Good lighting is everything

Phil and I hate bright lights. Actually, that’s not true, I love bright lights when I’m on a stage, but he will avoid them at all costs. So much so that if we’re in a restaurant and he’s sitting under a bright light he will ask to be moved. Much to my embarrassment!

However I do agree with him that soft lighting is much nicer and creates a much better mood and atmosphere. So in our current house we rarely turn the ceiling lights on because we don’t like them, we mostly stick to lamps (and candles). So now with our new house we have the chance to choose lighting that creates the mood we’re after, which will be great. I just wish I could narrow my choices down and make a decision, because there are too many great lights to pick from!

As I’ve said before, The Block was easier in some respects because I had to make quick decisions and stick with them. But when you have a year to think about it and change your mind you become nervous about locking something in, in case you see something better and change your mind. However seeing as the electrical cables will be laid soon and I will be going on tour for 10 weeks I have to make my final decisions and stick with them. Agh, the pressure!!

I am forever looking online and in shops to see if that ‘perfect’ pendant comes along that I like more than the one I’ve chosen and it’s making me a little crazy! I just don’t want to regret my decision, even though I know whatever I chose will look great.

I’m pretty set with the bedrooms but my biggest decision is in the kitchen, dining and living. With the exposed trusses we already have lots of wow factor, so the pendants need to complement that and not compete against it. I’m also not sure whether to have one centered pendant or two on either side of the fireplace.


Our trusses above and some of the pics inspiring me below…

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I also need to get the balance right, with the kitchen, dining and living all in the same open plan space. It will be overkill to have statement pendants in every section, so I think it should either be just the kitchen and living or just the dining and living. Otherwise if you do all three they really need to work in harmony.

The same goes for the kitchen. I had always planned to have three pendant lights hanging over the island bench, just like in every Hamptons style kitchen I swoon over on Pinterest.

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However I do feel like that look has become so common now that every single kitchen has it and that makes me want to do something different! But is that silly, doing something different for the sake of it when the original looks good? And what if I try to be different and wish I’d just stuck with what works. There’s no point in trying to be different just for the sake of it, unless you’re really excited about the new look you’re doing.

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This is different and fabulous, but probably not very family friendly!

The same goes with the black wrought iron boxed lights that used to be used in Hamptons styled homes only but are now totally mainstream (thanks Beacon!). Agh, can you see the dilemma’s I’m having?!! I’ve heard interior designers say that doing their own house is the worst because they agonize over every decision and I understand why. I guess it’s the same for an ex Block contestant. The pressure is on to make it the best thing you’ve ever done and that can make you second guess yourself, endlessly. You also have access to all the newest and best products, which makes narrowing down your choices even harder.

Ultimately I want to be adventurous and exciting but it will also be our family some, so I don’t want to be too different and then get bored of it. . This isn’t like The Block where you’re setting new trends and it doesn’t matter if it dates in a few years. I want this to be classic and stand the test of time.

The one thing is for sure, soon I will have to choose something and stick to it. And it will be a relief when I do!

In the meantime feel free to give me your opinion on which looks you like!

Amity xx




  1. Helen says

    Yep, totally agree, I’m over the three pendants over the island bench so now I’m going to place one huge statement piece over the island, with two smaller but still complimentary to the island one, off-side to the fireplace in the family room!

  2. Kimberly says

    I really like the 2nd picture you have, with the 2 large industrial pendants over the dining/kitchen area. Subtle, yet a beautiful statement and it is not too much for that space. Sometimes, less is more.
    If in doubt with your Hampton pendants in the kitchen, don’t do it. I recently made electrical allowances for pendants in my home but haven’t followed through with it. However, I’m glad that the option is there for me, should i change my mind.
    I totally hear your struggles though, does ones head in! My kitchen benches are my current struggle! !

  3. Karen says

    Hi Amity,
    My advice is go with what you love and have always wanted in your new home. Trends will come and go, and you cant always be different. Its not a competition. I got black boxy lights for my place on line before beacon did them and I love them anyway! Personally I like three glass pendants above the island, if it is big enough, and a gorgeous feature pendant in the living area. (not antlers!).Go with your heart. Good luck and have fun!!

  4. cam says

    Hi Amity
    Personally I love the top two pics. That to me is tge perfect lighting. I would love to have them as retractable.
    Im loving the brass and copper we are seeing at the moment, and if you were to go with a glass pendant I would go with the geometric copper and glass pendants. They are so stylish and new.
    Good luck with it all.

  5. Lynette says

    Good luck with your choices. I do love the idea of one large pendant for your living area like the candle type – I especially love the first one with the circular iron as it will work in softening the angular beams. Love you idea for three pendant lights for the kitchen and I do love the second last lights as they will tie in with the iron pendant in the living area. I have recently been admiring the newest design idea of using the same pendant lighting in the kitchen and living areas.

  6. Michelle says

    Hi Amity, if you don’t want to go mainstream, I would suggest a weekend road trip! Check out some antique stores for your lighting. Even if you don’t find an original or an antique light for your space you will be very inspired. Think Sarah Richardson design shows and her style. She almost always finds the perfect light from an antique style store in the middle of nowhere :)

  7. Edith reddin says

    we wanted something original so bought two fabulous pendant lights in Singapore. They look great in the space but unfortunately when a light bulb blew we couldn’t get a replacement that fitted and had to change all eight light fittings within the whole structure ( at considerable expense)! Sometimes it pays to have what is popular .

  8. gillian says

    pendants are good, and if you like them, go with that. I felt the same, are they just too mainstream now? We chose simple lights that don’t draw attention away from other features of the kitchen. I’ve had a big long light before, in a more modern styled kitchen, didn’t like it at all. I wish we’d thought to put the pendants on dimmers. Probably can be done still, add it to the list of tweaks.

    Don’t forget you can have lamps hardwired in to your wall switches (in other rooms).

  9. says

    Amity I feel your pain! I’m building my own house at the moment too and just went through this exact experience! I also wondered about having 3 pendants over the island bench – it’s such a beautiful look but as you say, has been done a million times now.

    We got a lighting expert to come out and help us design a lighting plan and he suggested suspended extrusion lighting over the island which suits our contemporary/slightly commercial home. I do love that chandelier you found though!

    Not sure if my pendant light blog post will help or inspire you at all but you can check it out here

    I love your style and you always create the most homely yet stylish interiors so no doubt you’ll find the perfect fit :)

  10. Ali says

    Hi amity,
    Sounds exactly like the dilemmas that I am going through at the moment too!
    Can’t decide about whether to do pendants in the bedroom…. At the moment love the idea, but in a few years???
    Good luck

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