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The Best Under-$1,000 Pendants and Chandeliers, According to Designers

Photo: Retailer

A few years ago, we wrote about the evolution of a chandelier that, over the course of the last two decades, has become the status fixture for Brooklyn remodels: the Three-Arm Ceiling Lamp by Serge Mouille, a 1950s Parisian designer. It’s surprisingly easy to procure a Mouille online — the fixtures, which were once only available at specialty antique shops — are available on Design Within Reach for some $8,500. Which made us wonder: is it possible to shop for a similarly impactful, but not-so-similarly expensive chandelier online?

We reached out to a bevy of designers and asked them just that. The consensus was that while there is no shortage of inexpensive, nice-to-look-at chandeliers — and pendants — available online, it is a slightly more difficult thing to shop for on the internet than, say, a couch cushion. Light fixtures are difficult to repackage and ship back without shattering a bulb or eight. And if your very-delicate-and-easily-breakable fixture does, in fact, break en route, most retailers will not refund full payment. The experts we consulted recommended combating this chandelier-specific issue by doing your homework before you start shopping. Interior designer Joy Moyler recommends, for one, measuring the ceiling height in the room you’d like to put the chandelier into, then thinking carefully about who is going to be occupying the space. “You want to make sure to leave at least 12 inches above the tallest person in the house’s’ head,” she says. “My husband is six-foot-two — if I’m getting a chandelier for our bedroom, which has a 9-foot ceiling height, I know I have about one foot and ten inches to play with, no more. And that includes the chain, which people often forget to measure when they’re shopping for a chandelier online.” For the go-to, under-$1,000 chandeliers our consulted designers use for their clients’ bedrooms, foyers, dining rooms, low-ceilinged spaces, and lofts, see below. And if you’re looking for other lighting implements, visit our Lighting District.

For a living room

Design historian Alessandra Wood recommends this three-tiered pendant light from CB2 that she says makes a “modern, minimalist statement.” It’s made from white cast metal with a plaster finish, a detail she says “gives it an organic edge, which softens the angular silhouette.” The monochromatic, dimmable fixture, she adds, has a “Cali-casual” style that would make a living space feel a bit more like a beach house. (She adds it would also look great in a beach house, should you be shopping for a chandelier to hang in one.)

Isamu Noguchi’s Akari light sculptures are that rare art piece that doubles as something practical. The artist’s lamps, which are crafted from handmade washi paper and bamboo ribbing, come in dozens of shapes, sizes, and moods to suit just about any space. I have two of these large globe pendants hanging from my double living room. They give off a lovely, diffuse light — though I will say they are not bright enough to illuminate the entire room — but also add a visual cohesion to the area without overwhelming it.

For a bedroom

Two of our experts recommended this Crate and Barrel chandelier. “The key to bedroom lighting is to make it dimmable,” says designer Leanne Ford. “You want to be able to create a space that’s bright and airy but can also be moody and cozy. This accomplishes that perfectly.” Designer Kylee Trunck is also a fan, saying, “It has a feminine feel, but still looks modern — plus, it has great reviews, which never hurts.” The slim silhouette makes it airer, something you’ll want in a room taken up by a hulking bed. Shown here in brass, it’s also available in a darker bronze.

Designer Delia Kenza loves &Tradition’s Formakami JH4 pendant by Jaime Hayon, a riff on classic Asian paper lanterns, for a master bedroom. “It’s airy and light,” she says, “perfect for over the bed.” Black-stained oak rings add a bit of depth to the otherwise delicate fixture.

“I’ve used this woven pendant from Ikea about a million times,” says designer Orlando Soria. “It’s such a great value, and adds so much warmth and coziness to a space.” Handmade from bamboo lattice, “it’s hands-down the most bang-for-your-buck lighting fixture out there right now,” adds Soria.”

If you’re looking for something even more ethereal, consider this fluttery pendant from Crate & Barrel that Toussaint Derby, a lead designer at Havenly, recommends. It’s made of two layers of pleated, poly-blend silk shades that are suspended from an ivory cloth cord that attaches to an iron finial finished in burnished brass. “I love how light and airy it feels, while still making a statement,” says Derby. It would look equally as nice above a round dining table as it would in a sun-drenched bedroom.

For a dining room or kitchen

Two of our designers, Havenly’s Heather Goerzen and Victoria Adesanmi, recommend this chandelier from CB2 and suggest hanging it in a dining room. Adesanmi calls it “modern and sophisticated,” while Goerzen calls it “ethereal” thanks to the piece’s 16 frosted globes that are suspended from “graceful” brass accents. Depending on the height of your ceilings, Adesanmi thinks it would also work well in an entry foyer.

Here’s another cluster chandelier that’s slightly more subdued than the one above. It’s by Canadian company Kuzco Lighting and it’s interior designer Tommy Lei’s choice for a dining room. “This pendant gives you less and more at the same time: It’s minimal enough to blend into the dining space, but once turned on, it is a completely different statement,” he says. The glass globes are clear but the bulbs within are frosted, creating a multidimensional effect that Lei loves. It’s available in a configuration of 7 bulbs, as shown here, or 19 — that’s 3 more than CB2’s Corvina. “The bulbous forms feel like a celebration, like a gaggle of balloons tied together,” adds Lei.

A sleek, simple pendant like this one can also “command a little attention” without overwhelming a space, says Havenly lead designer Kasee Smith. “This is one of my favorite light fixtures because of its warm brass hue and solid presence,” she says. Designed by Paul McCobb for CB2, it’s made of solid polished brass (it also comes in iron with three different enamel finishes) and has an adjustable, cloth-covered cord. “It fits beautifully over a dining table by itself or as a set of two for longer tables or larger kitchen islands,” she adds.

If you like the look of brass but prefer something round, consider this pendant that Smith also recommends. Thanks to its hammered aluminum dome, Smith thinks that it would “add texture to any dining space” while “giving off a warm ambience that feels inviting.” It’s also available in an antique pewter finish.

For an over-the-table fixture, Kenza recommends Pholc’s Mobil 100 pendant, which has five opal glass shades. “It reminds me of a candelabra,” she says, “and who doesn’t like to dine near candlelight?” A rather nifty detail: The brass light’s metal arms can be adjusted to create different configurations.

Here’s a contemporary take on the Sputnik chandelier, but rendered linearly. It’s a favorite of Decorilla’s lead sales designer Devin Shaffer, who says that you really can’t beat the price — especially because the fixture has 16 (dimmable) lights. “Sputnik-style chandeliers and pendants rarely come in at under $500, especially if they have more lanterns,” he explains. Like the chandelier above, this one’s shape makes it ideal for hanging over a rectangular table.

For something a bit more traditional, consider this pendant lamp from Rejuvenation. It comes recommended by Melissa Wagner, who works in creative and design at online interior-design service Havenly and describes it as “understated but certainly not boring.” According to her, “it can easily work over a dining table in nearly any style of home, from Scandinavian to eclectic to traditional to mid-century.” If this particular style is not your fancy, Rejuvenation allows you to customize the perfect one — down to its drop length, metal finish, and shade.

Goerzen likes this linear pendant for dining rooms and kitchen islands, calling it “a more modern take on a vintage chandelier” thanks to its candlestick arms and linen shades that take its cues from Colonial design. Made of solid brass, it comes in two finishes and white or black shades, with the option to choose from six different cord lengths. “The clean lines mix with angled forms for a look that’s as polished as it is timeless,” says Goerzen.

Shaffer suggests this mint-green pendant fixture to anyone looking for a retro vibe. “Certain colors harken back to a certain decade,” he explains. “This pendant is magical in that it mixes a 1930s-style mint metal with sleek, rounded mid-century form.” For a fairly reasonable price, he says, you’ll get a fixture that “would transform a kitchen space.”

For a foyer

Designer Ana Claudia Schultz likes this handmade-to-order, simple-but-geometric pendant from Etsy. “It’s abstract and contemporary,” she says, “which I like for an entrance to a home.”

For a loft

Designer and architect Arielle Assouline-Lichten loves using this Ladies and Gentleman Studio pendant in high-ceilinged loft spaces. “Their clean lines enhance a loft’s natural airness,” she says. The price shown is for a single light, but you can also buy them by the cluster for a more layered effect. (Just know that the ready-made three-piece or five-piece clusters will set you back more than $1,000.)

Soria put this five-light, dimmable chandelier in his own dining room, but thinks it would work perfectly well in a contemporary loft, too. “It’s very modern, and large enough to engage a super open loft space,” he says. “The worst thing in a loft is having a chandelier that looks inappropriately small. Larger pieces are generally very expensive, and this one is not.”

For a low-ceilinged space

For an apartment with perilously low, 8-feet-or-under ceilings, all of our designers recommended using a Semi-Flush Mount instead of a chandelier — they hang, but only slightly. Designer Rayman Boozer particularly likes this fixture from the Kate Spade for Circa Lighting line for its ability to pack a punch despite its relatively short stature. In addition to the brass shown, it’s available in a polished-nickel finish, with the option of adding white globes instead of clear ones.

Assouline-Lichten says this Lambert et Fils chandelier will actually elongate a room because of it’s wide arm-span. “Plus,” she says, “it can be hung close to the ceiling in spaces where height isn’t the asset,” she says. It’s also available in a graphite finish, and you can choose the length of the drop as well.

Trunck likes this super-compact semi-flush mount from Ellen Degeneres’s line of lights. “This stays close to the ceiling, but is much more visually appealing than your typical boob light fixture. Plus, since it’s white it’ll keep the light from feeling like its intruding on the space below.”

And Soria recommends this Park Studio chandelier, which drops only eight inches (though, if you’ve got higher ceilings, you can get it in longer lengths as well). “It gives you the look of a chandelier, but it’ll save you a massive amount of space,” he says. “It makes a lovely focal point, and Park Studio is one of my favorite made-in-the-USA brands.”

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The Best Under-$1,000 Pendants and Chandeliers to Buy Online