Lantern Style Pendant Lights to Love

They bring shine and structure, are traditional yet so up-to-date, and act as design focal point or contributor. We love lighting, and it’s no secret that lantern style pendant lights are a favorite around here.

One of the best things about lantern pendant lights for indoor rooms is their outdoor style. As interior designers here in Sarasota, we are fortunate to design homes along the perpetually sunny and warm Gulf Coast of Florida. While we work in a variety of styles, on thing all these homes have in common is their indoor-outdoor connection. We highlight and complement the obvious features like an ocean view or a living room that opens up to a pool deck, but we also make subtle choices to blur the hard line between indoors and out.

lantern style pendant light Chisholm Clean by Urban Electric
Photo courtesy of Urban Electric Co. Love the way the designer chose to echo the window panes with the lanterns.

One such strategy in our go-to toolbox is to use some outdoor, or outdoor-inspired, items inside. It’s a subtle way of blurring the line between indoors and out, and contributes to the way the room feels. Many modern lantern pendant lights take their style inspiration from traditional outdoor lanterns, which had panes to shield a flame from the wind. While we don’t need them for that purpose anymore, using an architectural, lantern style pendant or chandelier indoors still brings an airy, outdoor note to our subconscious feeling of a room. Its shape can define a whole room with its simple, symmetrical geometry.

Speaking of shapes, another style to love is a good bell jar lantern. In 18th century England these were hung in entryways to keep the candle flame inside from blowing out when the front door opened and closed, while the cap on top kept soot at bay. Now they’re electric of course, and are also adored in kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms, and hallways. The bell jar brings a soft curve to lighten up a room with a lot of straight-lined architecture, yet is so simple and strong in its classic, symmetrical shape. I love these modern bell jar lanterns by Urban Electric Co. in all their gorgeous finishes and configurations.

lantern style pendant light modern smoke bell lantern

You might recognize the lantern pendant light below, the Darlana pendant by E.F. Chapman for Visual Comfort (available to the trade) which we used in our St. Armand’s Key great room renovation project last year. This fixture comes in aged iron (shown), gilded iron (a weathered brass look), and nickel finishes, and even has outdoor fixtures to coordinate if that’s your thing. I love that the indoor pendant version we used has an open frame which gives it a modern, minimal spin- and for practical considerations, this also means there are no glass panes to keep clean. It worked particularly well over the dining table in this design to draw and anchor the eye down from the rooms 12′ high ceilings. Instant coziness, and balance for our composition. (This is Space as Art, after all. Balanced compositions are a big thing here.)

Lantern style outdoor sconce light

I hope you enjoyed a few of our favorites and are inspired to consider a lantern style light fixture too! Pablo and I just installed a beautiful bell jar lantern (and by that I mean Pablo installed a beautiful bell jar lantern) with clear, seeded glass at our new house to brighten up a dark corner and couldn’t be happier with it. Next we’ll be installing this one, an open frame, modern spin on a lantern pendant by Hinkley Lighting, by our breakfast bar. I love the fixture’s combination of the dark bronze with brushed brass finishes, and the squared shape of the tapers.


Happy Friday, everyone!

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