Be Still Our Hearts: These Living Room Pendant Lights Are Practically Perfect

A ball pendant by Herman Miller compliments this mid-century living room.
credit: Stephen Paul

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Nothing sets off a room more than a fabulous light fixture. And when it comes to what you want (Modern? Midcentury? Boho?) and what you can get, the choices for living room lighting ideas are endless, which is both awesome and overwhelming. A plethora of pendants awaits, but let's break down what they are and what they can be used for first. Pendants are sometimes called drop or suspender lights (which sounds super stale, so we'll stick to pendant) and are usually suspended from the ceiling by a cord, a chain, or metal rod. You see them a lot in multiples over kitchen counters or in dining rooms, but we're here to show you how they can work beautifully in your living room. They're meant to provide sources of light, but we like to think they can be sources of conversation, style, and design too.

Whether grouped or singled out, glass or bamboo, taking a chance with your choice will always elevate your room. Here are some style and installation ideas on how to put some pendants in your living room:

Pendant Idea #1: Natural Materials Shady

A white fabric pendant lightens up this eclectic space.
credit: Hunker

Pendants made of fabric or natural materials can lean more traditional or be all out bohemian. The light they emit is nice and diffused, creating a peaceful setting. Go white to lighten the look of your room.

Pendant Idea #2: Mix and Match

A grouping of pendants in the same material makes a striking focal point.
credit: Nicole Mason

Try grouping an odd number of pendants in the same material to create a focal point. Play with shapes and heights. You'll get some great mood lighting and a cozy place to enjoy some conversation and cocktails. Bamboo or rattan are always good materials to make a stylish splash.

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Pendant Idea #3: A Burst of Bulbs

Hang a grouping of incandescent bulbs for an interesting effect.
credit: Decoist

Go simple and striking with a set of light bulbs on plain cords. Use Edison or other incandescent bulbs to create a warm and always flattering glow with some industrial flare.

Pendant Idea #4: One Singular Sensation

Pick out a pendant that contrasts with the palette of your space. This eclectic room is California cool in neutrals, but an oversized black metal light anchors the overall look, and the scale draws your eyes upward.

Pendant Idea #5: A Modern Classic

An oversized midcentury pendant makes a bold statement.
credit: Stephen Paul

Classic Chinese lanterns inspired this midcentury modern look. Play with scale like in this L.A. loft, where an oversized paper pendant hangs over the living room from a sky-high ceiling.

Pendant Idea #6: Blown Glass Bohemian

Use a long chain to accent a blown glass pendant, creating an eclectic vibe. Keeping your space somewhat simple and going bold with your lighting fixtures is a nice contrast that provides an instant wow factor.

Where to Shop for Pendant Lights

Whatever you choose, think of your pendant light (or lights) as an opportunity to go in an unexpected and bold direction with your decor. Here are some places to start your search:


Siobhan Murphy

Siobhan Murphy

As an Emmy Award winning creative director, writer and producer I have worked on content for brands like Disney, BravoTV, TBS, Universal, E! and MTV. But I mostly love rearranging furniture and repotting plants at home.