became a buzzword and the aficionado who takes the time to find the right piece will get hours of pleasure from their attractive and useful table lamps.
- Matthew Pillet
A Buffet in Any Other Room 0
You know what I really love in a piece of furniture? Well, I mean, besides the design, the materials and the craftsmanship? Versatility. There is nothing better than a great piece of furniture that can perform its function - and even a few additional ones - in various different rooms.
Besides chairs and maybe certain tables, a lot of furniture really only has one job - I'm not about to set up a bed in my kitchen, for example. One piece of furniture that really goes in almost any room of the house, however, is a good buffet.
A Buffet By Any Other Name
With a name like "buffet" it almost feels mandatory that it goes in the dining room. However, buffets have long been known by more than just the one name. Other nomenclatures include sideboard, dry bar, credenza and cellarette and, just as many names as it has, so many uses it has as well.
A buffet in your dining room is a great place to store glassware, silverware and flatware, as well as to serve your food from. In fact, we've gone into the uses for a dining room buffet before, here. Its uses extend beyond the dining room, though, and we'll look at some of them today.
Most homes have two great entertainment areas - the dining room and the living room. A well-placed dry bar can really enhance a living room by providing you with a great place to store your glassware and any drinks that don't need refrigerating. It's also a good storage space for dry snacks, making it perfect for entertaining in the living room before going in for dinner.
Dry bars come in various shapes and sizes. Some are taller, functioning almost like a cabinet, while others will reach around hip-height, making them ideal for serving party snacks and drinks.
You might or might not be able to decorate your office at work the way you want, but either way, nothing is stopping you from doing just what you want in your home office. At home or at work, add a credenza for a classy, beautiful look as well as a great place to store all those essential files, stationery, backup hard drives, everything the modern office needs to run efficiently.
An office buffet can even continue serving its original purpose by doubling up as a coffee station with your cups, cookies and other coffee break essentials stared inside, and your prep surface neatly laid out on top.
Buffets are such great multi-purpose pieces of furniture, they're even perfect for using in the bedroom. Use it instead of a chest of drawers to store those items that don't fit in the regular closet, or that don't have a logical designated place.
One lady I knew kept all her dancing gear and accessories in a gorgeous old credenza with mother-of-pearl inlays. It was all very Black Swan!
If you have a separate den to your living room, you know just how quickly you end up with a huge pile of things that get shuttled between the two rooms. Everything from the Xbox to the inflatable mattress for guests can find its way into a corner of the den and make a mess of it.
Or maybe your den is an entertainment area, a place where the guys come to watch the game. Either way, you'll find that a buffet or sideboard not only makes for great storage space, it also makes for an ideal TV stand.
Whatever you do with your buffet, don't be afraid to experiment with decor. It's worth it to be able to think of new uses for such a versatile piece of furniture.
- Matthew Pillet
How to Choose the Perfect Buffet 0
Choosing the right buffet for your dining area takes just as much consideration as choosing the right dining table. After all, the two pieces of furniture will inhabit their positions for many years and - if chosen wisely - complement each other, working together as a team to bring you great dining experiences. Here are a few tips to help you pick the perfect buffet.
If you already have a dining table, you will need to take it into consideration when choosing a buffet. The style, wood, size will all make a difference to the buffet you eventually select.
Feel your space
In any dining room, once the guests are seated, there won't be much moving around. that doesn't mean you don't need space, though, as people hate feeling cramped. When looking for a buffet, measure the available space and make sure there will still be plenty of room for people to get up and serve themselves, and that none of your guests will feel too crowded..
Wood for life
The majority of buffets are made from various woods. Try your best to match the wood to the dining table, or at least find something in as similar a color as possible. If matching the color proves too difficult, try going for something contrasting, or complementary. For example, if your table is light oak, but you can only find a mahogany buffet with light oak insets that fits, that's complementary.
Style is everything
If your dining table follows a specific style, try to find a buffet in a similar style. Of course, with Art Deco, you get to have a lot of fun playing around with styles that complement each other! Many Art Deco buffets have interesting features like mirrored panels, geometric inlays and other style features that keep things interesting.
Fit for purpose
A buffet isn't just a beautiful piece of furniture, it's a highly functional one, too. Each buffet will have different functional features and it helps to know what you need it for. For example, some buffets include a dry bar, while others have a marble top on which you can place hot dishes without worry.
Work out what functions you need from your buffet and go from there. These functions can include storage, service, dry bar and more.
Of course, we've been discussing buffets under the assumption they will be in the dining room. This is not always the case. Depending on its purpose - and your available space - you could choose to put one in your living room. This is often the choice when people look for a dry bar, as most of the drinks will be served in the living room before and after dinner.
If you're choosing a buffet for the living room, you can still use exactly the same considerations to help you choose the right one. Matching it to the style of the room in which it will reside, how much space it will need, what materials it's made of and the colors, etc, will all still be valid.
A buffet can be a fantastic addition to any dining room or living room. Take your time choosing the right one, and you will get years of pleasure from it.