Thursday, July 3, 2008

Designed With Aplumb

Next up we have some brilliant lighting by Brooklyn's Michael McHale Designs.  The people at this booth fall into the Too Busy category, but on the forgivable side: first of all, when I happened by, their booth was pretty much swarming with visitors, and secondly despite their being somewhat overwhelmed, I was still greeted very nicely, if quickly.  I discovered that impression was correct when I began emailing McHale back and forth, because he's been very friendly and helpful.

This line of theirs is based on a fairly simple premise, but it amounts to something so wonderful.  I'll start with the big ones, the "Triple Rail Chandelier":

Click that, because in the background is another great idea, their "Corner Chandelier."  Its name makes it sort of self-explanatory, but I honestly don't think I've ever seen something like that before.  Seriously, though, why does a chandelier always have to be right in the center of the room, exactly?  I think that's quite dramatic.

And here's another fairly large one, the "Banqueting Chandelier":

What's really so great about this is the contrast between the crystal and the industrial metal framework.  You can never really get away from the glorious, sparkling preciousness of the crystal.  In addition to the Bohemian crystal, which is much more affordable, they offer all of them with Swarovski crystal, as well--so even more precious and spectacular.  But then, at the same time, the industrial aesthetic does so much: it makes the fixtures more casual, more muscular, less delicate and fussy.  It opens these fixtures up to a whole range of different styles and applications that'd be totally off-limits to a normal crystal chandelier.

And further along those lines, they even offer one for outdoor use, in a "Three-Bulb" arrangement:

See the snow?  That means it's outdoors.

McHale was telling me he recommends the Bohemian crystal for outdoors, because it's somewhat more durable than the Swarovski.  He told me Swarovski cuts their crystals by laser, so the facets are relatively sharp.  It occurred to be that those sharp edges could chip more easily in a stronger wind, but who knows.  He says some of the Bohemian ones have been outdoors for long periods of time and have held up nicely.  I asked him if they make any noise, and he said they do tinkle a little bit, but more incredible is the way the crystals reflect the sparkling light around as they're moved in the breeze.  I have no doubt that's true.

Here's another smaller one, the "Five-Bulb Compact Chandelier":

And in general, I'm really liking their smaller pieces, too.  I'm not sure why, exactly, but I think it's because with the larger ones, it's this wide sheet of glittering crystal, whereas with the smaller ones, you're able to focus more and appreciate each of the crystals, their color, shape, and quality, and the spectacular things they do to the light.

Here's the smallest of all, the "Single-Bulb Chandelier":

I think this would be fantastic in a group of, say, five hanging in a row down a long hallway.

Michael McHale Designs

©2008, Ryan Witte

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