How to use pendants in your interior design

How to use pendants in your interior design

Pendant lighting consists of lights which hang down from the ceiling on their own. They are usually fixed to the ceiling via a cord, chain or rod, and there is a large range of sizes which they could be, depending on what kind of a space the room is in question, and how you are looking to design it.

Though they were originally designed purely for the economical reason of being able to light up the most space as possible, they now have become one of the key style features of any living or social space. Taking up a key position, carrying out an essential function, and bringing a great look to any room, the pendant light – when used right – is a really important interior design fixture.

Think about the materials and the style

When you are considering what kind of pendants to choose for your home lighting, you might want to think about the question of materials. You will be able to get pendants which boast all kinds of styles, and the overall look is so often bound up in the kind of material which has been used in the design. Explore the pendant lighting range we have at O’Brien’s Lighting and you will see lots of glass and metal designs which bring their own flavour. Some are minimalist, whereas some take on a more decorative approach – you should choose a pendant light fitting that itself fits in to the rest of the room’s look.

A geometric pendant light fixture

There are lots of different styles you can opt for, and these often revolve around the size of the light. For the focal point-creating statement piece, you may want to go for a large pendant light, but then for smaller spaces, this could overwhelm the room. The grander designs can create a sense of occasion. Smaller pendant lights can also be used in series so that you can create some texture with the shapes of the pendants themselves, as well as spread the light in an effective way. You might think about the shapes of the fittings as pieces of art which are on display. From the bistro style to the geometric style, these are pieces of visual expression which colour the room in just as significant a way as a small sculpture.

Pendant light fixtures that have been grouped. Coupled with filament bulbs these make attractive, modern fixtures.


The pendant light is best placed in a central position, and that is because its function is so much to do with the job of providing the general lighting for the room. However, this is not to say that there should not be thought, and indeed a spark of creativity, put into the question of where to place your pendant lights. Part of this thinking ought to be directed to how to avoid casting shadows. If you place the pendant in the central position but don’t reflect upon what the rest of the room is going to look like, then you will find yourself with dark and unwelcoming corners.

A pendant light above a dining table with additional lighting on the wall and table to ensure the room can be well lit.

As such, pendants can be used in conjunction with lighting placed lower down to create a multilayered effect. Additionally, you might also think about how pendant lighting, even in a central position, need not be thought of as solely general lighting. For example, placing a relatively low hanging pendant light above a dinner table or a kitchen island can act as a form of accent lighting.

Ceiling height and cord length

This brings us to the main question of the length of the cord in relation to the height of the ceiling. As already mentioned, they tend to hang lower over dinner tables or perhaps kitchen surfaces so as to create that lovely accent effect. However, if you are using one for an entryway, then the pendant light fitting would tend to be at around 7 feet above the ground. This goes for home decoration as well as commercial or even work spaces; getting the placement and the height right can really bring out the best of what is already there in the design of your room!

A small copper pendant light above a small table.
A small copper pendant light hanging low above a table.

Header image via Pexels.

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