Lighting is so often an afterthought – something that’s only considered once the rest of a room is finished. But for me it’s an integral part of interior design, and pendant lamps in particular often become the focal point of any given space. Not only do they form soft, welcoming pools of light over dining and sitting areas, they also add interest to the overall decoration. And they’re ideal for zoning larger spaces, creating cosy ‘rooms within rooms’ that invite you to relax and linger.
So, here are 15 of the best statement pendant lamps – large-scale lights that you can hang low over sofas, beds and tables (I’ll cover compact, slimline pendants for narrow spaces and island units etc in a separate post). Some are fairly new designs, others are classics first launched decades ago, but all have the kind of pared-back, timeless aesthetic that means they make an impact without overwhelming a minimalist space. As always I’ve included options for all budgets, and I’ve also shared some handy tips to help you choose the right pendant light for you.
The Turner Pendant Lamp is an exquisite blend of astronomy, geometry, and craftsmanship. Its intricate yet delicate structure balances its precision orbital frame and its delicate fiber cocoon material. This unique and versatile hand-crafted lighting fixture is available in three sizes to suit any room's illumination needs.
With a classic circular lantern design in lightweight paper and bamboo frame, the Rice Paper lampshade from emits a soft light and can be used anywhere in the home.
The design of four shades is characterized by a unique light that quietly spreads through the gap while covering the light source. The calm atmosphere with a Scandinavian taste gently shines not only in the dining room but also in the bedroom and children's room.
Postkrisi is a very special collection of lamps in metal structure, hand-painted glass wool screen. Design by the our designers. Each lamp is hand-painted and represents a high-quality craft object, With PostKrisi our designers began working and molding fiberglass. This material fascinated him due to its incredible versatility and strength, but above all for the shadows, it casts when it interacts with light.
The perfect pendant light for a standalone statement, the KHMARA lamp would also work well as part of a trio suspended over a kitchen counter or island. It is a beautiful simulation of the moon in Japanese style, bringing an artistic element to your interiors.
The Akari lights are handcrafted of translucent washi paper that is made from the inner bark of the mulberry tree. Designer has compared the light of Akari to sunlight filtered through traditional paper doors – the light sculptures create a warm glow and pleasant ambience.
An antiqued iron barrel is wrapped in sheer Belgian linen to create a casual, classic light. The Provence Pendant is suspended by brown linen rope which uniquely hides the electricals. Wired to Australian compliant standards.
KAMARA lamp is a spherical cloud created to light up the interiors with tenderness. It never rains. It smells like cotton candy and tastes like a summer morning. KAMARA transforms every ceiling into the sky and fills it with a tender presence.
The suspension lamp designed in 1950 emphasises the innovative, experimental approach of designer. At that time, the favoured material of the lighting industry was glass. But when designer received the first samples of methacrylate in 1949–50, a new polymer plastic that was much stronger and lighter than glass, his experiments led him to a new suspension lamp, Model 2065.
The bamboo pendant lamp with cotton cover by Ay Illuminate is perfect to decorate large living spaces, restaurants or bars. It´s unique appearance is ideal to create a characteristic and soothing atmosphere that you can enjoy throughout the year.
Formakami pendant light is a modern take on classic Asian paper lanterns. Our aim was to create a light pendant that illuminates people's lives both literally and symbolically. The white color of the shade emphasizes the lightness of rice paper and the open bottom maximizes the amount of light.
The Valentina LED lights designed by Vakkerlighting have a gently curved shade. Its smooth outside contrasts wonderfully with the inside of the lampshade, which has a grooved relief. This relief is reminiscent of the irregular patterns that the tides leave on sea shores.
With a length of 80cm, the TENSE pendant light looks like a gentle cloud floating in. The soft Tyvek diffuser, a truly modern construction, is a durable yet soft material that is 100% recyclable. The flexibility of this paper-like shade allows the slender frame to accentuate the cloud-like qualities of the TENSE pendant light.
The unexpected combination of metal, fabric in a floral and airy suspension. To the sleekness of a teardrop-shaped petal, designer adds an homage to the retro ceiling fans of louvered bedrooms. This petal pendant plays subtly with light, diffusing a soft clarity in the room and delicate shadows on the ceiling.
Invert the cupule of an acorn, treat it with a serene finish reminiscent of Scandinavia’s iconic birch tree, top it off with a smooth dash of modernism, and you have the Acorn pendant. Designer merged oak and painted aluminum elements to cultivate a cleanly capped creation that represents Nordic sensibilities at their very finest—choose either white, gray or black to satisfy your favorite birch-bark hue.
Tips for choosing and positioning pendant lamps
Firstly, consider scale and make sure the pendant you choose works with the dimensions of the space it’s intended for. A small pendant in a large room will look lost, whereas a big design will instantly overwhelm a small space. A similar rule of thumb applies when you’re hanging pendants over dining tables, as a small pendant above a large table will fade into the background and a large one over a small table will make the whole room appear top-heavy.
When it comes to hanging pendants, Google will probably tell you that they should sit 75-90cm above a table top or 215cm off the floor, but it’s worth playing around to see what works best for you and the space. My general approach is to go as low as I can without creating a head-bumping hazard or interfering with the line of vision, but in rooms with very tall ceilings I’ll often position them higher than I would elsewhere so that they don’t look out of proportion.
If you have a low room, don’t assume you can’t have a pendant lamp and are limited to lighting that sits against the ceiling. There are plenty of wide, flat pendant designs that can be used to make a statement without taking up much vertical space, and having some cord dangling down will actually create the illusion of more height. Just stick to positions above dining tables, beds and the like, rather than putting them anywhere you’ll need to walk beneath.
If you think your pendant lamp is going to hover anywhere near eye level, it’s worth looking out for closed designs or lamps with diffusers as they emit a softer light than anything with a visible bulb.
It’s also worth considering dimmable designs (almost all of the above can be combined with a dimmer switch), as it will allow you to alter the mood in seconds. This might be more important in some spaces than others, though. For example, I wasn’t concerned about having a dimmable pendant in our bedroom as it rarely gets switched on and is more for decoration. The lamp above our dining table, however, is used whenever we have people over for meals and I like being able to dial it back to a subtle, cosy glow.
Finally, if you want to make a real statement, consider hanging pendant lamps in groups. Either choose a cluster design, or opt for a model with different size or shape variants that you can hang together at slightly different heights, as shown below. It’s a great way to create a beautiful and very striking effect while still keeping the overall look fairly minimalist.
For more tips on designing a lighting scheme that works for you, your space and your lifestyle, see this post.