Lighten Up

Whimsical chandeliers

With a sensibility that's part alice in Wonderland, part Marcel Duchamp, and part Green Party, Madeleine Boulesteix transforms the most mundane of objects into whimsical, opulent chandeliers. "Others do excellent work in crystal," says Boulesteix, a graduate in textiles from London's prestigious Goldsmiths College. "I like taking things that are humble and transforming them into something glamorous." And so on trips to flea markets and garage sales, the dedicated recycler searches for diamonds in the rough: jewel-toned teacups, wineglasses, and faceted-glass teardrops; swirls of Indian beads. Even kitchen utensils like trifle molds and toast racks "seem nice, jaunty objects with potential," she says, "so I liberate them from their domestic duties by incorporating them in my chandeliers." Pick up her one-of-a-kind pieces, either candlelit or electric (which require rewiring for U.S. standards), at Harrods Decorative Living department, or order directly from the artist: 44-207-737-8171. Price: $280-$1,290.