The Wood Chandelier: Trending into the New Year

Do you know why farmhouse style was so quickly adopted? It was a rebuttal to stiff, formal living. People were craving the casual comfort and natural simplicity that originated in rustic farmhouses. Of course, like any design trend, it brought an onslaught of standout features, including the reclaimed barn door, the wrought-iron bed frame and the white, oversized farmhouse sink. But one of the most unique and impactful contributions was the hearty wood chandelier.

The Many Forms of Wood Chandeliers

If you’ve been busy gawking at glass crystals and chrome finishes, you may have missed the natural beauty that radiates from wood chandeliers. These aren’t just bare-bone structures. Wood chandeliers are thick, dainty, light, dark, intricate and free-flowing. When you consider their range, it’s like an art collection of exquisite woodwork.

Here are some of the many forms you can expect to find among wood chandeliers:

  • Beaded – Small wood beads strung together create elegant, antique light fixtures. You’ll usually find these strings of beads draped in two or three tiers.
  • Candelabra – Metal isn’t the only base for candelabras. Wood can be cut with curves and paired with metal to create the classic U-shaped arms.
  • Globe – This is the design you might expect to see in a traditional farmhouse, where wood slats are turned into a perfectly round globe. Sometimes, the wood circles intersect, sometimes they’re made of wood beads and sometimes they’re mixed with metal.
  • Lantern – Lantern-style light fixtures are often made of wood. These decorative boxes can be an open frame or completely sealed with glass doors or metal cages.
  • Circular – Wood can easily take on a basic ring structure with hurricane glasses or exposed light bulbs.
  • Wicker– If baskets come to mind, you’re right on the money. Wicker chandeliers are thin, woven wood fixtures that come in many different patterns and sizes. 
  • Ornate Ornate chandeliers include the unusual and artistic. Think pendants inspired by tree branches or exposed Edison bulbs hanging from a piece of driftwood.

Does a Wood Chandelier Suit Your Style?

It’s because of this wide variety of shapes and forms that the wood chandelier can cross design borders. While they’re a must-have in farmhouse design or rustic chic, these bucolic light fixtures can take on several different styles.

Minimalist

By definition, minimalism is simple and functional. Wood, itself, is exactly that. The key is finding a wood light fixture that isn’t at all fussy. While ornate wood chandeliers may be off limits, you’ll still want something that’s more artistic than subtle. Try to find interesting twists on basic shapes, like a circular drum shade or rectangular box with backlighting.

Industrial

An industrial wood chandelier will most certainly feature mixed materials. Look for matte-black metal, chains, pully systems or other factory-related accents. These fixtures are often rectangular to mimic a two-by-four wood beam. Remember: It has to feel a little scrappy, or it’s not truly industrial.

French country

French country is a mix of farmhouse and shabby chic, which means you’ll find wood chandeliers that are a tad whimsical. The wood will most definitely be distressed. And to match the neutral color scheme, these fixtures are usually made of a light wood like pine or may even be painted a pastel color. 

Traditional

Traditional lighting fixtures can be pretty ornate, but that bodes well for wood. Consider the beaded wood chandelier again. Those intricate strands can be draped and layered just like a crystal chandelier. In fact, the beads are a welcomed alternative in traditional design. Of course, you can also find a simpler wood fixture made with S-curved arms and a candlestick center if you rather not let your lighting get all the attention. 

Mid-century modern

Though it’s usually reserved for flooring or furniture, wood chandeliers in a mid-century modern home are not an anomaly. They are, however, of artistic origin. These light fixtures tend to be unique in every sense of the word, taking on geometric shapes or even origami figures. As far as the type of wood, mid-century modern is best known for oak, teak, walnut and rosewood. 

Coastal

Forget tacky nautical themes with boat oars and life rafts. Coastal-inspired wood chandeliers are simply light-and-airy fixtures with a few beachside bonuses. Usually, they’re made of birch or a whitewashed wood. Beaded strands can also have a coastal vibe. Of course, if you want something more quirky, look for rope ties, oyster shells or blue sea glass.

Bohemian

Bohemian design is such an eclectic mix of patterns and colors that you can easily find a wood chandelier to fit right in. The only thing it must have is an abundance of texture. So it’s no surprise wicker chandeliers and beaded styles get the green light, as do drum-shaped pendants made of wispy rattan. If the fixture looks like a rare flea-market find, rest assured it’s worthy of your bohemian bedroom.

Find Your Favorite Wood Chandelier

No matter what style home you’re decorating, it helps to have visuals. So here are a few examples of popular wood chandeliers and how they might accent your space.

Auburn by Quoizel

Sometimes less is more. And that’s no more true than with the Auburn chandelier. Even with its walnut finish and rustic black accents, this candelabra feels lightweight. It’s the perfect balance to chunky wood furnishings or stone fireplaces. With its classic candelabra design, this chandelier has a timelessness that would look stunning in a traditional home.

Middlefield by Frederick Ramond

When candelabra meets celestial lighting, you get the Middlefield chandelier. Its globe-shaped wood planks orbit around a ring of candles that provide ambient lighting for a bedroom or dining space. This is actually a very common chandelier in farmhouse interiors. However, its steel construction and distressed wood make it a good fit for industrial homes or coastal villas, as well.

Ridgewood by Kichler

With unfinished wood, this fixture feels like a handcrafted treasure. Though any home would be happy to have it, the wrought iron and filament bulbs make it lean more toward industrial dwellings or rustic ranches. Because of its elongated shape, you’ll want to hang the Ridgewood over a kitchen island or dining room table.

Gannet by Murray Feiss

Oversized lanterns are no longer a front-porch décor piece. Bring the rectangular wood frame indoors, where it can fill headspace from high ceilings or serve as the focal point in a cozy nook. The Gannet is the perfect large wood chandelier for the job. It has an open-air build and candelabra-style lights that emit the right degree of warmth. 

Socorro by Sea Gull Lighting

If you’re inspired by Parisian design or Italian Renaissance, look no further than the Socorro chandelier. The barbed quatrefoil frame in distressed wood is a nod to Notre Dame. It’s rustic medieval with a hint of extravagance. You’ll enjoy this wood chandelier most when it’s hanging above your dining table or greeting guests in your foyer.

Strike a Match

Chandeliers are the piece de resistance of interior design, which is why most people shop for large, multi-tiered fixtures made of brilliant crystals and shiny metal. It’s true these materials scream glitz and glam, but they don’t necessarily work with every style. If you’re open to a more natural material, check out what’s available in wood. From unfinished industrial to bohemian wicker, there’s a wood chandelier just waiting to call your house its new home. 

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