How To Choose & Style a Kitchen Chandelier

Published By: Shades Of Light

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Last Updated: May 27, 2021

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Black traditional style 3-light kitchen island chandelier


Chandeliers are lighting fixtures that perfectly embody the intersection of high style and functionality, making them ideal choices for fresh, fashionable kitchens. Crafting a comfortable workspace in your kitchen is a project that requires careful considerations for the uses your kitchen will serve most often. And since every family, kitchen, and home are different, there is no single rule for choosing what lighting will be best in your space. For example, do you use your kitchen island primarily for food prep or do friends and family use this space to gather over a meal? Perhaps you don’t have a kitchen island at all, but you do have a kitchen dining table. Whatever your unique style and situation, Shades of Light has the perfect chandelier to fit you and your space, so read on for our favorite tips, tricks, and techniques to make finding that swoon-worthy light a breeze!

Where to Place a Chandelier in a Kitchen

Black modern chandelier over round kitchen table

Concertina Chandelier over a Round Modern Kitchen Table

When deciding where to hang a chandelier in your kitchen, determine first if the fixture will serve as kitchen task lighting, a kitchen style element, or (as is usually the case!) a bit of both. The most common places to mount a chandelier in the kitchen are over the kitchen island and over the kitchen dining table. But depending on the layout of your space and your personal needs, you may find there are other areas where a chandelier could fit right in. A mini-chandelier mounted over a sink provides a charming burst of style and brightens the area for food prep and kitchen clean up. A chandelier mounted in the center of the room always makes a grand statement and can serve as your base layer of ambient lighting if you don’t have an island or a kitchen table you would rather accent. For kitchens with high ceilings, chandeliers, which bring the light closer to workspaces and walkways, will light the space better than recessed lighting or ceiling lights.


How Big Should a Chandelier Be Over an Island?

Open Frame Linear Island Chandelier in an open plan kitchen

Open-Frame Linear Island Chandelier in an Open Plan Kitchen

There are two common chandelier lighting designs for kitchen islands: multiple chandeliers hung in a line over the island, or one single linear chandelier or island chandelier centered over the island. The choice between one large chandelier or multiple smaller ones is primarily up to personal preference, and will impact the style of your kitchen. In both cases, the chandelier should fall around 30-36 inches from the countertop. Aim to position the light around eye level to illuminate tasks, but also be aware of how the lighting position affects the view in your room. If the chandelier is visually dense, or blocks the view into the next room or to seating across the island, don’t be afraid to hang the fixture a little higher. Chandeliers with clear shades and open designs can help too!

How to Place an Island Chandelier over a Kitchen Island

The actual size of the chandelier will depend on the size of your island. The chandelier should not overlap the edges of the island to avoid potential accidents as well as a lopsided design aesthetic. A good guideline is to leave 6 inches of space between the edge of the island and the edge of the chandelier— so choose a chandelier that is roughly 12 inches less in width than the width of your island. For long linear or island chandeliers, similarly, choose a chandelier that is at least 12 inches less in length than the length of your island. And, of course, mount multiple fixtures so that there is 6 inches of space between the edge of the chandelier and the island at either end.


Chandelier Size for Kitchen Table

White and Gold Capiz Shell Chandelier over Farmhouse Kitchen Table

Young House Love Cascade Capiz Shell Chandelier Over a Farmhouse Kitchen Table

When selecting a kitchen table chandelier, the guidelines for sizing are just the same as the guidelines for sizing a chandelier over a dining room table or kitchen island. Select a fixture that is 12 inches less in width and length than the width and length of your kitchen table, and mount the fixture around 30-36 inches above the table top. However, the size and shape of your kitchen table may present you with more design options than in other areas of your kitchen. Consider your kitchen table and chandelier a single design unit and select a chandelier that either accents or contrasts your kitchen table. For example, you can mimic the shape of a round table with an orb chandelier, or craft artistic interest by pairing a round table with a square chandelier. Long kitchen tables look stunning under rectangular chandeliers but can be just as beautiful paired with several mini-chandeliers or pendants. Remember to keep 6 inches between the edge of the table and any edge of the chandelier, and the rest is up to you!


Kitchen Chandelier Style Ideas

Rustic and Farmhouse Kitchen Chandeliers: Rustic kitchen lighting and farmhouse kitchen lighting styles offer many chandelier designs that make a big impact in charming modern and vintage-inspired country-chic spaces. Look for rustic kitchen chandeliers that use natural materials like wood, rattan, and rope in the construction and have dark or distressed finishes like wrought iron, rust, or galvanized metal.

Metal & wood industrial farmhouse chandelier Distressed Bronze Entwined Ovals Farmhouse Chandelier

(Left) Metal & Wood Industrial Farmhouse Chandelier; (Right) Farmhouse Style Driftwood Entwined Ovals Chandelier


Modern & Minimalist Kitchen Chandeliers: For fresh, modern spaces, minimalist kitchen chandelier designs steal the show. If this style speaks to you, look for fixtures in bold, but simple shapes, with striking finishes. Modern fixtures are often finished in cool polished nickel or chrome tones, but elegant black fixtures or glamorous golds, brasses, and coppers can also find a place in trendy, cutting edge looks.

Thin Metal Modern Float Drum Chandelier Gold contemporary geometric chandelier

(Left) Modern Float Drum Chandelier; (Right) Contemporary Bon Air Chandelier


Traditional Kitchen Chandeliers: Traditional chandeliers don’t have to look old-fashioned! To give your kitchen a timeless, classic sophistication, consider adding a touch of glitz with crystal chandeliers or subtle refinement with draping beaded fixtures.

Traditional Elegant Drape 6-Light Chandelier Prism Faceted Glass Traditional Layer Chandelier



Transitional Kitchen Chandeliers: Transitional chandelier styles often defy specific categorization. In rooms that merge modern and classic style inspiration, hang fixtures that streamline traditional silhouettes and add texture with unique finishes, such as distressed metal.

Transitional Cut Loop Drum 6-Light Metal Chandelier Simply Black 6-Light Metal Chandelier



Nautical and Coastal Kitchen Chandeliers: Breezy beachy decor can add an airy, relaxed feeling to any room. Accent your kitchen with nautical kitchen chandeliers using natural materials like driftwood, rope, and of course, seashells!

Rope Frame Mini Rope Nautical Chandelier Oyster Shell Basket Coastal Chandelier



Industrial Kitchen Chandeliers: Industrial chandelier styles are bold and rugged with economical and practical shapes. Chandeliers with dark finishes, simple lines, and exposed hardware will be the perfect final touch to an industrial-inspired kitchen.

Minimalist Industrial Iron Ring 8 Light Chandelier Large Industrial Dome Shade Pendant Light




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