Chandelier and Pendant Lighting in the Kitchen and Dining Room

Lighting is the visual backbone of a space. Its impact on how a room looks and feels is often underestimated so take your time when planning a lighting scheme and selecting fixtures.

Two of the most popular types of fixtures are chandeliers and pendants because they’re functional but also pack a decorative punch. These fixtures can be used throughout the home, but the most common location for them is above the kitchen island and in the dining room.


The general rule of thumb for suspending pendants above a kitchen island is to ensure that the space between the bottom of the pendant and top of your counter is about 76cm to 92cm. This is simply a guideline though, and it’s important to keep the specifics of your household in mind. Consider the height of your family members. If they’re on the tall side then you may want to hang your pendants slightly higher so that they don’t obstruct anyone’s view when they’re standing at the island.

The spacing of your pendants depends on the number of pendants you hang and the size of them. If your kitchen island is smallish (about 1.8m to 2.1m in length) then use two pendants spaced about 76cm apart. Larger islands call for three pendants spaced about 76cm apart. Linear pendants (similar to multi-light pendants in that they feature several light sources on a single canopy) are becoming increasingly popular. If you choose to go with this style it needs to be hung directly over the centre of island and should not exceed more than two thirds of the island length.


Chandeliers and pendants suspended above a dining room table require careful attention to size and scale. The fixture needs to be the right proportion to maintain visual balance in the room.

Look at the size of the room and the width and length of the table. If the chandelier or pendant is too big it will make the table look small and create peripheral weight from above. If it’s too small, it will look silly hanging above a comparatively large table. It’s generally accepted that if the room is less than 3m wide then the chandelier or pendant needs to be 60cm wide or less. A bigger room requires a bigger fixture or multiple fixtures.

It’s also important to consider the shape of the table. If your table is rectangular or oblong, then choose fixtures that are either linear or large and round. A row of smaller pendants also suits this shape table. For square or round tables, a single drop pendant or chandelier achieves harmonious design, as does a cluster of pendants suspended at different heights.

In terms of height, 76cm is the general standard. This measurement is taken from the bottom of the fixture to the top of the table. Use your own discretion though – the main goal is to ensure that the fixture is high enough for guests to not bump their heads when they stand up.

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