Style at Home: Light up your home: Pretty pendants, stunning chandeliers, and lovely lanterns
There are countless ways to bring your style and aesthetic into your home, but perhaps none as important as the essential and ever-needed light fixture.
Overhead lighting can be overlooked, especially when there are so many fabulous lamps we can use to spice up a room and countless other must-have home accessories available to dress up a space. However, the impact that good lighting can have on a space is worth the time and effort it takes to find just the right piece.
Besides the obvious function of lighting up dark corners to display your room (and the aforementioned must-have décor within it), lighting can impact how you see color (you want that paint color you spent two months agonizing over to POP!) and can affect your emotion and moods; there’s a reason that seasonal affect disorder is most comment in the fall and winter months when it is often brought on by changes in your biological clock, caused by, you guessed it – a “reduced level of sunlight”.
There are many ways to bring light into your home. A room’s lighting needs are determined by its use, though generally a balanced space has a mix of overhead, accent, and task lighting.
While there are many beautiful lamps to set by your sofa and chairs, and plenty of accent choices to showcase your art and bookcase décor, today I want to focus on the showstopping effect of an impactful hanging light fixture.
From the bedroom to the kitchen and the dining room to the living area, a dramatic fixture can bring more than just light to your space. I adore finding fixtures that add a unique element to my rooms, whether that be a structural component or a natural texture. It is safe to say, we’ve certainly come a long way from Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb!
Let us begin with the not-at-all humble chandelier. Unlike their single-bulb cousins, chandeliers feature many light bulbs, often in symmetrical branched frames (at least those with a more traditional aesthetic). Like so many things we know and use today (Mechanical clocks! Eyeglasses! Liquor!), the candle chandelier enters the scene in medieval times where they were used by the wealthy.
Primitive versions gave way to more ornate pieces that were used just as much for decoration as light; faceted crystals were later added to better reflect the light. A long-time staple in traditional design, chandeliers tend to be a more extravagant and eye-catching lighting solution and are often used in places of prominence. In addition to being aesthetically impactful, they provide a greater amount of light and are ideal for large spaces and high ceilings.
While pendants are the reliable team players of the home, I think of chandeliers as showy statement pieces perfect for a foyer or formal dining area – it is essentially another piece of art for the room! Of course, there are other ways to fit a chandelier into your home – there are many sizes, shapes, and styles for a plethora of different spaces. We often use smaller options in the shop to add a bit of drama and elegance to our bedroom furnishings.
If you don’t need or want the drama of a chandelier, pendant lights are another stylish and multi-functional option. They can offer direct, task-oriented lighting – like when grouped over a kitchen countertop — or a more subdued ambience like when strung in a group in the middle of a room, be it a bedroom, dining room, living room, or sun room!
When placed at the right height, they can make your room feel instantly cozier and more welcoming without causing eyestrain from too-low lighting. The style options for pendants are vast – from natural woven fibers to modern minimalist metal — they are perfect to complement existing design elements without overwhelming your space.
Lantern style fixtures, while technically a subcategory of pendant lighting, offer a nice in-between of the direct and practical pendant lighting and the far-reaching light of the eye-catching chandelier. Often more formal than a pendant but more relaxed than the chandelier, it is the “baby bear porridge” of lighting fixtures.
You will find lanterns of every shape and size and in seemingly endless styles, from Rustic Farmhouse to French Countryside to Transitional/Modern. Some of these fixtures take after the chandelier, offering multiple light sources, and some offer the task-oriented light of a pendant, so be sure to know what you need when looking to purchase one!
Our customers most often use lantern fixtures in their kitchens and bedrooms for just the right amount of glow and style. I also love using lanterns as outside lights for sunrooms and enclosed porches, and lantern-inspired fixtures for outdoor sconces.
This column was adapted from nellhills.com.