My love for chandeliers knows no bounds. If I hadn’t studied law in university, I would have definitely been a passionate student of interior decoration or even architecture. Bringing a room alive through the art of decor, is something that I am truly drawn to and has led me to visit many stunning establishments throughout Paris and abroad.
But if there is one key embellishment that can be considered the pièce maîtresse of any room, I’d have to say it is the chandelier!
Over the centuries, this decorative fixture has evolved, taken on new designs all over the world, illuminating the chambers of monarchs to dazzling trendy lounges and literally went from carrying wax candles to electric light bulbs! What a Journey to Lovely indeed…
Given the history of the chandelier and it’s current place in the world of interior decor, it is not only my favorite decorative piece but has truly become the staple centerpiece in the art of lighting a room.
Living in the City of Lights, where the ascent of this illustrious artifact has been documented and part of the country’s cultural and artistic heritage, it is no wonder that I am constantly inspired! So with no further ado, here is a list of my Top 5 most stunning chandeliers in Paris
The Palace of Versailles has been listed as a World Heritage Site for 30 years and is widely recognized as one of the greatest achievements in French 17th century architecture. This opulent former royal residence is just outside of Paris and is inextricably linked with the lives of Louis XIV and the legendary Marie-Antoinette. Personally, it is one of my favorite French palaces and the chandeliers that it contains are truly unparalleled. Because it is a complex that housed rulers, one can expect that apartments of the sovereigns evoke all the pomp and splendour that such a status entails. However, of all the rooms hosting magnificent chandeliers, there is one that particularly stands out. It is The “galerie des glaces”. Pictured above, it can best be described as a royal feast for the eyes. This exuberant visual experience, displays some of the best chandeliers I have ever had the pleasure to see in real life.
2. Palais Garnier
One of my favorite guided tours of all time, was during my visit of the Paris Opera, an authentic architectural gem and the masterpiece of Charles Garnier. It is known as the Palais Garnier after its creator and was inaugurated in 1875 at the request of Napoleon III. Although the tour was carried out in broad day light, so there was no chance encounter with a sneeky Phatom at the Opera, I still got to uncover lots of hidden mysteries. But in the midst of those hidden passages, lavish mosaics with secret inscriptions and hidden symbols secretly painted unto the ceilings, one striking piece stood out: a majestic, multicolored, seven-ton, bronze and crystal chandelier. It is such a dazzling work of art and and pictures honestly do it no justice.
The seven-ton bronze and crystal chandelier designed by Garnier and prepared for execution by Jules Corboz, is the glorious centerpiece of the entire establishment and arguably, the world’s most famous Opera house. As I was standing on the right-wing balcony, I couldn’t help but gaze in amazement at its grandisosity and wonder if I’d be brave enough to sit in the audience under it. Given it’s past, perhaps not!
Eerie fact: a counterweight from the chandelier had fallen and killed a member of the audience in 1896. The tragedy was then forever immortalized in pop culture, as it served as fantastical inspiration for Leroux’s famous novel, The Phatom of the Opera.
3. Plaza Athénée
I remember the first time I stepped into the Plaza Athénée, it was just 2 years go, yet it feels like yesterday. I couldn’t help but feel like Carrie Bradshaw, as the iconic hotel served as the backdrop to her “An American In Paris” adventures. My Afternoon Tea date was an equally starry-eyed friend and we were immedietly taken aback by the stunning fixtures of Swarovski crystals that adorned the ceiling. The burst of sparkling charmings which dangle over the guests are simply breathtaking. Michelin-starred -chef, Alain Ducasse, heads the restaurant, whose decor reflects the hotel’s legacy of excellence with examplary grace. These chandeliers are definitely some of my favorites as they encompass the perfect mixture of modernity and classic beauty. Our visit being during the holidays, the all-white room ressembled a winter wonderland with the chandelier crystals fluttering like snowflakes, adding immeasurable charm to the entire experience.
4. InterContinental Paris
I had the honor of experiencing the splendor of the marvelous ballroom at the Intercontinental Paris, Le Grand Hotel. I was requested to host interviews for the Oxford Fashion Studio show during Paris Fashion Week. Historically, the parisian complex is an architectural landmark housing one of the most exquisite chandeliers I’ve ever seen. It is indeed a masterpiece and its brilliance was hightened with a purple tint for this particular event. Le Grand Hotel’s chandelier, takes centre stage in their ballroom and honestly almost stole the show, as designers presented their most captivating couture pieces. The beautiful marbling effect delicately frames the view of the extravagant light fixture and its beautifully painted ceiling, which towers over a lavish bespoke carpet and encircled by graceful columns. As the models strutted down the runway, surrounded by so much grandeur, one could only be immersed in the moment. As I interviewed for the Runway Authority press group and hosted their live, it was clear that this iconic venue and its dazzling focal point was the perfect backdrop for Haute Couture fashion.
5. Appartements de Napoléon III/ Musée du Louvre
If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of 18th century rococo decor and art. Located in the Louvre, which is also a former royal residence, these chandeliers are housed in the opulent interiors of the Napoleon appartment in the Richelieu wing of the museum. The design of the appartments, the exquisite patterns, the luscious gold appliqués, delicate marbles and wonderful paintings all make for an unforgettable experience. These majestic chandeliers are on my list of favorites because they express the pomp, refinement and royal splendor of its regal inhabitants.
I love the warmth, the almost cozy and passionate feel that you get from the rich textures and colors. And yet, for it to be contrasted by the austere, vibrant and opulent glamour of those stunning chandeliers. This stunning decor was made even more magnificent, thanks to my favorite artifact, the chandelier. Which creates such a glorious spectacle fit for a King- or should I say Queen.
What was your favorite chandeliers? Which ones have you visited or would like to visit? Share below 🙂
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!