Pendant lighting has become a prominent and almost necessary component for contemporary kitchen renovations, providing a harmonious ambience to a space through decorative lighting.
But often, accomplishing the perfect balance of pendant lighting to the kitchen island is no easy feat. Of course, selecting a pendant is a stylistic preference. However, arranging a pendant in the best possible fashion is not exactly a science, but an art.
As one of Sydney’s most respected and talented luxury kitchen designers, Dan Kitchens Australia has worked on hundreds of Sydney kitchen renovations where the customer desired pendant lighting. To assist our customers, this article describes how we choose and position pendant lighting.
What is a Pendant Light, and Why Do We Use Them?
A pendant light refers to often one or multiple lights that hang from the ceiling via a cord or rod, usually (but not always) with some sort of shade surrounding the sides of the light source.
The correct lighting makes all the difference in a contemporary kitchen. However, before installing fixtures, homeowners need to consider what sort of lighting they require.
Task lighting spotlights specific work areas. Ambient or general light is utilised for all-purpose illumination. While accent lighting draws attention to particular locations or is used as a decorative feature. The wide variety of available pendant lights allows them to cater to any lighting needs, making pendants a popular choice for contemporary kitchen lighting.
Pendant lighting is useful for task lighting over tables and kitchen benches. But more notably, the main reason we choose pendants is that they are one of a few items that can have a tremendous visual impact on a new kitchen design.
Pendant lighting allows homeowners to express their artistic views and enhance the appearance of their kitchen.
First Question to Ask Yourself: Do I Need Pendant Lighting?
The length of your kitchen island or peninsula and how small your kitchen is will influence whether pendant lighting is appropriate for your contemporary kitchen. Small kitchens with very low ceilings – such as most modern apartment kitchens – do not benefit from pendant lighting as they tend to overcrowd the room and make the kitchen look smaller.
Instead, small kitchens and modern apartment kitchens can opt for discreet track lighting or simple downlights directly over the kitchen bench for minimalist task lighting.
Suppose you are completely in love with pendant lighting, but unfortunately, your kitchen is not large enough to support them. Another option for modern apartment kitchens is to hang a low pendant over the dining space. As dining tables tend to be closer to the ground, pendant lighting is less intrusive to the space in modern apartment kitchens.
What Style of Pendant Light Do I Want?
Pendant lighting delivers a spectacular design presence in a room, so it’s best to let your own taste inform your selection of pendant style. Pendant lights are available in almost any style you can think of, from pendants made of glass or chrome for a sleek contemporary kitchen style to woven shades that lead into boho or coastal styles.
For Graeme Metcalf, a Multi-Disciplinary Designer at Dan Kitchens, “I like to suggest pendants that share at least some commonality with the kitchen space and the other objects that may inhabit it. That might be through similar materials, colours, shapes, and textures as used within the kitchen space.”
“That’s not to say you can’t inject a pop of colour”, Metcalf adds, “It all depends on how much you want your pendant light to be the feature. I’ve gone as far as specifying a pendant light to match the colour of a prominent benchtop appliance.”
Since there is a visual relationship between the kitchen island and the pendant lights, therefore, the size between each component needs to be in proportion to feel balanced. As a good rule of thumb, the larger your kitchen island is, the larger your pendant light should be.
How Many Pendant Lights Should I Choose?
Dan Kitchens designers typically use two medium-sized pendant lights for kitchen renovations in Sydney. As choosing only one looks lonely, and three or more overpowers the space and begs for too much attention.
Of course, this concept is not always true, as the guide gets a little murky in uncommon circumstances. For example, in this kitchen renovation Sydney, the chosen pendant light style was a large and unusual design.
As a result, the most aesthetic option was to install just one pendant light, allowing the beautiful piece to be the main feature in this Sydney kitchen renovation. Having more than one pendant light that is big or unusual tends to take away the appeal and “specialness” from the contemporary kitchen overall.
What is the Ideal Positioning for Pendant Lighting?
Again, there is no stone-set rule on the best position for pendant lighting as every contemporary kitchen will have unique circumstances that require bespoke styling.
But the general theory designers at Dan Kitchens follow is to place pendants along the horizontal centre line of the kitchen island. Again, this method is readily adjustable to accommodate uncommon situations, such as tall taps that may be in the way of the hanging lights.
For contemporary kitchens with two or more pendant lights in a row, offsetting the lights at least 450mm from the edge of the island creates a more unique and eye-catching layout. As a guide, the larger the benchtop, the larger the offset from the edge should be.
Large and unusual pendants work best when placed asymmetrically to one side of the kitchen island. For some reason, placing them in the direct centre of the island just looks wrong.
For example, in this kitchen renovation North Shore, the uniquely shaped pendant lights are hung asymmetrically for an attention-grabbing contemporary kitchen design.
“I’ve found that round-shaped and vertically proportioned pendants can also work well when put close together and staggered at different heights, as per this kitchen renovation North Shore. Like with large and unusual pendants, placing them asymmetrically along the centre line of the island close to one side makes a striking statement”, comments Graeme Metcalf at Dan Kitchens.
What is the Ideal Height to Hang Pendants?
“Pendant lights that are positioned closer to the ceiling than the kitchen benchtop simply look wrong,” says Metcalf.
At Dan Kitchens, the contemporary kitchen designers use 3D software to work out the perfect height position of pendant lighting from the benchtop, using a standard 90cm to the underside of the pendant. The designers at Dan Kitchens usually start assessing pendant height at about 650mm from the benchtop surface for small pendant lights and increase the height until it feels like the pendant is not “in your face”.
The main two factors that influence the ideal height position of pendant lighting from a benchtop in a contemporary kitchen includes:
- The height of household members. Any kitchen renovation should be designed to match the requirements of the people who will be regularly using the kitchen. This is important for pendant height as, for example, taller people don’t want to have pendants in their faces, so the pendants may need to be lifted to compensate.
- The size of the pendant light, as more oversized pendants need to go higher to not overcrowd the kitchen.
Start Your Luxury Kitchen Renovation Sydney Today!
Now that we have covered how to place and position pendant lighting above your kitchen island, it’s time for you to start shopping!
Ready to get your kitchen renovation started? Speak to the expert kitchen design team at Dan Kitchens and get the premium designer look you desire, as well as all the functionality you expect from a high-end kitchen. Our friendly staff at Dan Kitchens are here to help ensure perfect pendant lighting in your next kitchen renovation Sydney.
If you want more contemporary kitchen inspirations, browse our kitchen gallery for more! Dan Kitchens have highly experienced luxury kitchen designers and manufacturers with an unrivalled reputation for expertly made kitchens and joinery in Sydney.
Whether you need a large contemporary kitchen renovation North Shore or a modern apartment kitchen renovation Hornsby, visit our luxury kitchen showroom to see how the finest craftsmanship and exceptional new kitchen designers, coupled with high-quality materials and finishes, can transform your kitchen into a luxury oasis. We offer a fully project managed service, from an initial concept and manufacturing right through to installation. Call us today on (02) 9624 2344, discover how Dan Kitchens uses Danish principles to design impressive custom kitchens.