Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Lighting - what's your favourite pendant?

When some people engage the services of an architect, they provide them with a brief of their requirements and the architect does the rest, which includes selecting all of the finishes, fixtures and fittings. Most people don't have the time nor the inclination to fuss around with all the details.

I, on the other hand, have been heavily involved in the entire process (so I hope that I haven't been too much of a pain in the butt!) I think I'm on to my fourth kitchen tap already - but I promise there'll be no more changes :)

However there is one item I have left largely in their capable hands and that is the lighting and electrical fixtures. Luckily there is one thing we did agree on: no downlights. Not just because they are a visual eyesore (I hate ceilings that are peppered with downlights, smokes detectors, heat sensors, vents, speakers, etc) and with 3m high ceilings, I certainly don't want to be climbing up a ladder to change them when they blow.

One thing O+V+P are particularly good at is designing interesting lighting solutions, not just illuminating spaces but also stimulating the senses with both light and shadows. We have a wide range of lighting solutions throughout the house ranging from concealed batten lights, wall and pendant lights.

The dining area will be located in the original cottage, complete with high ceilings, timber floors, VJ lined walls and ceilings. As the room is also highly detailed, a simple pendant light hung over the dining table is all that is required to finish off the space.

Our architects have provided a number of options for this room, the first of which is bare bulbs. As we are dealing with a worker's cottage, making a feature of the bulbs symbolises the paring down to basics which harks back to days of old-fashioned simplicity.

Now this type of lighting is highly contentious - a bit like abortion or vaccination. You either fully support it or you are completely against it. I must say I wasn't a huge fan at first, but the idea is slowly growing on me. The idea is to hang them in a pair (or perhaps three) to fill the space and make a dynamic form. And another major benefit is they produce a lot of light and are very cost effective (eg $30 each - now that is a bargain.)

The next option is the Artek Golden Bell, designed by legendary Finnish architect Alvar Aalto:

Now I like this one for it's simple form and it does look rather elegant in this dining room:

But being made of brass, will it tarnish which may result in some regular polishing perhaps? - remember I'm all for low maintenance. However my allegiance is to all things silver, and all the other fittings in the house are either pewter, stainless steel or chrome. Fortunately it also comes in white, which could be quite nice too:

Then there's the George Nelson Bubble Pendants - I believe the Pear Criss Cross has been selected, but  then any one from the range would look great:

I'm afraid I'm still a little undecided. What have you got above your dining table and what are your faves?


  1. Hi Caroline,

    Thanks for your lovely comments over on my Blog - I live with 5 males too (and 1 female), busy busy isn't it?! Your renovation sounds fabulous. We are slowly doing up our place a room at a time so currently we have the old 80's recessed light above the dining table - it's hideous! I would worry about the brass dating too with the Aalto but the white one is lovely and you can't go past the George Nelson Pendants. Looking forward to seeing your choice as well as more reno updates.

    Mel x

  2. I vote for the Artek Golden Bell! So happy to follow along with your renovation. Before we lived in Budapest, we had a bungalow in Texas. I dream about moving back one day and doing a renovation too. Best of luck! Also, adorable boys!

  3. HI Caroline, Great to see your lighting choices. I myself am a Libran trapped in a Scorpio body, so I say totally embrace the (sometimes lengthy) process of making decisions.

    I am loving the last two lights as I think open pendants over tables can be a bit harsh on the eyes even with dimmers. cheers, Helen

  4. Hi Caroline,

    Really enjoying your deliberations! Have to say I vote lightshade everytime. Glare from lightbulbs is awful. Our Queenslander is 30's vintage so opted for a funky, art deco number closely related to a flying saucer. We love it. Maybe another option to consider? Art deco had a lot of bell shaped shades too ....


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