Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The POWER of Pendant Lighting

The Headlines:

A little light...

packs a powerful punch!

When I re-did our kitchen about 4 years ago I did not put in pendant lighting.  Turns out... that was a mistake.

As always, I chronicled the kitchen remodel on this blog.  You can see the post HERE

One day... about 3 years later it hit me.  We needed pendant lighting.  Actually, the fact that we needed better lighting in the kitchen was something I knew for a while but chose to ignore.  That's how I roll sometimes.  Turns out it can really make a huge difference.  See, nice but a "smidge" boring...

 Today, it's a whole new world...

I can NOT explain the huge impact it made.  

2 reasons: it provides much better lighting and it looks amazing!  So, not only is the area warmer due to the new lights but it just looks finished.  I no longer will put ANYTHING on my countertops except a small vase of flowers as pictured here.  There's no need.  Too distracting.

I know what you're thinking: I just need to get my house in order, pendant/chandelier lighting is dead LAST on my LIST! But maybe it shouldn't be.  As the Power of the Pendant is strong.

Here are my 5 Pendant Lighting Points:

1 - Don't Spend Too Much
There are lots of pendant choices out there.  Some are through the roof expensive.  Don't get those.  Get the ones in your price range.  Those puppies are connected to the ceiling.  People won't be touching or inspecting them.  They have to look good from a few feet away and that doesn't necessarily have to cost you 2k.

2 - The BIGGER the Better
Gone are the days when a small pendant looks cool.  In fact just the opposite.  They look super distracting.  They don't command enough attention to get noticed.  You're putting up pendants to GET NOTICED so the bigger the better.  The ones in my kitchen are the extra large.  24" x 16" and I wouldn't go a hair smaller.  I'm also loving the "trend" of putting up 2 X-Large ones instead of 3 Medium or Small  ones.  It's just cool.

3 - Don't Hang too High (or too Low) 
The rule, according to a lighting designer I consulted out of NYC (I know - very chic) - the bottom has to be at least 6 feet above the ground over a kitchen island.  They can be higher if your ceiling is massive.  Mine is... I went 6 feet 5" above the ground.  Too low and it just looks weird.   Too high and, well, it just looks weird.  *Other hanging height rules: bottom of a dining table pendant/chandelier should be at lest 30" above table if the ceiling height is 8 feet but add a few inches for every extra foot of ceiling.   And in a living room, bottom of fixture clearance should be 6'6" if there's an 8 foot ceiling.  Higher if the ceiling is higher and so on...

4 - Get DIM
If you can, put the pendant lights on separate switches from any canned lighting (that will cost a tad more with your electrician) and get a dimmer switch.  It just adds a whole other level to your lighting.  Trust me on that one.

5 - Avoid Glass
For 2 reasons:  cheaper and easier.  Several of my friends have glass on their pendants.  The dust that collects on them is excruciating and cleaning them is even harder.  Yes, even with Windex.  They're just so cumbersome (think about it - high, suspended & on a chain).  Plus, the glass-less choices cost less.  Glass costs more.  Period.  Now, they're coming out with so many lighting choices WITHOUT glass... you should just get those.  I did.  The ones in my kitchen don't have glass and neither does the one below in my bathroom.  Couldn't be happier.   

If you're still not convinced of the Power of Pendants let me show you a few more examples.  While searching for the perfect kitchen pendants I bought one I didn't use.  So I put it in my bathroom.  Above my tub. 

It's gorgeous.  Really glams the place up!  Lighting Love.  Convinced yet?  One more example.  I put this pendant up right when we moved in.  

Now, while a very cool pendant in the right space.  Here, it didn't go with my decor.  Plus, it provided no light - since it was only one bulb (be careful of those 1 bulb pendants) - so changed it out for this chandelier...

and problem solved.  It was brighter and the style fit better.  I get tons of compliments on it!

Everyone says it... lighting is under-rated.  Turns out "everyone" is right.  Once you fall under the Power of the Pendant... you certainly see the light!

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