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sadie black woven rattan pendant over long dark dining table globewest

Dining Room Pendant Light Ideas: The Best Options for All Table Shapes

Not only have I packed today’s post with some of the best dining room pendant light ideas on the market right now, but I’m also going to talk you through how to select the right one to work with your current dining table. Christmas has come early!

I know this is a topic a lot of you struggle with. To be fair, most of us get our table first and then have to trawl through dining room pendant ideas afterwards, crossing our fingers and toes that the light we select won’t clash, but won’t feel too matchy-matchy either.

I know members in the TLC Private Facebook group have asked about this a lot too, so the time has come for me to share all my style secrets for you. By the time you get to the end of this post I have every confidence you’ll be a dining room pendant light expert. And then you can read this post on what height to hang pendant lights in each room.

architectural geometric long pendant light over rectangle dining table
Via Elle Decor

Best Pendant Lights for Rectangle Dining Tables

Who doesn’t love a rectangle dining table? Be it glass, timber, marble or something different altogether, the rectangle shape often brings a formality with it. If nothing else it gives your dining room nice clean lines. And so you have to choose a pendant light to hang above it that speaks to the shape underneath. Here are two great options below.

beacon lighting luelle pendant in dining room over long dark dining table
The Luelle Pendant from Beacon

The Long Parallel Pendant Light

This pendant light shape mirrors the run of the dining table underneath it. It’s a sensible approach that feels safer and more structured. I see this a lot in Hamptons interior design schemes, Luxe and Provincial ones, and others where there’s an inherent sense of convention and order.

Style Tip: Make sure the pendant light doesn’t run the full length of the table underneath. If the table is a six-seater of approximately 180-200cm in length, the pendant should be about 110cm long give or take a little. 

sadie black woven rattan pendant over long dark dining table globewest
The Sadie Pendant from Globewest

The Singular Circular Pendant Light

This option brings another dimension to the scene. Because the dining table is rectangle and the pendant is circular, it means there’s more visual interest and variation at play. There are so many style options with a round-shaped pendant too, so the sky’s the limit.

Style Tip: Always make sure the pendant is not wider than your dining table, or it’ll feel off-scale. For a table with a width of 110cm for example, don’t go wider than 80cm with your pendant.

coco republic dining room with rond white dining table and gold pendant above
The Baleno Pendant from Coco Republic

Best Pendant Lights for Round Dining Tables

I have a round dining table in my own home and love it. The fluid shape is ideal if you’re working with a small dining space, and it allows you to squeeze more people around it if you need to. There are a few top pendant light options available to you with a round table, which I’ll detail below.

cleo jute round pendant light over round dining table temple and webster
The Cleo Pendant Light from Temple & Webster

The Circular Pendant

This option works well if you’re wanting to ground the space but not make it feel too visually overwhelming. By having the table top and pendant in the same shape, there’s a uniform feel to the room; minimal, but still interesting.

Style Tip: Circular shapes work above round tables, but more often when the pendants are low in height (like the drum pendant above). A big round ball pendant over the table is not an ideal option.

brass multi bulb pendant light over round dining table from finnish design shop
The Apiales Pendant from Finnish Design Shop

The Pendant Cluster / Multi Bulb

Three smaller pendants installed at different heights over a round table will bring a fair bit of visual interest to the room. Or, as in the image above, opt for a more refined cluster of multi-bulbs in the one unit. This gives an otherwise subdued dining room a wonderful sense of luxury. As with the other tables in this post, always ensure the bulbs/pendants do not sit wider than the table top.

Style Tip: If you’re doing a cluster of pendants, ensure the bulbs inside are low wattage or you’ll be blinded by the light every time you sit down to eat.

multi arm brass pendant light over round dining table temple and webster
The Zander Pendant from Temple & Webster

Architectural Shapes

Pendants with architectural shapes are a great idea above round tables. Because the shape underneath is so simple, you can afford to let your pendant be more elaborate. Sharp angles work, spider pendants with creeping arms work, and shapes like hexagons and octagons work too. Be adventurous!

Style Tip: The adjustable pendants above are lovely, just be mindful not to have them so low that they’re close to faces when you’re sitting down with friends or family.

kyal and kara beach house dining room square dining table with pendant
via Kyal and Kara

Best Pendant Lights for Square Dining Tables

We don’t see square dining tables around as much as a rectangle or round ones, but many of you still have them. I think this is possibly the table shape that gets people the most stuck, so hopefully these tips will help you sort out the best option once and for all.

square timber dining table with three glass pendant cluster
Via Artesenos

The Pendant Cluster

Having three pendant lights at different heights hanging over a square dining table is a great idea. There’s a lot of tabletop real estate to work with, so you want your pendants to take up a fair bit of room. I always recommend any shape that’s not a square. You can go for round or something quite geometric, just not a perfect square.

large round pendant light over square dining table
Via DecorPad

Large Fluid Shape

This option provides a really nice sense of balance because you have a large square table with clean lines underneath contrasted nicely by a fluid shape installed above it. Be mindful that you want the pendant to be quite large. It can be multi-tier too, depending on how high your ceilings are.

Style Tip: If in doubt, go big! There’s nothing worse than seeing a tiny little pendant light hanging over a big square dining table.

four bulb pendant light over brown oval dining table
via Menu Design Shop

Best Pendant Lights for Oval Dining Tables

When considering pendant light ideas for oval dining tables, I suggest you follow the same guidelines as a rectangle dining table. That means you can opt to install a long parallel pendant light that mirrors the run of the dining table (like above), or opt for one circular pendant light that sits in the middle of the table as a standalone feature.

Cluster pendant lights over oval tables feel too busy, while multi-arm pendants like spider lights don’t tend to look as successful.

round black metal and brass pendant light over round dining table with leather chairs
Via Overstock

Feeling More Confident?

I hope this post has not only given you a tonne of dining room pendant light ideas, but I hope it’s also helped you find the right option to pair with your table. I know it can feel really overwhelming, but at the very least you should now feel a bit more confident when it comes to the shape to shop for. Now the colour and style… that’s a whole other blog post!

Feel free to drop me a comment below if you want me to clear anything up.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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9 Responses

  1. My dilemma
    We have a large room 8m x 9m that has the Kitchen including an Island bench 2.5m x 1.5 with 3 large pendants above. The lounge/family area and the dining area including the table which is almost 3m x 1.2 rectangle.
    We have down lights and the 3 pendants, I really want a pendant light over the dining table….
    My question is – do I match the 3 pendants? or go totally different? I think different but I wonder if either one will look out of place…
    Oh dear…

  2. I am trying to create lighting over a 2m rectangular table in a modern room. I want to arrange the 3 completely separate lights (which will be different shapes and sizes, but the same look-and feel) in different planes to create a ‘cluster’ look, but I’m not sure of the best visual way to arrange the three individual lights (i.e. in a rough equilateral triangle shape? deliberately off-centre triangle? which order – largest lowest? smallest highest?

  3. That was so helpful! We bought our pendant light last weekend – a round one for a rectangular dining table. I was a bit unsure until I read this. P.S. We get it tomorrow!
    Thank you!

  4. These are wonderful pendant lights perfect for every kind of dining table. I personally like the large fluid shape style.

    what is the ideal height between a large fluid shape light and the table considering that it’s a big type of pendant light?
    Thank you for sharing!

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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