7 Pendant Light Shapes Where They Look Best

7 Pendant Light Shapes & Where They Look Best

Pendants hang gracefully from the ceiling, encasing light with shades made of glass, ceramic, plastic, wicker or wood. They add shine and sparkle, warm up dark spaces, and contribute to the overall theme of a room, bar, or entryway. Pendants create symmetry while also serving the important function of providing light where it’s needed most. Some pendants are large and elaborate enough to be classified as chandeliers, but others are small enough to sit in the palm of one hand. Many models fall in between those two extremes.

Different Pendant Shapes


To maximize the potential of pendant lighting in the space you’re working with, think about the height of the ceiling and any peaks or slopes that could affect how the pendant hangs. Cathedral ceilings provide plenty of space, for example, but will the angle cause the pendant to hang awkwardly? It’s also important to assess the space from various vantage points and measure carefully before buying. Our catalog offers pendants for spaces of all sizes, offering a range of fixture and shade shapes such as domes, bells, islands, drums, globes and trendy, unique designs like Sputnik. Read through our guide to learn more and get some ideas on how to place pendants where they look best!


Island Pendants

Island pendants – the term for individual fixtures attached to a single frame – often hang over a rectangular structure such as a kitchen counter, bar, or dining table. Put up a single, pair, or a set of three or more to showcase a natural stone countertop and provide light for cooking and dining. Measure the area and shop for pendants with a similar shape and composition to the structure below them.

Experiment with tones and dark cabinetry with a cluster of clear glass globes to add light over an rangetop or sink. For an industrial look, try a set of three basket-shaped pendants attached to a frame of stainless tubing. Get even more creative with an accordian fixture – the intersecting diamonds make a plain wall more dynamic and interesting.

Shop the Space

Drum Pendants

For strong, steady light in a living or dining area, consider a large drum pendant that’s in sync with the rest of the room. Some drum pendants have taut, white shades made from natural fibers or plastic, but others are more textural or made from glass. Drums are strong in smaller rooms with low ceilings because they can be easy to fit into tight areas. Wire, glass, wicker, and metallics are also common materials for both drum frames and their shades.

Hang the drum low or high, depending on where you want the light and shadows to land. In bright rooms with plenty of windows, a drum can work as a feature piece, offering atmospheric glow in the evening hours.

Globe Pendants

A globe pendant can be a subtle or standout piece in any room, especially in one of today’s exciting new shade styles. Rounded shapes look beautiful clustered together and can soften the edges of a space that has many sharp angles. Not all globes are perfectly round — a geometric spindle contrasts nicely against a wall mirror and glass-top table. A faceted globe of sepia-colored glass adds a vintage touch in a sleek office space.

In low-light areas like TV rooms and lounges, a perfectly round ball of perforated copper creates points of light over a berber carpet, bar cart, or pool table. Make a rustic room more modern with a sphere of white petals, layering light with shadow.

Shop the Space

Bell/Urn Pendants

The elegant slopes of bell or urn-shaped pendants overflow with potential in rooms of all shapes and sizes. Reminiscent of vases and bottles, the graceful curves can pull attention upward, inviting you into their pool of light. Match the wrought iron of a staircase railing with a bell shade framed in black metal. Urns and bells also work in small spaces like bathrooms and walk-in closets.

Milk-glass shades with metal finials can hang in hallways, bathrooms, and in the kitchen. Try an urn of mottled or bubbled glass in a transitional room or near a wall of reclaimed wood. Look for iron, copper, and brass finishes for an upcycled or industrial style.

Sputnik Pendants

Technology is all around us, even in light fixtures. Capture the modern, retro-fusion feel of early space exploration in a Sputnik-inspired pendant to hang in the living room, dining room, or covered porch. Space-style lights work well as feature pieces, so hang them in airy, wide open spots and surround them with pop art, modern chairs, and minimalist decor. Light bulbs are usually exposed in these fixtures, providing an opportunity to play with color and levels of brightness.

Try oblong vintage bulbs in light green or brown for mood light in a mid-century or transitional dining spaces. Sputnik pendants also come in small sizes, so don’t rule them out for bedrooms or hallways.


Lantern Pendants

Today’s lanterns are creative, elegantly styled, and completely liberated from the colonial style they’re often associated with. You’ll find geometric frames, metallic finishes, and inset candelabras to control with smartphones or dimmer switches.The clean lines and openwork framing of the new generation of lantern light is easily incorporated into rooms with contemporary or transitional decor.


A pair of brass lanterns hanging from a cathedral ceiling lightens up a rustic room with dark beams and a brick fireplace. Try a trio of etched geometric lanterns over a long coffee table or desk. Use chandelier bulbs for ambient, energy-efficient light and let the lanterns glow into the evening.


Shop the Space

Stem Pendants

Nearly every house has at least one oddly-shaped space — a foyer, closet, hallway, or other area — that challenges your decorating skills. The answer might be stem pendants, the term for fixtures attached to slender tubing. Often very narrow or wide, many models are adjustable and allow you to slide the stem to the point you prefer. If your space is tight, look for horizontal stems with tiny spotlights or a vertical stem with attached globes. Try a pair of metal urn stems in a small kitchen, recycling center, or a mud room. Larger areas can use stems near accent walls, in the hallway, or over bookcases.

Pendants can be primary or secondary sources of light in spaces of all sizes, shapes, and styles of decor. Versatile, easy to install, and available in many new models, you’ll likely find more than one pendant to include in your design plan. It’s key to identify where and how the pendants will hang, and proper measurements make it easier to decide on their shape and degree of brightness. Look through our catalog for bells, urns, stems, islands, drums, globes and Sputniks. These aren’t the humble pendants of decades past, but a new generation of energy-efficient lights that open up endless possibilities for how your space is used and lived in.



Please Share This

Bellacor Blog

Over time, we've compiled a vast reference library filled with helpful hints and enticing ideas for the home. Lose yourself in these online "stacks" and find the perfect solution for your space – no Dewey Decimal System required.