Origin of Crystal Chandeliers

Crystal chandeliers are as common as other expensive furniture and interior models, giving life to luxurious, classy buildings and structural design. Crystal-made chandelier provides distinctive reflections, adding glamour to the light that would roughly ensnare everyone’s eyes. Because of this feature, it is now one of the after sought interior decors in the market.

The use of crystal chandelier is dated back in 1150 A.D. in Europe. However there are notions that it originated from the place of the oldest civilization- China. European style during the ancient period is known for glitzy spendthrift peripheries. Shortly after the trend in Europe, Romans undertook their contribution for architectural concepts brought about by the renaissance view in the year 1400.

Baroque era in 1600 influenced the fashion and elegance of crystal chandelier’s assembly that implicated new affluent designs that can still be witnessed up to date. The Bourgeoisie or the “middle class” in Europe during the Regency period in 1800 and 1830, were engaged in exhibiting Regency chandeliers showing the prosperity and splendor of the Bourgeoisie class.

During the Victorian era in 1849 to 1870, chandeliers grew heavier in furnishings and embellishments that were identified as Victorian crystal chandeliers. The decoration piece had enormously adorned every distinctive marvelous house.

The modern times had exerted influence on the designs of crystal chandelier, combining some styles including method of abstraction, providing sense of modernity to home’s interior decoration and giving more emphasis for appreciation. Recent made chandeliers are made of several materials like metals painted with gold, silver, bronze, and chrome. Some of the designs are combined with glass materials enhanced by the cutting-edge stylish lighting elements or candle holders within it. With the advanced tools and equipments nowadays, designers are given much chance to defy arts and craftsmanship.

Finding styles that suit one’s taste is as easy now as choosing a piece of clothes to wear. There are varieties of style to choose from. With the boosting of crystal chandelier market, people can already embellish their respective humble houses with the gift of art and make them look more like a hotel, museum, or a mansion. Chandelier can manipulate the motif of an interior decoration and add more spices to an idle-looking house interior. The house owner might want to get a set that does not demand for many light bulbs or choose a piece with so many provisions for lighting elements. Incorporating chandelier in a house interior decoration can inspire good reflections and designs. Some chandeliers can be made upon customer’s order with customer’s personal design, giving the home owner an opportunity to flaunt his own designing prowess and to display his flavor of art. According to manufacturers and sellers, majority of the buyers prefer crystal chandelier because of its flashing elegance and beauty, reflecting any lights that might come upon it. There are people who still desire for the Renaissance and Victorian type though.

During the past decades, crystal chandelier were only associated with middle class people who are fitted to enjoy the grandeur of its beauty; but as years pass by, the use of crystal chandelier for interior decoration had been wide opened to most contemporary houses and building structures around the world.

The 5 Best Hotels in Blythe, California

Blythe, California is a major stopping point for people traveling between Los Angeles and Phoenix. Because it is directly on the I-10 Freeway, Blythe has a number of businesses that cater just to the millions of highway travelers passing through such as fast food restaurants, billboards, and hotels. Additionally, Blythe is directly on US-95 (aka Intake Boulevard) which means there is additional traffic coming from the Imperial Valley (El Centro, Brawley, Calexico) towards the Tri-State area of Needles, Bullhead City and Laughlin.

Because every hotel in Blythe is affordable, it only makes sense to look at those hotels rated with two or more stars. These include the two and one half star rated Comfort Suites, Clarion Inn and Quality Inn, and the two star rated Days Inn and Regency Inn.

1. Comfort Suites Blythe – this is the nicest hotel in Blythe. The hotel is almost brand new, well-maintained and with nice furnishings. For a workout, there is a workout room and a pool. There are multiple computers in the business center, a meeting room and complimentary breakfast. The staff is friendly and helpful.

2. Clarion Inn – while it is not as new as the Comfort Inn but still well-maintained with a great staff. There is a pool and workout facility which is adequate and the location is right off of I-10 and the busiest street in town (Hobson Way).

3. Quality Inn – the hotel is not quite at the level of the Comfort Suites, but is still a good hotel. The facilities such as pool, spa, and fitness room are just slightly dated. The hotel has a good staff and the complimentary breakfast is above average.

4. Regency Inn and Suites Blythe – there is a pretty clear drop off between number 3 and number 4. The rooms have outdated furniture and bed spreads. Overall the interior could use a remodel to match the remodeled exterior. That being said, most people who stay here think the hotel is fine, just not great.

5. Days Inn Blythe – the price is usually right on this hotel, but overall it’s the worst of the best 5. It is outdated, the staff is not on top of everything and there are some maintenance issues. It makes the top 5 by default but generally you should spend the minimal extra money to stay at one of the other hotels in town.

Blythe is a good stopping point and some of the hotels at the top of the best 5 list may surprise you with how nice they are for the money.

Far to the North East of Bali Lies Karangasam Regency – Candi Dasa

Surrounded by the peaceful waters of the Lombok strait and the Bali Sea and flanked by the menacing yet fatherly presence of Guning Agung, Karangasam is a place of emerald beauty with rice fields and jungle-covered mountains dominating every aspect of life. It is just this remoteness that gives the area its charm and its mystery; a slice of Bali chosen by the peace-loving cognoscenti of travellers -middle class and backpacker alike- who wish to enjoy the slow life and allow nature to dominate their every waking moment.

Up until recently the area was difficult to reach because of the poor roads, but with he recently completed by-pass all the way from the airport to just below Padang Bay, what was formerly a 2½ hour trip has been slashed to just over an hour and a half, offering no excuses not to visit and explore the possibilities of this most under-rated and beautiful part of Bali. Development is taking off as a result with many 5 star luxury hotels and villa developments under construction or about to break ground.

Padangbai is a tranquil little fishing village located at the bottom end of Amuk Bay With white sand beaches and clear blue waters, it has many small hotels and restaurants and is home to one of Bali’s few deep-water ports and home to the terminal for the ferries that run to back and forth to Lombok and Nusa Penida around the clock.

Located just up the coast to the north is the small town of Manggis where the big guns of the resort world are to be found. Amankila and Alila, both call Manggis home and offer five-star accommodation and service for those wanting to holiday in unashamed luxury.

A few kilometres further to the north is Candidasa, a small resort town that has a relaxed seaside ambience and sweeping views from the hotels and restaurants built right on the water. Candidasa has developed into a top tourist destination over the years and is the gateway for exploring the rugged interior of the region or the breathtaking underwater world offshore.

Exotiq has two particular projects that they are marketing in the Candi Dasa region offering high returns and top quality builds: The Orion’s Beach Villas and the Emerald bay Villas, both in Candi Dasa, both built on absolute beachfront just north of the AmanKila and Alila hotels.

Emerald Bay Villas is a development of 7 five star villas all on absolute beachfront and on the market for US$1.1 While Orion’s Bay Villas is a development of 7 luxury four-bedroom villas with three on beachfront and four just back from the beach selling for between US$440,000 and US$740,000. More on these spectacular two villa developments in the next installment.

History of Fireplaces

Louis

The term Louis refers to the name of 18 French Monarchs who reigned from 1300 to the French Revolution. The Louis Mantelpiece should more rightly be called a Louis revival mantelpiece as it was the product of the 19th century when French architects and interior decorators sought to produce styles, which mimicked the type of fireplace which was popular during the reigns of Louis XIV, XV, and XVI. In reality the fireplaces of this era were a lot more elaborate than the revival designs, which were made in France and England during the Victorian era. A typical Louis revival projected around 9 inches from the wall. The front was flat and box like with a wide rectangular opening. The designs were more graceful than the British marble fireplace of the era and were often made by Italian craftsmen with extra detail and finishing undertaken by French artisans.

The revival Louis XV surrounds have graceful curves and the designs which are popular today are much more likely to be from this origin. Louis XVI fireplaces are square and much more masculine and could be mistaken for many traditional English designs which have been popular for 200 years or more. The small and feminine Louis XV Pompadour has probably been the most successful of all the Louis designs.

Georgian

The Georgian era spanned the years 1714 to 1820, although the latter period is more correctly called Regency. It was during this time that many of today’s stately homes were being built or remodelled as the landed aristocracy flourished. Inigo Jones, an architect during the previous century, was the inspiration for the early Georgian period up to 1760. His pattern books were available to landed gentry throughout the country and, filled with designs incorporating elements from Greek mythology, they inspired designer’s like William Kent to provide fireplaces which formed a voluptuous centrepiece to grace grand rooms.

The history of the fireplace now falls conveniently into two halves. Immense, ornate designs characterised the earlier part, while the latter half saw mantelpieces with a more subtle, classical influence.

In middle class households designs were altogether simpler – faux imitations of marble or expensive hardwoods replaced the real thing. More reserved, and cheaper, fireplaces would also be seen in the less important rooms of stately homes indicating that the pockets of even the richest landowners were not limitless! These designs did not percolate down at all to the farmers and yeomen who made up the majority of house owners. Their fireplaces were often the inglenook designs with large wooden lintel that we see in thatched cottages today.

The second half of the century is, without doubt the age of Robert Adam and the fireplaces that bear his name. With his brother James, Robert Adam produced pattern books covering all aspects of architecture but it is probably for the fireplace that he is best known. Adam was a master of detail – his designs, although smaller and less extravagant than were common in the previous fifty years, included beautifully finished detail, almost all taken from classical mythology. This could include a gold-leaf Etruscan motif or even a Wedgwood ceramic plaque.

Important rooms featured designs in fine white statuary marble embellished with swags, ribbons, lyres and urns, whilst less important rooms, and the vast emerging middle class, would be supplied by scaled down copies of these designs in a variety of imitation designs and materials. In the never-ending change that is furnishing fashion, the designs became more classical and less ornate in the dying years of the Georgian period and influences, such as the Chinoiserie (Chinese influenced design) favoured by the Prince Regent, George IV, became more evident. In many ways this period was the heyday of the fireplace, the design dimensions and features still copied in a myriad of imitations for today’s market.

Regency

Like every décor trend over the last four hundred years the Regency period cannot be seen in isolation. In fact, it is incorporates elements and inter relates with trends, social differences and politics both before and after the period. Regency fireplaces tended to be much less elaborate than those of designers such of Robert Adam. Gone were the small inset pastoral scenes so beloved of the mid 18th century aristocracy. In their place came very rectilinear designs with the typical reeded leg. The leg itself might be flat with the reeding as an inset or even in the form of single or double Greek columns apparently supporting the fireplace header. The reeded panel might be taken across the header but other designs included twin parallel lines, Acanthus leaves or other Greek images – Medusa’s head or Roman triumph images were also popular.

Marble was a popular material for fireplaces although, at times, supplies from Italy, Spain and Portugal were blockaded by the Napoleonic wars. Statuary marble (the variety used for sculpting statues) was preferred, although its cost tended to limit its use to the main, public rooms. Other ‘reception’ and ‘retiring’ might have fireplaces in faux marble, manufactured in wood or toughened plaster and painted, by highly skilled but low paid artisans, to resemble marble.

In France fireplace style had developed separately from that of Britain. During the French Revolution, many of the extravagant chimneypieces installed throughout the reigns of Louis XIV, XV and XVI were ripped out and shipped abroad. In their place came fireplaces, still influenced by the empires of antiquity but with less decoration and grander mantelshelves than examples within the UK. With France’s close relationship with the fledgling USA this influence can also be seen in New England homes of the period including the White House (which is only white because the Brits burnt it in 1812 and it had to be repainted – white!).

Regency influence has remained popular to this day. Many town houses from this era survive in London although the largest houses were demolished for their land during the late Victorian housing boom. Where Regency houses had been stripped of their original fireplaces by subsequent generations keen to modernise their homes, modern reproductions have been used to fill the gaps and recreate at least some of the splendour of that period. Indeed, the simpler design of Regency fireplaces has proved easier to reproduce than the elaborate splendour of its predecessors which are regarded as ‘over the top’ by the present generations.

Victorian

Victoria was on the throne for such a long time, 1837 – 1901, that it is impossible to regard her reign as a single period. In the early years, up to Albert’s death in the 1860s designs were still influenced by the classical themes so obvious in Regency design. However, as the age progressed other movements began to influence design with the two main designs schools being Arts and Crafts & Art Nouveau It is also worth mentioning the Louis design, made popular by the availability of original fireplaces ripped out of the châteaux of French nobility at the time of the Revolution.