Splurge on the Real Deal or Save on an Imitation?

The two things we'll probably purchase for the dining room in the near future are a new light fixture and fabric so I can make drapes. The light fixture in the dining room is functioning, but when we had the ceilings sanded and smoothed, plaster dripped down on it. We've been able to chip some of it off, but there are globs that won't budge.

As I looked for light fixture inspiration, I realized that I didn't want a super traditional chandelier like I had in the old dining area (it had a drum shade around it) or in the old bathroom (oh, how I miss that bathroom), but I didn't want metal either. One fixture kept jumping out at me...

From House Beautiful, room designed by Ken Fulk

Even if it looked a little off, size-wise, in a picture, I loved it.

From DecorPad, unknown designer

It it me or does it look too small and off-center in the image just above and below? 

From DecorPad, room designed by EJ Interiors

I think it looks just right, size-wise, in this room:

It's the "George II" chandelier by Visual Comfort. I love it. It's crystal, traditional in shape, but a little non-traditional in that it doesn't have hanging crystals and swags.

Visual Comfort apparently makes a version for William Sonoma Home. It's slightly different...and more expensive.

The small George II retails for around $1500 (the large is around $2200). The Williams-Sonoma version is about $2000. I was a little crushed by the prices, so I looked for an alternative and found Crystorama's Harper chandelier. It retails for about $800.

When I put the George II and the Harper side-by-side, I can't help but fixate on how much more elegant the George II is. The bulbs are prettier, the curve of the arms is a little more gentle, the candle "cups" aren't as dramatic, and the bottom is more ornate. I also like that the candles are white, though I could obviously switch the silver ones out on the Harper. I even like the ceiling hardware on the George II better.

I showed the two chandeliers to Marc and he preferred the George II as well. When I told him how much they were and that I thought we "ought" to get the Harper since it was so much less expensive, he said that we're doing this once, so we should do it the way we really want to do it.

I noticed the two-tiered version of the George II on One Kings Lane over the weekend, so maybe I'll keep an eye out for the size we want and hold off on making a decision right now.

We're in no hurry. As I wrote before, the existing fixture works just fine.


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