Choosing Pendant Lights for My Kitchen

Because The World Needs More Pendant Posts

‘Twas a year ago (almost to the day) that I asked you if the world needed another post about choosing pendant lights. Not surprisingly at all, you told me that, Yes! It absolutely does!, so I’m finally getting around to it. My goal with this post is to let you know that’s it’s perfectly OK to have your heart set on a certain pendant light, but then to choose a different one. And then another different one. And then, another different one, after that other one.

In other words, it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind— as many times as she freaking wants to. (Sorry, men. You have to stick with your first choice. Changing your mind shows weakness. You also have to throw away the installation instructions. Hey, I don’t make the fake rules. You’ll have to take it up with corporate…)

Anyway… Behold! My Kitchen.

Gray kitchen with white counter island and pendant lights

So, obviously, you know how the kitchen pendant light story ends, but it was a long road getting here. Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?

This was my dream pendant in 2013, which I told you all about in this post.

Argento Pendant by Corbett

I love mercury glass so much and this one stole my heart immediately. It truly was love at first sight. Back when I was designing my kitchen layout, I actually made mock ups of my dream pendants out of paper and hung them over an island that I built to scale using cardboard.

Kitchen island and pendants made of cardboard

I’m not crazy. I’m a visionary.

Then, I Changed My Mind

When you’re designing a whole house at once, you have to be prepared to pivot. I chose those mercury glass pendants before I literally had anything else picked out, but as things in other areas of my crappy house progressed, those lights started to seem a bit… I don’t know… frou? I mean, the price is definitely frou (at more than five hundred bucks a piece!), but I’d have paid that if I felt they were “the ones”. Eventually, I realized they weren’t the ones and I broke up with them in favor of these

Arabesque pendant light fixture

If you remember, in this post, I had picked pretty, crackled glass tiles for my kitchen backsplash. The shape and color of these pendants matched those tiles perfectly.

Kismet, right?

Kitchen Mood Board

Not so much.

I purchased three of them for my kitchen island, but these pendants didn’t work out for two major reasons:

  1. They absolutely refused to hang straight.
  2. The brown glass made everything look… well… brown.

I paid about $270 total for the three of them, which included shipping from China. Unfortunately, according to their return policy, I would have to pay to ship them back.

To China.

I figured I could sell them, locally, to someone else.

Arabesque pendant lights crooked

Someone who digs crooked lights…

Crooked pendant light

Needless to say, they’ve been sitting in my garage for five years now.

I ended up choosing a different backsplash tile anyway, so this relationship turned out to be a big waste of time and money.

Then, I Changed My Mind Again.

Following that disaster, I moved on to these pendants.

Clear glass pendant light in kitchen

I purchased three of them on eBay for cheap, but you can buy them here on Amazon for only $37 a piece, which includes free returns.

(You’ll see why that’s important in a moment.)

They say you never forget your first love pendant, and I guess I still had feelings for my mine because, as you might have noticed, the shape of these was very similar to the original ones I chose back in 2013. (But these cost 93% less!)

Glass pendant lights

I had plans to do this DIY faux mercury glass treatment on them, but I never got around to it and then I noticed that one of the pendants had a chip on the rim, but, since I procrastinated for so long (and I bought them on eBay instead of Amazon) I couldn’t return them, so…

Boxes in the garage

They’ve been sitting in my garage for four years now, next to pendant #2.

I Took a Break.

At this point, after three failed pendant relationships, I was finding it hard to commit to a new one. Rather than get involved with yet another fixture, I made do with these for a few years:

Gray kitchen with white counters

Yep. Just naked bulbs hanging on plain Jane cords. Nothing fancy. Just enough to get me through those dark, lonely kitchen nights. I guess I was just using them until the right pendants came along.

Finally, they did.

The Perfect Pendants

After all these years of searching, I knew what I was looking for. A fixture that was attractive, yet accessible. One that was smart with a (budget) friendly personality. One that I could meet in person, instead of seeing its most flattering pictures on an internet lighting website and then ordering it by mail from halfway around the world, only to be disappointed and then having to stash three more cardboard boxes in my garage along with the other rejects…

You guys know how this ends. I fell in love with this handsome light from The Home Depot.

Home Depot Pendant Light

And we lived happily ever after.

Geometric pendant lights

I’m going to spare myself the math, but all of these failed pendant purchases… well, they cost me a lot. Both financially and emotionally. I could try to sell them, but with the second set being all crooked and the third set having at least one chip, I’m going to cut my losses and just donate them all to charity. There’s no sense in holding on to past pendant relationships. Schmoopy is dying to reclaim that space in the garage, so it’ll be worth it just to get rid of them.

It’s time to move on.

But, before I go, check out these responsible bulbs I bought that totally take care of themselves. Know why? Because they’re independants!

I’m sorry? You’re welcome? I can’t decide. You pick.

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  • Joan

    If you have a ReStore near you, they would take those lamps! They sell them and the money goes towards Habitat for Humanity projects.

    • My Crappy House

      I do have a ReStore and I asked them if I could donate my pendants, but they said they’re no longer accepting light fixtures. I know, right?? I’ll have to try The Salvation Army.

  • Trollopian

    Oh, I can so relate to this.

    My search for the Holy Grail of kitchen lighting took only 6 years and one failure along the way, but still.

    First choice was one of those bowl-shaped pendants. Looked nice. (Not as nice as I imagined; but nice.) Two things, though, quickly became obvious. First, that every suicidal bug in my zip code chose to end his or her life in my saucer-shaped lighting fixture. I could take it down laboriously and clean it out and a few days later, more bugs. The light from the fixture had a curious dappled look ’cause it shined down through zillions of bug corpses. Second, it was really, really hard to change the bulbs. (Access to the bulbs was effectively blocked by the saucer, which had to be removed. Every damn time.) I’m short and have high ceilings and it was a precarious stepladder job, top rung.

    I lived with this for 6 years and then said the hell with it, got a rather ho-hum 3-light “chandelier.” Nothing exciting but at least the bulbs simply screw in from below and I can stand on an ordinary stepstool.

    The happy part of the story is that I thought, “I should sell or give away the first fixture, it’s still perfectly functional and I hate waste.” But when my handyman took it down he dropped the bowl and it shattered into a thousand pieces. Which I swept up assiduously to keep my cat from stepping on them. At least I didn’t have to post on Craigslist or whatever.

    That’s my story.

    • My Crappy House

      This is like my story! I’m a terrible house keeper, so, if I had your lights, those dead bugs would’ve just kept accumulating in there until their tiny bodies eclipsed the light entirely. I’m sorry your light broke, but I kind of envy you for that a little…

  • DustandDoghair

    I’m not sure which I love more, this post or your lights. Don’t make me choose!

    I love the lights because they are completely gorgous. I greatly appreciate how they look different from different angles and that they’re both modern and classic all at the same time. I love them more than mine because you don’t have nooks and crannies within them that you HAVE to dust all the time. And I need to ask if they cast cool shadows all over your kitchen. If you don’t have them on a dimmer, I recommend… because they will look extremely lovely when barely lit as well (although you will need dimmable bulbs and a special switch if you use LEDs).

    I love the post for the usual reasons but also because it’s nice to have company in the “it needs to be perfect” hell in which weirdos like us live…until it is FINALLY perfect, and then it feels like heaven. LOVELY!!!

    • My Crappy House

      Oh, you so get me! Perfectionism (if that’s a word) is hell. I don’t mind it so much when it means a delay (years, usually) of getting the perfect thing. I do mind it when it means prematurely pulling the trigger on a not perfect thing and wastes my money. I’m super cheap and I hate spending money on the wrong stuff.

      I do have these lights on a dimmer. All of my kitchen, living room, and dining room lights are on dimmers. I love mood lighting. Plus, I look way better in low light

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