Dining Room Ideas

How to pick the perfect pendant light for over your dining table

A show-stopping pendant is the ultimate style statement
Simon Whitbread

Choosing the right pendant light for over your dining table can make a big difference to the atmosphere you create for meals and entertaining. Here are five tips to help you choose. You want to make an eye-catching impression but there are rules of design that come into play here. Size, colour, material and the height you hang the pendant above your dining table are all elements that need to be worked out for the best result.

Resolving all of these factors might not be as straightforward as it first seems so we asked the expert – GlobeWest Showroom Manager, Mimi Weir – for the dos and don’ts of picking the perfect pendant for your dining room.

1. Choose the right size pendant in relation to your dining table

“When selecting a pendant for your dining room, whether it’s a round or rectangular dining table getting the proportions right are key. A good tip to go by is working with a third of the table length. For example, a round dining table at 1200mm DIA would require a pendant no larger than 500mm DIA. This way the pendant isn’t dominating the space, but creating a feature to the table itself.”

Modern Hamptons dining room with circular timber table and black dining chairs.

The dining area in this grand waterfront Gold Coast home was built for family meals, as well as entertaining.

(Credit: Photographer: Elouise Van Riet Gray | Styling: Lana Caves)

2. How do you achieve va va voom with a pendant and choose a table to match it?

“I am a believer in ‘less is more’, however in a dining space where the pendant will be a central feature you can be more adventurous and have a bit more fun. To create that ‘wow factor’ you could opt for more of a textured fitting such as clay beads, woven rattan or leather strapping.

Hanging a cluster of pendants at different levels can create interest too. When selecting a dining table to go back with it, I would find something more simple in design and material as this way it will complement your pendants rather than compete.”

3. Is it ok to mix styles?

Absolutely!! Mixing materials will create an eclectic space giving off warm texture and an inviting glam environment to entertain.

Here, this woven rattan pendant light adds a sophisticated rustic charm to a variety of styles – from coastal, mid-century modern, bohemian, and more. From $149, purchase from Temple & Webster.

Modern timber dining room.

The ‘Hanging Ball Lamps’ in Natural Wicker from House Of Orange help to fill the spacious open-plan area and balance the polished concrete floors in this Palm Springs-inspired new build.

(Credit: Photographer: Simon Whitbread | Styling: Rachel Peters)

4. How high above the table surface should you hang your pendant?

When hanging pendants above your dining table I would aim for 700-750mm above the table top. This would allow enough space for people sitting at the table to comfortably have a conversation without the light obstructing their vision as well as the right proportion for the space. If placing pendants above a kitchen bench top when its use is more for task lighting, 550-700mm would be the suggested height.

5. One vs two pendants – what works best?

Both! It will depend on your space and the size of your dining table. If you have a larger table and want to create balance and ground the space within your dining area I would suggest 2 pendants of the same size, style and to be placed evenly. If your dining table is on the smaller side one larger pendant or a smaller cluster or 3 pendants will create interest and a focal point within the room.

Hamptons style breakfast nook with round dining table.

This Hamptons-style home combines a relaxing palette of blues and whites with an effortless connection to summertime.

(Credit: Photographer: Brigid Arnott)

Related stories