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Brave bedside lighting to borrow

Sure lamps are still lovely, but if you’re a bit over them in the bedroom right now you’re in good company. Bold and dramatic, dim and moody, contemporary or quirky, pendant lights are our pick for lighting up the night right now, and they’ve become a firm fixture in some of our fave bedrooms in recent months.

We’re betting this luxe lighting look is set to stick around – hooray – but before you unplug your lamp and start messing with ceiling wires, take a mo to make sure this style is right for you and yours (fingers crossed), then check out the lowdown below to learn how to pull the look off to perfection:

The pros

Where do we start? Pendant lights up the style ante, free up space on the nightstand (who doesn’t want that – more rooms for books, vignettes, coffee cups and carafes) come in a virtually limitless range of sizes, styles and prices and deliver the ideal mix of function and flair. Tick.

Replica Jangir Maddadi Swarm Pendant

How low can you go?

This is key in nailing the look. Your safest bet is to follow tried-and-true guidelines for intimate dining table lighting, with the lowest point of the pendant between 76 and 86 centimetres above the tabletop. Sure you might see lower looks in magazines or online but remember, you don’t just have to look at it, you have to live with (and read by) it so take our word for it and don’t go too low.

Position, position, position

Didn’t we already cover that? Not quite. There’s more than just height at play here. Depending on your propensity for reading, studying or online shopping in the wee hours, you may want your pendant lights hanging directly overhead rather than above the bedside table (again, don’t go too low, you need to be able sit up).

Kill off clutter

Don’t we just love those three words. Pendant lights over the bedside puts an end to the nightly jostle between your lamp and your (cluttered) life. Buy a bedside with storage and you’ll have that streamlined, styled look down pat in no time.

Tucker Glass Pendant

Size matters

…especially in the bedroom. If your ceilings are super high or your room enjoys grand proportions use a sizeable pendant to fill the space, if you’re short on height, use a long, narrow pendant to elongate the area. Whatever the design flaw or feature you’d like to conceal or reveal, mention it to your lighting retailer for expert advice on tackling your concerns through cleverly chosen – and positioned – lights.

Flair vs function

Well both of course. Yes it needs to hang at the right height and direct light to the right spot, but if you choose it as you would a work of art you can make your bedside lighting so much more. Consider colour, material, shape and shine. Think about the wall colour, bedhead and bedding (remembering the latter will likely change), and choose a lighting look you love – just as you would a painting.

Why have one when you can have many?

Can’t choose. Then don’t. Consider a clustered arrangement of petite pendants hanging together, or a fitting which features multiple strands for a contemporary look that’s anything but ordinary.

Playful pendants for cool kids’ spaces

Whether your kids’ room has a single bed or a pretty pair, pendant lights are still a playful pick. For a single bed with a pair of bedside tables, use two lights, for a single with just the one table, don’t be afraid to feature one fab pendant and embrace the asymmetry. If you have two beds side by side, opt for a look-at-me light between the two beds, or one each on the outside to tie the pair together.

Colour your world

If you’re a little wary of out-there colour schemes in the bedroom, your lighting provides a safe but sassy option to inject your colour crush without taking over the room. A dark and moody room with a pair of metallic or golden pendants adds an air of sophistication and drama, while adding a citrus-coloured light to a gentle blue scheme will elevate the look in an instant.

Dramatic to dim

Before you buy, check with your electrician, or retailer, whether the pendants you have your eye on can be connected to a dimmer switch for added versatility and the ability to add ambience at the day’s end.

The art of asymmetrical style

So your partner’s a midnight reader and you’re anything but? Make asymmetrical your friend. Whether you opt for an overhead pendant on one side and a bedside lamp on the other, a floor lamp on one and a petite pendant on the other or two complementary but unique pendants (same designer, different shape or same colour, different style), done right, this is a designer trick to treasure.