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Trying to maneuver through the rules of the design world can sometimes feel like walking across a mine field. We want to categorize every product as traditional, contemporary, rustic, lodge, industrial, modern or French country. We are so concerned about those labels that we often second-guess our design decisions.

In reality, you can make almost anything work with a particular style of design as long as the new piece is the right color, size and texture. Chandeliers are a good example. Most would think a crystal chandelier would be all wrong in a contemporary setting. Not true. It depends on the metal finish and whether the fixture has lamp shades. Even the type of bulbs you are using can swing a light into a different style group. While a brass-and-crystal chandelier looks out of date, the same fixture with a different finish – silver, polished nickel, black or stainless steel – can be dripping with crystals and still be extremely contemporary and even modern.

Crystorama has introduced some very exciting crystal chandeliers with large drum shades surrounding the circumference of the fixture. Kichler has a wonderful set of pendants with iron cages surrounding strings of crystal. Both fit wonderfully into an array of design styles such as contemporary, rustic, industrial or French country.

Labels are the problem. Designers create a new look, manufacturers give the look a name and a style trend is born. We even have a name for a style that doesn’t fit into a certain category; it’s called eclectic. That description pretty well sums up the look in most of our homes.

Today’s consumers resist labels and don’t want to fit into neat little design boxes. Their desire to express themselves has liberated designers and manufacturers to be more creative, to combine various looks and materials, and to develop new products. This is where personality takes over and really interesting decor is born.

The Eva chandelier by Crystorama combines jute, golden rock crystals and cut crystals with a burnished silver finish that mimics the look of silver foil over gold. By combining all these elements, a refreshing twist on the traditional crystal chandelier emerges.

Glass is a timeless beauty. It’s how we combine it with other materials that keeps it in style. Here’s where recycling provides a world of opportunities. Your brass and crystal chandelier can be transformed into the perfect accent for your new decor with very little effort. You can paint the metal, apply silver leaf or wrap it in jute, wire, cording and even pearls.

Crystal chandeliers are the chameleons of lighting. When you let your own personality shine through, your home will remain interesting and a true expression of your unique style.

Designer and home improvement expert Vicki Payne is host and producer of “For Your Home,” available on PBS, Create TV and in national and international syndication. Reach her at ForYourHome.com.