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The Best Modern Chandeliers: And How To Make Them Work in Your Space

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If you’re still rocking those 1970s-era chandeliers in your house, it might be time to join the current century by updating your lighting with something more modern. Not only does a light fixture alter the entire mood, but the design of a chandelier can elevate a space that might have been previously lacking that certain je ne sais quois

When searching for a new chandelier, you want something that looks modern but will still appear current in a few years, as switching out lighting is not always a DIY project. To help you choose a new fixture, we’ve curated a collection of eight modern chandeliers that are the likeliest to stay in style for years to come.

1. Alson 9-Light Statement Geometric Chandelier

Alson 9 - Light Unique / Statement Geometric Chandelier

Top Features:

  • 9-light design
  • Metal construction
  • Stylish appeal

Nine lights float within the metal geometric framework of this modern chandelier. It offers a fresh update on the sputnik chandelier that has been so popular in recent years. The combination of black metal and brass allows this fixture to look at home with many different decor styles. 

It features a sloped ceiling adapter, and the hanging height is adjustable. The fixture is dimmable and measures approximately 28 inches high by 26 inches wide. Reviewers rave about how easy it is to install. 

This geometric chandelier will make a statement in a foyer or open staircase, as well as over a dining table or even in the bedroom for a touch of glam. 

View Alson 9-Light Statement Geometric Chandelier on Wayfair

2. Caswell 3-Light Sputnik Modern Linear Chandelier

Caswell 3-Light Sputnik Modern Linear Chandelier

Top Features:

  • Unique-shaped shades
  • Mix of modern and classic
  • Contemporary appeal

Black midcentury three-arm lights have become ubiquitous in recent years due to both their graceful forms and the ability to aim light in specific directions around the room. This ultramodern take on the classic chandelier features elevated details that make it stand out among its typology, including delicate brass arms and suspension rod as well as the gracefully curved edges of the black metal light shades. 

It dangles within a space like a special piece of jewelry. The fixture measures 50 inches high (fixed height), and up to 50 inches wide. Three 40 watt bulbs cast a warm, even glow, and the arms are adjustable. 

View Caswell 3-Light Sputnik Modern Linear Chandelier on Wayfair

3. Alexander-James Shaded Globe Chandelier with Feather Accents

Alexander-James 3 - Light Shaded Globe Chandelier with Feather Accents

Top Features:

  • Luxurious vibe
  • Unique feather lampshade
  • High-quality materials

A chandelier made of feathers is certainly unexpected, and without a doubt, it adds a luxurious touch to any space. Suspended from an adjustable-height brass rod, the feathery shade conceals three bulbs. The dimmable fixture measures 9.8 inches high and 17.7 inches wide, and it floats like a cloud beneath the ceiling. 

You could hang this fixture in all the usual places — over a small dining table, in a breakfast nook, or as a statement piece for the foyer. But it’s particularly well-suited for bedrooms, dressing rooms, or even a particularly sophisticated kid’s room.

View Alexander-James Shaded Globe Chandelier with Feather Accents on Wayfair

4. Neri 1 – Light Single Dome Pendant

Neri 1 - Light Single Dome Pendant

Top Features:

  • Geometric shape
  • Symetrical design
  • Perfect for entryways

The shade of this faceted geometric pendant fixture conceals a surprise — a bronze lining that reflects the warm glow of the bulb. Available with either a black or white powder-coated metal shade, this fixture comes in three sizes — 67 inches high by 10.2 inches wide, 70 inches high by 15 inches wide, or 71 inches high by 17.7 inches wide. 

A grouping of multiple fixtures would make a strong statement above a kitchen island. Or you could hang a single fixture above a round dining table, in an entryway, or any other space in which you seek a subdued statement with an unexpected touch of glam.

View Neri 1 – Light Single Dome Pendant on Wayfair

5. KCO Lighting Modern Gold Chandelier with White Globes

Top Features:

  • Painted finish
  • Elegant lighting
  • Spherical lampshades

Reminiscent of strands of DNA, white spherical glass shades wrap around a horizontal gold rod on this chandelier. It hangs suspended from the ceiling from another delicate rod. The frosted glass globes emit a soft light in all directions, so you’ll enjoy the benefit of both up and downlighting. Measuring 13.8 inches high and 43.3 inches long, the fixture uses E26 LED bulbs. 

This chandelier is easy to install, and the look is classic, elegant, but decidedly modern. With its linear format, this chandelier is ideal for above a kitchen island or a rectangular dining table.

View KCO Lighting Modern Gold Chandelier with White Globes on Amazon

6. Minimikado Pendant

Minimikado Pendant

Top Features:

  • Wood grain effect
  • FSC certified material
  • Wide color selection

For an organic, yet modern, twist on a chandelier, this fixture features wood veneer sourced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests. Truly a statement piece, the chandelier features an array of veneers that fan out in an interlocking pattern that resembles a bird in flight. The fixture is made in Spain, and one can’t help but think of the dramatic architecture of Santiago Calatrava. 

This chandelier is available in 11 different finish options, including natural wood tones as well as a range of colors. Measuring 19.7 inches high by 27.5 inches wide, this fixed-height chandelier is dimmable and adaptable for sloped ceilings. Keep in mind that wood is a natural material, so gradual changes in tone may occur over time. 

View Minimikado Pendant on Wayfair

7. Agatha Pendant

Agatha Pendant

Top Features:

  • Graceful illumination
  • Natural materials
  • Fancy design

Inspired by and named for the novelist Agatha Christie, the Agatha pendant blooms like a flower, featuring ribbons of wood veneer that form an organic, draping shape. The award-winning design comes in nine finishes, from natural wood tones to bold colors. 

This chandelier is dimmable, adjustable in height, and it can be adapted to sloped ceilings. It is available in two sizes — 14.6 inches high by 30 inches wide and 30 inches high by 55 inches wide. This statement piece is ideal for an entryway, above a dining table, or suspended from the center above a curving staircase.

View Agatha Pendant on Wayfair

8. Nickacoo Retro Cluster Pendant Hanging Lighting Fixture

Nickacoo Retro Cluster Pendant in Antique 3-Light Hanging Lighting Fixture Vintage Chandelier Living...
Retro mixed with elegance, this chandelier is a great addition for your living space3.

Top Features:

  • Warm lighting
  • Champagne gold base
  • Antique vibe

A sculptural showstopper, this chandelier features a cluster of delicate champagne-tinted glass vessels in different shapes and sizes that are suspended from brass rods and canopy. At once retro and modern, the fixture delivers soft illumination without glare. With a total height of around 20 inches, which is adjustable, the fixture has a diameter of approximately 15 inches. 

Whether hanging above a round dining table, in a foyer or dangling above a staircase, this jewel-like fixture makes a statement.

View Nickacoo Retro Cluster Pendant Hanging Lighting Fixture on Amazon

Design Tips for Chandeliers

Selecting the right chandelier might feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In addition to your aesthetic preferences, here are a few points to consider to help you make the best choice for your space:

  • Scale: Consider the scale of the room as well as the scale and location of the furnishings within the space. A fixture that is too small will get lost. If too large, it can feel overwhelming. In particular, consider the ceiling height. An adjustable height fixture will give you more flexibility.
  • Illumination: What is your goal for illumination? For example, the chandelier could be intended for overall ambiance, or perhaps you want to make a bolder statement. In certain situations, such as hanging a fixture above a surface like a kitchen island or dining table, you might desire more focused light for the tasks at hand. Some chandelier fixtures deliver light in all directions, while others focus it downward or upward at the ceiling. Light that is scattered by a white ceiling can provide even, overall illumination.
  • Installation: Consider the installation of the fixture. Do you plan to hire a professional or can you install it yourself? How complicated is the installation? Also, take note of what types of bulbs the fixture requires. Are they readily available, and how much do they cost? Will the bulbs be difficult to change out? LEDs are long-lasting, so that saves you some hassle along with being more environmentally friendly. 
  • Dimming: Is the fixture dimmable? Many fixtures offer this capability, while others do not. If you plan to install a dimmer switch, first be sure your fixture is compatible. Being able to dim a fixture as needed is a nice feature, particularly above a dining table or in a bedroom. However, dimming is not always necessary. Consider the fixture’s lighting levels and how you will use the space in which it is to be installed.
  • Style: Perhaps most importantly, consider your decor style. Are you going for minimal and ultramodern, or modern mixed with some traditional details? The light fixture should align with the overall style. If it has metal accents, such as brass or silver, coordinate the finish of these with other accents already within the space, such as cabinet hardware or decorative items.

Author’s Bio: Murrye Bernard, AIA, LEED AP, is an architect and writer based in New York. Previously Murrye was the managing editor of Contract magazine, and her work has appeared in many other architecture and design publications, including Architect, Architectural Record, and Architectural Lighting. She has practiced with the architecture firms Polk Stanley Rowland Curzon Porter Architects (now Polk Stanley Wilcox) in Little Rock, Arkansas, and TEK Architects in New York City.

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