Chandeliers add a touch of charm and beauty to a room, no matter what the style or period of the design. But a Capiz chandelier is a special type of fixture. These chandeliers are made from Capiz shells, and because of that they have a very distinctive style.

Capiz shells are the outer shells of a specific type of mollusk. These mollusks live the just off the coast of the Philippines and take the name of the nearby Philippine province of Capiz. When most people think of shells, the typical picture that forms in their minds is a seashell with its conical shape and pattern. But these shells are thin, rounded and mostly flat with a pearlescent surface that gives them their signature look.

The shells are thin enough that they're partly transparent as well as very lightweight. These beautiful shells are commonly used in decorating and work especially well in light fixtures because of their pearly appearance and partial transparency. They also look wonderful when used in candleholders because of the play of the flame's light off the shimmering surface of the shells.

Capiz Chandeliers as a Style Statement

Capiz chandeliers, especially solid white designs, can lend a very formal and elegant look to a room. But on the other hand, dyed shells are often used in very casual and even whimsical light fixtures and home décor designs. Some colored shells are often used in formal designs, as well, though usually the dyed varieties make up decorative items that are a bit more fun and footloose.

A typical chandelier might have several tiers and arms holding lights, but a Capiz chandelier is more likely to have a cluster of lights and perhaps short arms in the center that are surrounding by dangling shells. They have much less a solid shape than a standard chandelier and can have an almost fluid silhouette because of the shapes of the shells and the way they both absorb and reflect light.

Chandeliers aren't the only great use for these shells. Lamps, wall hangings and even personal accessory items like jewelry and purses are common items where Capiz are used. They're beautiful and popular, and can really be designed to fit into almost any theme. Because they achieve that formal look so easily, many people limit their usage to formal rooms, but they can also provide a beach feel or a funky touch depending on the style of the fixture. While some chandelier styles really only fit into a certain design theme, there's a Capiz chandelier out there for just about every type of décor.

Beyond the Capiz Chandelier

Because these round disks look so wonderful in chandelier form, they're also often used to make wind chimes, mobiles and other items that allow the shells to hang down in rows. All items made with Capiz have a distinctive look and because of their shine they do tend to draw the eye, so it's important to remember that if you hang a Capiz chandelier or other item it will probably draw attention away from the other nearby décor elements.