Home & Design

Natural Light

This family home in Dana Point, California, has a new kitchen and a new look. In this feature from the July-August issue of Traditional Home magazine, designer Ohara Davies-Gaetano called for basket-weave pendants by Currey & Company to light up the kitchen’s gathering place. The pendants are $740 each at Build.com. Similar but smaller pendants by Elk Lighting are $169.60 each at Build.com. / Photo is by Victoria Pearson and appeared in Traditional Home magazine.

FOR EVERY action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Most of us remember that from high school. It applies to interior design as well.

Now that it seems as if every contemporary interior is topped off with a wild splash of Star Wars–worthy light sabers, here comes the visual relief: humble, homey-looking globes and pendants made of wicker or rattan or bamboo.

I wouldn’t say it’s an “equal and opposite” reaction because how many of us want to switch out our lighting fixtures depending on the season? No show of hands necessary: not all that many. Even in an earlier era when white slipcovers and straw rugs were used to transition the living room from the gloom of winter, changing the chandelier would have been a step too far.

So, as I flipped through the recent crop of home-decorating magazines I wasn’t surprised by the appearance of baskets turned into dining-room light fixtures and woven-wicker pendants marching along the ceiling over a contemporary new kitchen island. Editors at these “shelter” magazines want to capture the spirit of spring and summer, and what better way to do that than break out the natural fibers?

I think there’s more than seasonality going on here, though. Rooms need color and perhaps a mix of metal and wood, but they also need texture. And the humble reeds and canes of wickers and rattan supply it in quick order. Here are some ideas in case you’re tempted.

—Nancy McKeon

LEFT: From Anthropologie, the Emery Pendant in rattan over a wire base. It’s 26 inches tall and $498.
RIGHT: The Remegio Table Lamp in rattan with a jute shade, $168 from Anthropologie.

These festive Palisades hanging lamps are made from synthetic wicker so they can hang indoors or out. They’re by Kichler and, left to right, are $262, $262 and $272. All the shapes come in natural or bronze finish, at Lamps Plus.


The hand-woven Wicker Pear Pendant and the Wicker Dome Pendant are $175 and $145, respectively, at Houzz.


LEFT: The indoor-outdoor Amphora floor lamp in synthetic wicker from Bover comes in different sizes; prices start at $637 at Ylighting. Available in light and dark finishes.
CENTER: Target features this Task Table Lamp with a pink shade (the navy is no longer available) by Opalhouse. It’s $44.99.
RIGHT: Lacy-looking Headlands Bell Pendant light is $298 (14-inch diameter) and $398 (21.5-inch diameter). Both from Serena and Lily, and the airy look also comes in oblong and globe shapes.


In this interior shown in Luxe New York magazine, designer Sara Gilbane turned a Tanzanian basket into a hanging light fixture over the antique farm table. Photo by Zach & Buj for Luxe New York, LuxeSource.com.


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