In this instalment of our Ask The Stylist series with Alex Carter of Harlow + Willow, a reader writes in with a pendant light dilemma. Should she install one over her dining table, or not?
Reader question: Do I need a pendant light over our dining table? We had one, which was removed after it was damaged. We have uplights and a lamp in the same room. Should I replace it?
Answer: As to whether you really need a pendant over a dining table, there are so many things that can impact this decision. I’ll go through a few general considerations to think about below.
Size of the dining area
The size of the dining space and the dining table will greatly affect the decision as to whether to have a pendant light. I’m assuming in this case it’s a decent size (given there was a previous pendant), but did it feel comfortable or did it dominate when using the table?
I wouldn’t suggest a pendant light for anything smaller than a six seat table personally, unless it’s going to be quite small or hung high, but that defeats the purpose.
Is the spaced defined?
A really nice way to design and style your home is to create zones for specific areas; this can be done in any home, even if it’s open plan. Areas can be defined by artwork, rugs or lights. If you have an open plan living and dining area, a pendant light can help to make the dining space feel like a discrete space, and create a focal point.
Style of pendant
Should you decide to go ahead, the style of the pendant is the next big decision! Keeping in mind the house and the rest of the decor, you could choose to go with a simple yet striking glass pendant, such as a long line design or an architectural light. Alternatively, you could go for a softer and more textural style and opt for either a fabric or paper pendant.
Also, taking into account what else is surrounding the dining table, if there is a large and dominating artwork or bold wallpaper, you may decide to opt for a more simple and transparent light. If the room is quite simple, make the pendant the feature!
Consider the surrounding lighting
An important consideration is what other lighting exists in the space; is the pendant required to light the dining table or is it for decorative purposes only? This will also impact the style of pendant that you go for, and the spread of light you need (the amazing team at Lights Lights Lights talk a lot about this on their Instagram account, so head over there if you’re not sure about this). I would advise separate controls too, so that you can have just the pendant switched on for a moody effect!
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