The most buoyant of the lighting family, pendant lamps are awfully fun but take a bit of planning; here's how to do it right.
One way to hang a pendant? Colorblocking. A nook painted in crimson lit by a Muuto pendant with a matching red cord adds just the right punch to an otherwise monochromatic house, like this one in Hamburg. Read the whole story here.
A mirrored finish pops against a wood background, like in this 1960s Long Island bungalow. Architect Page Goolrick left the oiled wood interior cladding as-is and set off the kitchen area with a Mirror Ball pendant by Tom Dixon. Read the whole story here.
The flip side of that equation is adding warmth to a white room with a wooden shade, like the oversized birch-veneer pendant lamp hung in the master bedroom of Brad Zizmor's Upper West Side co-op. Read the whole story here.
Paper lantern-style pendants are ubiquitous for a reason: They're affordable, look good in multiples, and are a simple design solution for an otherwise detailed room. The light paper shades contrast the timber and adobe mud blocks used in this home by and for Ghanian architect Joe Osae-Addo. Read the whole story here.
Another popular pendant option is the Unfold lamp by Form Us With Love for Muuto, with a flexible silicone shade that comes in seven colors, including a vibrant blue (seen here) and searing yellow. Neutral flooring, a dark wall, and the rubber lamp help keep a sense of play without tipping into formless clutter in this Bratislava apartment by Gut Gut . Read the whole story here.
Contemporary steel helps update a traditional setting like the living room of this Victorian in Louisville, Kentucky. Vintage Bertoia chairs, a Gloss floor lamp by Pablo Pardo, and a Norm 03 Steel Pendant Lamp by Normann Copenhagen bring the look up to modern standards. Read the whole story here.
Pendant lamps occupy a cozy position in the lighting family: They take more installation know-how than a plug-and-play table or floor lamp, though less effort than the hard-wiring required for their sconce cousins. Pendants are, visually- and literally-speaking, lighter than chandeliers, and great for filling soaring spaces or freeing up surface area in a smaller nook. Check out the tons of great pendant lamps in Dwell's products archive, and read on here for tips on how to maximize their effect in a room.