Pendant Lighting

The style of light fixtures is just as important as lighting intensity when it comes to giving a space a particular vibe. The contours and artistic accents of distinctive light fixtures are like the cherry on top of an amazing dessert, working with the rest of your decor, highlighting it and giving guests a beautiful view at eye level and above. There are many different kinds of fixtures, such as pendants, chandeliers, flushmounts, floor lamps, table lamps and more. At Pottery Barn, we know you like to have a wide selection of decor to choose from. How can our pendant lighting help you create your dream room? Here are a few design possibilities and ideas using pendant lighting.

First of all, what are pendant lights, and what makes them different from other light fixtures? Put simply, pendant lighting hangs from the ceiling. That’s what makes it stand out in any room. Flushmount lights, on the other hand, stay close to the ceiling and higher up. Chandeliers are technically a type of pendant lights, but many people put them in their own category because of the signature form they have.

Pendants come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are large pieces with a metallic cover, while others are smaller and have a clear ball shade made of glass. There are even grouped pendant fixtures featuring several pendants of varying lengths in a careful arrangement. Rectangular pendants bring several lights together under the same shade for a vintage effect.

Light fixtures usually handle three types of lighting in a room: ambient, accent and task lighting. Ambient lighting is about filling the room with just the right amount of light to give it the feel you’re looking for. In a modern living room, for example, the job of ambient lighting is to make sure there aren’t any gaps or dark spaces so that all of your guests, no matter where they’re seated, are part of the action. Accent lighting draws attention to specific areas of the room’s decor, directing your view to a favorite painting or piece of furniture, such as a dining table. Task lighting is focused on functionality. Its job is to make it easy for you to read, study or concentrate anytime, day or night.

Which of these three areas do pendant lights fall under? Actually, they can handle all three equally well. That makes them awesome tools for decorating. In a foyer, for example, pendant lighting illuminates the entire entry area, welcoming guests in a way that’s elegant and vibrant. As accent pieces, pendant lights make a huge impression because of the interesting contours and textures they offer; it’s hard not to notice a gleaming bronze shade or the way a group of opaque glass orbs diffuses light.

One place pendants really excel is at mixing task and accent lighting together. In a bedroom, for example, you can hang a pendant light fixture above your vanity or desk. The downward lighting makes it easy to put on makeup or style your hair. At the same time, pendant lighting – especially something with ornate details – adds elegance and chic to the space. It has the same effect on walk-in closets, kitchen islands and dining room tables.

Pendants reflect many different styles, from traditional and vintage to artistic and minimalist. Retro designs, Paris-inspired sophistication and fashion, rustic and contemporary farmhouse are just a few niches that pendant lighting can fill effortlessly. One tip though: remember that there are no set rules as to what kind of design fits a specific style. As an example, for retro themes you might like a colored orb light, a golden cascade of pendants or something with a fluted shade; or your take on the 70s might be totally different, like incorporating drum shades instead. Only you can decide which pieces to include in your masterpiece and the spin you want to give things. Gorgeous pendants mixed with your creativity equals an unforgettable space.