Choosing a Pendant or Chandelier: 3 Ways to Stop Choosing What (Most) Everyone Else Has!

I’ve been buried in a creative lighting hole for three days, designing and designing and designing until my heart’s content. In Flow State…so absorbed I forget to eat (thanks Matt and my children for bringing me food “What? Lunchtime already?!” “It’s 3pm, Jess.”)…

…and, as I come out of it, I have some thoughts I think could be helpful for those of you who want and are asking for help!

Whether you like it or not, when you decide to install a chandelier or pendant lights hanging in your home,

you’re choosing a sculpture!

Upleveling doesn’t have to mean more expensive…it often means being extra thoughtful and having a good handle on what makes a REALLY good room design…
Handmade by artists out of Israel.

This is my strong opinion after years of design. You must, must,

must uplevel your lighting taste!

No, it doesn’t have to be crazy, but it does have to be


I know those of you care about design and this post have good taste, otherwise you would have stopped reading already with a “Who cares about lights? Builder-grade is good enough for me!”

We wilt or thrive due to the environment around us, and many of us need more beauty around us.

Light does that.

Whether you’re starting fresh or just wanting to freshen up what you have, hanging ceiling lights can do SO much for you for only hundreds or single thousands of dollars (as opposed to the $20k-$200k remodel).

Pendants and chandeliers are more or less “in your face.” They’re hanging right there, at eye level.

In some situations, I could even argue that

the hanging lights you choose are MORE important than your flooring!


  1. Your lights are at eye level.
  2. Your floor is not at eye level.
  3. Thus, peoples’ eyes will go to what is at eye level first.

Some of these lights are HUGE. Some are diminutive. Some are traditional. Some are minimalist. Some are none of the above. Do you know when and how to use them properly (before shelling out money for your lights)?

You MUST have hierarchy when you’re designing and laying out a room! (I recommend starting with my fun + easy Design Guide here.) Your eye CANNOT go to everything at once, and it needs help knowing how to move

from 1

to 2

to 3

to 4.

If you don’t know how and when to use this type of lighting to help a room, you need a professional designer to help guide you!
The texture and near-literal gravitas of this pendant is MWAH! Can go both serious and fun design direction.

If your room (any room!!) still doesn’t “feel” REALLY, REALLY good to you…

…or you feel like it’s missing something…

…or you wish you had XYZ to “fix” it…

…but you’re not sure how…that’s okay. Not everyone is a designer, and thank God for that. I’m sincerely grateful for all the people who do jobs I cannot do. πŸ™‚ THIS is my job, however, and I can help people see, do, and put together things they never could do on their own. Sometimes I can’t even explain to them how to do it, I just instinctively know.

  1. You can call me HERE for 1-1.5 hours of talking over your design questions and get help, or…
  2. …if you like to attempt to DIY it, you can use this guide + these lights as your springboard.

I’ve spent hours adding 50+ Jess-approved lights HERE from shops you can choose from (without having to go through me as your interior designer).

These are all retailers you can 1) buy directly from and 2) aren’t $34,000 as one GORGEOUS, handmade, sculpted light I sourced for a client was. (Even Matt said, “That looks really cool.”) I’ve also commissioned artists to create some custom hanging pendants and chandelier-type oversized creations to go with my design vision for a space. Our Shop page is not that; no full interior design work necessary by you. They are minimal work for you. Click and buy. Easy.

No, the links you’ll find on this page don’t look like typical lights from Home Depot, Target or even Pottery Barn. They’re not “the usual” choices, and I understand that can scare some people.

Yes, I understand it can feel scary to choosing something that isn’t “what everyone else is doing.” And many times, that’s what we as your interior designers have to do–talk you through why some bolder choices may be necessary in certain situations.

Yes, I wish I could help all of you individually with your lighting choices. Call me and I can, or start 1) here and 2) here and see how you get along DIYing it!

Just some encouragement for my design-loving readers who want the look of a higher-end style without knowing how to get it… ONE way to do this is: INVEST IN YOUR LIGHTING. At the right place, at the right time. Design wisdom. Push yourself to the next level…you can do it! πŸ™‚

Hugs and/or a high five, depending at where we’re at in this relationship πŸ˜‰ …


PS: Some days I think I need to start an online course to instruct aspiring interior designers how to successfully and smartly start their own businesses (locally + online)! If that sounds of interest to you, let me know…let’s test the waters and see if there are enough of you out there…or whether you’re mostly all homeowner readers today just wanting design help! πŸ™‚

Mentioned in this post:

  1. The Expert Room Layout & Design Guide
  2. Our SHOP Page (including 50+ Jess-approved lights)
  3. Phone & video consults

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