Choosing a pendant or chandelier – the difference is mainly that the latter is designed to hold multiple bulbs - tends to illicit a nervous response. From making the wrong statement, choosing the wrong size to making a hash of the ceiling, I understand people’s reticence to choosing a fabulous light, but that doesn’t lessen my frustration with plain cone shades.
Confidence in interior design in Ireland is booming as we continue to cultivate our personal style yet lighting is one area most people fall into a safe rut. The lighting industry however is full steam ahead and breaking glass ceilings with new possibilities so why aren’t we aligned and should we catch up?
The first thing I would say in response to this question is: be true to your style but up the ante a bit; your perfect pendant is out there. If you lean towards traditional materials like glass or crystal and classic designs such as chandeliers with the elegant arms holding bulbs, then investigate one that is really striking. I love the lead cut crystal pendants by our Danish brand, Ebb & Flow, which display this traditional art form of cutting crystal to produce sparkling clear, pretty pendants.
The future of ‘hanging lights’ is dynamic, sparking with inspired designs, interesting materials and open perspectives to how and where you can hang a light but how open can you be to modern materials, designs and styles is personal and you don’t want a light that will jar with your interior scheme. That said think about how far you can push your boundaries within the context of the interior – as I said up the ante as much as you can.
Keep in mind that introducing and juxtaposing styles is what makes character, interest and spark. Essentially, my issue with plain, hanging cone shades is that they just blend in. Think of your pendant as an art installation that you love; that is your style statement in the room. Even the most paired back of light fittings can create drama in their simplicity and architectural beauty. For example, Porto Romana’s Axel is a brutalist statement piece that commands attention whilst Gervasoni’s wide brass pendants seem to create this umbrella effect, casting a calm aura under its soft brass canopy.
Following in this thread of how to step out of your safe zone to make a more dynamic choice, I would always suggest to ‘upsize and lower down’. You want your pendant to hang proudly and prominently lest it looks like an afterthought. So go as big as the space will take, get two or a cluster if you can, and hang it lower that you think so it is there in all its beauty. Also remember most lights have a lot of space within them - they are not solid, so even the largest of fittings won’t look too heavy. Only then will it become the focal point that it deserves to be. It’s the same with clothes and accessories - you’ll pull it off with va va voom if you look confident and wear it with purpose.
Designers (me included!) describe lighting as the jewellery of the room. We are all magpies to beauty and a bit of shimmer and sparkle. A fabulous and interesting pendant light is transformative to a room’s mood and your perfect tool to inject some magic. Think extraordinary, not in the expensive way, rather in the unusual way. Whatever your price range avoid tackiness or ones that look cheap even when they’re not. Libra’s round crystal Buckingham chandelier is just the ticket to take a dining room (or even a bedroom!) from lovely classic contemporary to glamorous, glistening gorgeousness. Also Eichholtz Branquinho agate pendant is so glamorous with a sprinkling of sparkle and natural beauty.
Really look at your interior, whether you’re hanging a pendant over bedside tables, a kitchen island or table etc, and take note of the finishes, proportions, and shapes of your furniture to take your cue. There is so much fabulous lighting out there and you’ve everything to gain!