I am somewhat obsessed with lights, chandeliers to be more precise. You know the ones, they have loads of crystals, glass swirls; they are ornate, magical and over the top. But I love them. I long to have one in my house. I can imagine admiring it for hours on end and seeing the sunshine coming in through the window reflecting on the crystal surfaces. It would be a great contrast to the industrial look which dominates my inner city home.
My husband however, is quite horrified at the thought. He thinks I am being very Italian wanting an elaborate light fitting and hopes it is a phase I am going through. I tell him that it is in my blood – my mother comes from a town close to Venice and the island of Murano where beautiful glass is made – surely therefore it is in my genetic make up. And I think he might be coming into my line of thinking. Last weekend I managed to drag him into the Mirabella lighting shop on Lygon Street, Brunswick.
My first impression of Mirabella was how terribly low the light fittings were. In fact, I had to duck to miss walking into about half of them. The shop assistant chuckled when I pointed this out to him – he said they were set at the height where his father in law did not walk into them. Clearly he is not a tall man since to me they looked like they had an average clearance of about 150 cm from the ground. The shop has been around since 1960, so clearly business is doing alright and I love the fact that it seems to be a family business.
I imagine light fittings like this being found in a palatial ballroom in Italy, circa 1875, with loads of baroque furniture and ladies in gorgeous long ball gowns holding fans. Back then, all of the pieces would have been hand blown so slightly different from each other and delicate. Many of the lights at Mirabella are sourced from Italy. Most of them are such beautiful pieces, clearly designed to be the focal point of a room. The effect of having so many chandeliers in the same space like the showroom is a bit overwhelming, though I just love that over-the-top feel.
To look further afield, I entered the term “italian chandelier” into an internet search engine. I was quite taken aback when I saw the rather saucy definition that came up first. However that aside, I found beautiful shops that sell such objects – gorgeous bespoke glass blowers who make chandeliers. Here are a few links for those of you who might have a chandelier obsession like me:
– UK Chandeliers Italian that make divine pieces as per your specifications
– a somewhat less elaborate Custom Lighting an Australian company that sources Murano glass
– and the beautiful Nella Vetrina – from Italy.
I hope one day to be able to afford one of these glass blown beauties to create magic in my own home. It would be even better if I had to go to Venice to buy it!