Give Your Home a Chandelier Overhaul

You’re moving into your new home or just trying to give an overhaul to the place you’ve been living in for years. Where to start when trying to get the basics taken care of for creating a beautiful home? Well, let there be light. Finding the right lighting is as important as choosing the right furniture, because the light you use will influence the whole room around it. There’s the matter of what type of fixture you want to use – modern, classic, trendy, old-fashioned? And what level of light you want in each room is an important consideration – soft light, bright light, light controlled by dimmers? The style of your fixture is a reflection of you, and will speak to the whole room, so think carefully to find your right fit.

It can be difficult to find the right chandelier light for a room – some homeowners will underestimate the importance of lighting and maintain that you can pick any type of light. But you want lighting fixtures that complement your décor, match the room, and make a statement all on their own. Here are some options to consider.

Pendant lighting is a fabulous new trend that turns your lighting fixture into a piece of jewelry draping the room with elegance. Pendant lighting is hung from the ceiling and hangs down, often dangling over the dining room table to cast a glow on your party or meal. These lights are also popular in entertainment and living rooms, adding a dash of cool to each. Pendant lights are made from metals, glass, crystal and fabric. Depending on how much light you need, pendant lights of single and multiple bulbs are available, so you can decide whether you want a soft glow or stronger light, or change the light strength between rooms in order to create a varied custom atmosphere for each. If you want your home to be a statement of knowing what’s hip and being on the forefront of home and design trends, pendant lighting could be the choice for you.

Wrought iron chandeliers offer sophistication and style, giving you the pleasant sensation of living in an old-world mansion or romantic castle, or taking a more modern approach for a smart, cutting edge look. Wrought iron is known for its Victorian and contemporary lighting styles so channel your inner decorator to find the one that suits your taste and the mood of the room. Progressive designs are putting a new spin on this classic fixture, great when suspended over dining room tables, in entryways or in large gathering rooms. A wrought iron chandelier can free up space occupied by other lamps, so you’ll have more room for lining up vases or pictures framed in styles that complement the beautiful wrought iron of your light fixture. Make sure the wrought iron is an appropriate fit for your other furnishings, so as to avoid any clashing.

If you dream of elaborate style as a visual accompaniment to the sounds of ice clinking in glasses and the rustle of silk dresses at your big gathering, a crystal chandelier can be your ticket. These light fixtures work well in any room, and while they can be expensive, it’s an investment that drips with sophistication and class reflected in every twinkle of light. Turn your dining room, living room or entryway into a completely different space with a crystal chandelier, and become the hostess you’ve always dreamed of being. A crystal chandelier is an unforgettable piece of any room that ups the ante for drama and sets the stage for great things to happen at your stylish gatherings.

There are some technical rules to keep in mind concerning chandeliers before you go ahead with purchase and installation. Chandeliers should be hung 32 to 40 inches above tables, so as to avoid any unfortunate and decidedly un-classy head bumping incidents. Likewise if they are too close to the ceiling, they can be missed and lose their dramatic effect, so going in the middle is your best bet. Installing dimmers offers control over the lighting, a solid idea that will let you pump up the volume for big dinner parties and turn it down for romantic twosomes.

A Non-Touristic Approach to Shopping in Greece

  1. Always mention this guide. It helps shops and artists, particularly, to know you have seen samples of their work or product. It sets you apart from the other tourists.
  2. Make contact. A good thing to do before visiting an artist in Greece is to call or email them ahead of time to let them know you are coming to visit. Don’t be afraid to do this. Many artists work their own hours and need some warning of visitors, especially ones who prefer to prepare a special presentation for each customer. Many speak English, but if you find yourself in a language pickle, perhaps a friend or the clerk at your hotel will call for you. Emails are great if you have your itinerary planned out, you would be smart to let the artists know when you expect to be in the area before you leave on your trip. All possible contact information is available for each artist or location on this site. If you cannot reach the artists to let them know you are coming, just going to the studio or shop is generally OK. The artists who onle meet by apointment are specified as so on their web page. On the whole, the artists work long hours and you will at least get a chance to see the work. Although there may be someone other than the artist in the shop, you will still be able to take advantage of the occasion by mentioning this site.

    Calling Greece from outside of Greece (011) (30) + area code (210 for Athens) and number.

    Calling from within Greece area code (even when calling the city you are in) + number.

    If you are planning your itinerary while in Greece through Fantasy Travel, you can ask them to arrange these appointments for you ahead of time.

  3. Don’t rush. Give yourself plenty of time to spend with the artist. Some may be more chatty than others. Sometimes these encounters can lead to long evenings of conversation. Greeks love to offer refreshments and visit with you before getting down to business. Although it’s not always the case, we once visited an artist couple for a demonstration and they sent me to a nearby hotel with two local bottles of wine, fresh bread, and two blocks of cheese. Enjoy these experiences for all they are worth. Making friends and learning from the artist about their work and Greece in general is part of the fun. Greeks are typically much slower at doing business than we are accustomed to in the States. You will find they like to get to know you first and may offer you something to drink and a place to sit before even mentioning their work. Don’t expect a quick in and out visit at every place. In most cases, visiting 3-4 artists in a day can be a very very full day.
  4. Enjoy the journey. If you like the area you are in, ask the artist for referrals to other places, sites, and artists you may like to visit while you are there. They are proud and love to share their villages and friends with you, if you show an interest.
  5. Don’t bargain. These are established artists who have already agreed to offer special prices to visitors who come from this site and deserve the respect of the buyer. Unless you are in an outdoor market environment where you are dealing with an owner or plan on buying many of one thing shopping is generally like the U.S. and prices are as marked. If you really love something by a particular artist you are visiting with in person and it is too expensive, just express this. The fact that you connect with what an artists is doing and truly appreciate their work will open the conversation up to negotiations.
  6. Hitting the sales. In Greece, sales are only allowed twice a year during a specific time period where all shops are allowed to discount their merchandise. Because the shops must wait for these sales, there are fabulous deals on merchandise during these periods. The mark downs are up to 70% off at most stores. They are in held in February and August.
  7. Shop hours. Shops are generally open from 8:00am to 2:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:00am to 2:30pm and from 5:30-8:00pm. Most shops are closed on Sunday. If you are visiting an artist at their studio, these hours don’t necessarily apply. You are best off contacting them ahead of time to let them know when you would like to visit. Avoid trying to make appointments on Greek holidays. It may be more difficult to set up a time during the time surrounding Christmas and Easter. Greeks tend to take a fews off before and after to visit their villages or homes away from the city. August is also a time when Greeks generally go on a holiday that could last up to the entire month. Again, artists who work on their own may be more flexible than shops and happy to meet you at your leisure. As a side note, the banks are generally open from 8:00am to 2:30pm Monday through Friday and until only 12:00pm on Saturday. Bank Hours: Mon-Thu- 8-2:30, Friday 8-2, Closed on Weekends
  8. Use Euros or credit cards. Many Greek shops will charge you extra when using a credit card, because it means they must report the income and there are taxes they cannot avoid. With cash, you will get the best price and avoid additional charges. Don’t try to use dollars or other foreign currency. This can be done in an emergency, but getting the daily exchange rates and making the conversion is a hassle most vendors prefer to avoid.
  9. Be reasonable. Most Greeks will gladly go out of their way to get you exactly what you want, but Greece does not have the resources as readily available as the U.S. to make these special requests so easy to fill. Be considerate of their efforts, respect their situation, and be flexible, if possible.
  10. Don’t get offended. Greeks are great at multi-tasking. They are used to handling many things at once. If you are visiting an artist personally, you may find that interruptions are not always put off just because company is present, but you will be surprised at how smoothly a Greek can pick up exactly where you had left off not missing a beat as if nothing ever happened.
  11. Compliments are welcome. If you are not intending to purchase from an artist or find their work to be of a taste other than your own, that’s OK. You can share some thoughts with the artists. They typically welcome open and inspiring conversation, but do not be an “ugly tourist” and insult their tireless work in any way. Artists are very accepting of an honest opinion and prefer an admiring, happy customer to a lukewarm, regretful one any day.