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Imaginative Ways to Use Pendant Lighting

Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

How did we ever manage without pendant lights? Outdoor pendants brighten our entryways, and mini pendants light up our kitchen islands. Pendants are a great source of general and task lighting, but they offer so much more. Use these functional and decorative fixtures to their full potential. Look beyond the obvious to create your own personal design statement, completely change the look of a room or illuminate spaces in ways you’ve never imagined.

Bathroom

Are pendant lights appropriate for the bathroom? Yes they are! If you are tired of mundane multi-light fixtures, sconces, and those dreadful bulb strips; pendant lighting may just be the way to inject much-needed personality into your vanity area.

In a small bathroom pendant lighting positioned on either side of your mirror and sink is a chic alternative to wall sconces. Several pendants hanging above an expansive vanity creates a clean, contemporary look. Avoid using pendant shades with color. Go with white or clear to help replicate natural light as closely as possible.

Hang them high enough so they aren’t in the way and low enough to provide ample illumination. Purchase pendants rated for use in damp areas. To prevent your pendant lighting from swaying in the breeze of your blow dryer, choose a style that hangs from a downrod versus a cord.

A combination of pendant and recessed lighting provides balanced illumination.

A combination of pendant and recessed lighting provides balanced illumination.

Bedroom

For bedrooms short on space pendant lighting provides the perfect solution to maximize bedside storage. Get rid of table lamps by flanking your bed with suspended pendants. Not only will you free up surface space you’ll give the room a light and airy feel. Select pendants that offer plenty of light to read by and at the same time, cast a soft, restful glow to your surroundings.

Drum pendants give off plenty of light for reading and allows more room on nightstands.

Drum pendants give off plenty of light for reading and allows more room on nightstands.

Living Room

Hang a large-scale pendant in the center of your living room for a stylish and functional touch. A stylish, oversize pendant will provide ample ambient light suspended from a high ceiling. If you have a lower ceiling hang a large pendant several feet above a coffee table in a conversation seating area to create a comfortable lounge feel.

A low hanging pendant is particularly fitting when paired with sleek, modern furniture. Make sure your coffee table is large enough for guests to move freely without bumping into the fixture. Install a dimmer to control the amount of light to suit the mood and social situation.

Replace a corner floor lamp with a multi-pendant fixture. The amount of drop is totally up to you. If you need the fixture for task lighting the lower is better. If you don’t need focused light but want to add drama install a trailing multi-light pendant that doubles as art and accent lighting. Pick a unique design with colorful art glass shades to up the cool factor in your living room.

Large pendants over a coffee table add ambient lighting to a seating area.

Large pendants over a coffee table add ambient lighting to a seating area.

Hallway

Many old homes have long, dark hallways with high ceilings. Eliminate the tunnel effect by installing a series of identical pendants down the length of the hallway. The look is both classic and fresh. Choose restored antique or reproduction fixtures that suit the age and architecture of your historic home. To maintain proper scale the distance between the floor and the bottom of the pendants should be at least eight feet.

Multiple pendants along a long hallway creates a bright pathway.

Multiple pendants along a long hallway creates a bright pathway.

Kitchen

Kitchen pendants are both practical and stylish. There are a variety of designs, shapes, and colors that will work with most any kitchen. That makes it extremely easy to choose the best and most attractive lighting for the cook's galley.

Pendants add a unique touch, incorporate trends and character to your kitchen. A pair of crystal orb pendants look striking hung just the right height above a combination island and breakfast bar. Their organic shape, texture, shimmer and traditional look works well in a contemporary kitchen. The lighting contrasts beautifully with white cabinets, quartz countertops, and light wood flooring.

Kitchen pendants are perfect above an island to add task lighting.

Kitchen pendants are perfect above an island to add task lighting.

Foyer

A foyer or entry is a transitional area that creates a warm welcome to your home. Proper lighting will set a comfortable tone as you greet your guests or unwinding after a long day at work. Instead of using a boring flush mount fixture you have the opportunity to install beautiful pendant lighting that works with your home's architecture.

Open entryways can handle a large, single pendant light suspended from the ceiling of a two-story entryway. Another option is a fixture with a cluster of small pendants grouped together and suspended at different lengths to create a striking, contemporary look. If you aren't sure how to choose the right pendant contact an interior lighting specialist to help design your foyer.

A traditional carriage pendant light pairs perfectly with this foyer's classic design.

A traditional carriage pendant light pairs perfectly with this foyer's classic design.

Types of Pendant Styles

4 Quick Tips for Hanging Pendant Lights

MAKE A GRAND ENTRANCE

Add a light and airy appearance with an open pendant light with multiple candle bulbs. It's the perfect look for a transitional indoor entry.

CREATE CONTINUITY WITH PENDANTS

Whichever fixture you choose you'll want to create continuity and compliment your home's style. Contemporary works with current trends. Traditional ties in with time-honored design. Vintage compliments a retro theme.

WAKE UP YOUR BEDROOM

Bring in class and elegance into your bedroom with pendant lights. They look best with high ceilings. Position them in the center of the room, above nightstands or over a small writing desk.

ENTERTAIN YOUR DINNER GUESTS

Hang your pendant at least 30 inches above the table surface. Use a dimmer to control the light or use diffusers to block the glare. Soft lighting for dining will creates a warm, welcoming mood.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on August 08, 2020:

Carletta, glad you enjoyed reading the article about the various pendant lights.

Carletta Nez on August 08, 2020:

Great articles. I enjoyed reading about how easy the projects are done. Great job.

resortdanang on December 09, 2018:

hi Emmy, the light very nice, i like it , thanks you

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on December 09, 2018:

Thank you Emmy! So happy that you enjoyed this pendant lighting article.

Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on December 09, 2018:

I think this article is very useful for those who want to add or renew lighting in their homes. Lighting ideas and styles are beautiful and very attractive.