1) Change the shade. This simple change can be enough. Swap an ivory pleated shade for a white drum and modernize your fixture. Change a paper shade too soft silk for elegance. If your shades are perfect but lack interest, dress them up. With a hot glue gun, add trim to the bottom of the shade. Try stamping on a pattern. Glue on individual beads or stones, shells or other items. Be creative and be sure the additions don't interfere with your bulb.
2) Remove outdated elements. This often completely changes the profile of an old chandelier. Remove the shade(s) and pieces like crystals, leaves and other ornamentation. Not enough? Keep reading.
3) Paint it a new color. Change a brass chandelier into a hammered wrought iron or distressed white finish. Transform chrome into a dramatic red. Many craft stores sell patina kits to create copper, rust and antique gold finishes. Faux effects are wonderful if you have time, but be sure to spray the finished fixture with a clear coat to protect. Be sure to remove rust or other damage unless desired for a new look.
4) Use a decorative bulb. Look for bulbs that give you a brighter light. Try round bulbs or ones that look like candles to change the feeling of your light fixture.