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Fresh Ideas For Home Decor Using Lighting Through the Ages

Articles

Fresh Ideas For Home Decor Using Lighting Through the Ages

Janine Mackie & Kate Missine

Aesthetics have changed like a kaleidoscope over the centuries: from Rococo to Victorian to Art Nouveau. Getting familiar with the major eras gives us the power to create rooms and lifestyles we couldn’t have imagined otherwise and to style our lives with creativity and coherence. Inspired by the restored antique chandeliers we see at retailers such as Renew Period Lighting and Decorative Arts in Vancouver, we’ve curated a sampling of some of the most important eras in design. 

Art reborn  

From Florence, Italy, between the 1300s to the 1600s, came a tidal wave of art influenced by ancient Greek manuscripts whose philosophy and motifs lapped at the feet of designers all around the world. Around 1850, the young, newly wealthy USA began manufacturing “Renaissance revival” lighting and furniture. This chandelier gives a room the fascinating feeling of being not only antique, but ancient, while also complementing modern lines and surfaces. $38,500 at Renew Period Lighting & Decorative Arts (604) 872-3131

 

Age of opulence

Elaborate, fluid, and graceful, the Rococo movement emerged in Paris in the late 1600’s and lasted until about 1780. It developed in response to the strict conventions of the Baroque period before it. Asymmetrical lines, ornate curvature, and gold tones took the lead. This gold-plated brass chandelier evokes the era’s opulence, with elegant scrollwork, crystal prisms, and a touch of aged patina for authentic presence. $10,500 at Renew Period Lighting & Decorative Arts (604) 872-3131

 

Eclectic flair

The intricate castings, heavy filigree, and remarkable detail of this colossal 6-foot by 6-foot fixture make it a classic representation of the eclectic Victorian era. Referring to the period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 to 1901, Victorian style reinterpreted historic designs with global influences from Asia and the Middle East, showcasing orderly, yet richly ornamented spaces. US$18,500 at renewgallery.com (888) 401-1900

 

Age of creativity

Art, music, theatre and literature flourished during Belle Epoque, a period spanning from 1871 to 1914, also known as the Gilded Age. Post-impressionism, modernist trends, and ethnic techniques such as Japanese printmaking and African tribal art propelled the creative movement captured in this whimsical golden bronze chandelier by E.F. Caldwell, draped in oversized crystal and nature-inspired detail. $14,500 at Renew Period Lighting & Decorative Arts (604) 872-3131

 

A lighter look

Named after United Kingdom’s King Edward VII, Edwardian style prevailed from 1901 to 1914, highlighting a move away from the overly ornate towards cleaner lines and lighter palettes. The simpler elegance of the period presents in this cast bronze silhouette chandelier, featuring a reed-and-ribbon pattern and glass shades etched with “Greek Key” designs. $4,500 at Renew Period Lighting & Decorative Arts (604) 872-3131

 

Organic inspirations

Peaking in popularity between 1890 and 1910, the Art Nouveau movement brought forth a focus on organic forms and a harmony between design and the natural environment, exemplified in this graceful Austrian fixture showing fluid lines and all-original glass shades with a delicate floral motif and aged gold patina. US$3,200 at 1stdibs.com (877) 721-3427