Asymmetrical Aesthetics

Design/builders are always looking for new ways to stretch design in custom homes. Now, Ethel A. Furman and Associates is a great resource for products that do just that. The Alexandria, Va.-based company specializes in colorful glass art and prides itself on offering a new way to add the wow factor to any room. “When you put one of our chandeliers in a room, it changes the overall excitement of the house,” says Arthur Furman, co-owner. “It transforms an entryway or room.”

The creation of a glass chandelier starts with an image of the room in which it will be placed. Based on this image, Furman presents the builder or architect with color schemes, a mix of shapes and types of parts. “I’m working with a builder right now who just sent me an image of what the dining area looks like. On the computer, we’ll layer in a chandelier of the appropriate size and return it to them so they can see what it will look like in that space,” Furman adds. “Other times people give dimensions of a room and based on that, we will come up with size and color suggestions.”

When a chandelier is completed, it is shipped to the site unassembled with specific instructions on installation. In the center of the chandelier is a steel cage with the wiring for electricity. The wiring has to be installed and brought up to code by an electrician or builder. “It’s quite easy to attach the parts. It’s similar to attaching a shower curtain to a rod,” Furman adds.

One important factor design/builders need to keep in mind is the weight of the chandelier. Each chandelier can include 150 pieces with each piece weighing up to 1 lb. This creates a chandelier that can weigh up to 190 lbs. “When we narrow down what the chandelier will look like, then we’ll tell the builder the weight so he can adequately reinforce the ceiling,” Furman says.

Inspirations and designs for each piece come from glass blower Robert Kuster. “We then will integrate those designs into the homeowner’s environment,” Furman says. “All designs are completely custom as each piece is unique for its location.”

These chandeliers can be included in more than just contemporary homes. Furman includes its chandeliers in traditional homes as well. “My first thought for these chandeliers was that they were for contemporary homes, but interestingly enough we have done them in more traditional homes,” Furman says. “Also, some builders will put a spotlight on the chandelier to highlight it so it’s not only lit internally but also highlighted externally.”

Visit information on Ethel A. Furman and Associates.