Handwoven pendant lights can light up a space with ambience and character. Beyond their warm and dappled glow, decorative lighting helps to create mood in a room, in much the same way that a striking artwork does. For a neutral or mostly white space, woven pendants add texture and warmth. In more layered interiors, the placement of a pendant adds a focal point and personality.
But it is not always easy to know which option will work best. There are quite a few things to consider. What is the best size and shape? Where will it work best in your home? Do you need ambient or task lighting? And how should it be hung?
To help you answer these questions, we’ve compiled some of the go-to strategies we use when selecting and hanging these gorgeous pieces. With seven options currently in The Dharma Door lighting collection, there’s one to suit almost any purpose, so we have also included some product suggestions for the key areas throughout your home that these pieces will work particularly well.
Begin by asking yourself what you are wanting to achieve. Get clear about the size of the space you are wanting to light and the feeling that you are trying to create. A larger pendant will cast more light and drama, whereas a smaller option will be more subtle. Hanging a pendant close to the ceiling will shed the most light, whereas positioning it lower will create more of a spotlight effect. Both work well in different contexts, so take a good look at the space you are considering and think about what might be best.
Then consider the actual size and dimensions of the space. As a general rule, the larger the space or the area you wish to light, the larger the pendant should be. So if your space has high ceilings, is open plan and lots of volume, pendants like the Tonga Pendant Light in Natural, Dark Brown or Slatted from our collection will work particularly well because of their generous proportions. If the space you are selecting for is really large, you may even want to try multiple pendants and hang them in a cluster or row.
If the space you are decorating is small by comparison, or has low ceilings, shorter and smaller pendants like the Matabele Pendant Light or Loveness Drum Pendant could be a better option. Take a good look at the dimensions of each piece and consider how it will sit in the space. If you find it challenging to visualise things until you see them, you could even try holding something of a similar size and shape in the space or make your own cardboard dummy to give things a test run.
Over a kitchen island or bench
Hanging a pendant light above a large kitchen island or bench is a great way to style the hub of your home and add some needed light in the process. Use one of the Tonga Pendants for a large open-plan space with tall ceilings or opt for the shorter Matabele Pendant or Loveness Drum Pendant if the space is not as open as this. Remember to keep in mind that sightlines are important in this space, so you won’t want to hang these pendants too low and obstruct your view to a nearby dining or lounge area.
Above your dining table
Hanging a pendant light above a dining table helps to define the space and creates an intimate mood for dining. Again, the height of your ceilings will determine your choice here. Consider taller pendants for taller spaces and shorter pendants for lower ceilings, however you do have a little more grace with hanging heights here as these lights can be hung a little lower to create a feeling of closeness.
Decorating an entryway or stairwell
A woven light is a great way to add drama to an entryway or stairwell and instantly make people feel welcome. The decorating in this space can also set the tone for the rest of your home. If you have a small corner to use a pendant, maybe by the door, choose one of the smaller options from our collection, like the Thando Wall Sconce, which will cast a warm glow on the wall from the top and bottom of its woven layers. If you are decorating a large or double-height space, don’t be afraid to go big and really use a pendant to make a statement!
A hero piece in your living room
Your living room is where you spend so much of your time and a pendant light can set a relaxed tone for gathering, lounging, reading and sharing with friends. Hang a large pendant in the centre of the room or position one off to the side slightly over a cosy chair to complement other furnishings and delineate how the room can be used.
Create a cosy nook with a pendant light
We’ve touched on how pendants work well in the large, key spaces of your home, but keep in mind that they can work equally well in smaller corner nooks, or positioned off to the side of a space for decoration and warmth. Position a pendant by your bed, at the end of a bathroom bench, in your home office or create a cosy reading nook, complemented by a comfortable, stylish chair and simple side table.
Bring a hallway to life with pendant lights
Positioning a pendant light in a tall hallway can help to add warmth and character to a space that is often lacking these elements. If size doesn’t permit, or you are looking for something a little more pared back, consider mounting a few of the Thando Wall Sconces down the length of the hallway. The slatted nature of these pieces means that they cast a lovely pattern of light, creating a dramatic, yet subtle effect that feels nourishing at night time.
Decorate your outdoor dining space with a pendant light
If you like to entertain outdoors, a woven pendant light strung above the table or seating space will create ambience and define the space for gathering with family and friends. To protect the handmade nature of these pieces, check that the area is fully covered and shielded from wet weather, strong winds and harsh sunlight, as these will alter the natural fibres over time. We recommend gently vacuuming these lights with the appropriate attachment to remove any insects that might like to make a home in their weave.
Once you have made your selection, we recommend using a licensed electrician to install your pendant light, as they will be able to ensure that the connection is safe and free of any fire hazards.
To hang your light, you will need to source an electrical cable or cord, ceiling hook, piece of chain or rope, lamp holder, ceiling rose and light bulb. There are many options available and you can always get creative with materials like natural twine, linen electrical cable and paint to spruce up basic hardware fittings.
Check the weight of your pendant and be sure to use a suitable hook for this weight. And finally, before you decide the length of your cable, do a final check to make sure that your beautiful new pendant is well clear of any head heights. You’re good to go!
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