When hanging a light over a table or a kitchen island 28 to 34 inches is the recommended distance from the bottom of the light to the surface of the table or island. However the size of the light makes a difference. In general a smaller light can be moved lower and a larger light can be moved higher.
Instead of or in addition to sconces hidden lights can add a general glow that bounces off the wall and into the room in an even subtler and more diffuse way. Cove lights are built into niches that hide the light source (often a plain LED strip) but hidden lights can also be obscured by medicine cabinets shelving or storage units.
If you are adding new pendant lighting but don’t want to deal with the expense or hassle of changing your home’s electrical setup cord swags can be a stylish solution. Swag them loosely over a bar or a hook as seen in this kitchen or secure the cord tight to the ceiling for an industrial look.