Lighting is not something I know a lot about (neither is home renovating, but as witnessed here, I’m always willing to learn). Before buying our home, I was happy to have compact fluorescent light bulbs everywhere. Not only was it the environmentally friendly thing to do, it definitely kept our energy bill down. But a recently, we’ve made a few exceptions in rooms where ambiance was more important.

Along with our desire to improve on our not so pretty light fixtures in the house, we’ve become more interested in the world of lighting. There are specialty lighting shops that cater to the high end. Several months ago, we found ourselves hypnotized by a Strass austrian crystal chandelier ball one afternoon. It positively radiated light and colors. We scoped out less expensive ones, ones that we could actually semi-afford. There were still all over $100.

Schonbek, a fine manufacturer of chandeliers, had a mini-chandelier on display, called the Rondelle. By mini, I mean 5-1/2″ in diameter.

Schonbek Rondelle

It still cost $180. Note to self: save $$ in order to purchase one of these chandeliers.

Fast forward a few months later, we are at Home Depot. Serena spotted a mini-chandelier that looks a lot like the Schonbek one.

Champlain Bianca

I took a look on the box. The manufacturer’s name is Champlain Crystal. There’s shipping label on the box as well, with a return address from Schonbek in Plattsburg, NY. The same Schonbek that manufactures the Rondelle. The price: $89. Although still not cheap, it’s a bargain compared with the Rondelle, and we are not really looking for shock and awe here.
Later, I got to thinking: Champlain. Isn’t Plattsburg close to Lake Champlain? Hmm.. A google search for Schonbek and Champlain Crystal led me to a site that confirms that Champlain Crystal is indeed owned by Schonbek.

Now, we’re not stupid (completely), the two models are slightly different. The Rondelle is available in many different (and custom) colors, the Champlain Bianca is available in only one. There are also less crystals in the Bianca, and they are probably of lower quality. But it’s good enough for us.

installed Champlain Bianca