Dining rooms are a designer favorite for showcasing unique lighting – and it’s easy to understand why. Chandeliers and pendants make illuminating focal points and come in a nearly infinite number of designs. If you’re not sure where to begin, however, a little guidance in choosing the right shape and size for your space can go a long way. Read on for how to light your dining room and a look at our favorite trending styles.
Types of Dining Room Lighting
Properly lighting your dining room can take a bit of planning, but don’t be discouraged. Similar to the kitchen, your dining room can benefit from incorporating three layers of light: ambient, task, and accent. If your room doesn’t have a lot of natural or ambient light, consider installing recessed ceiling lights to brighten the entire space. From there add task lighting, such as a pendant lamp over the table, and any accent lights you see fit – for example, a pair of table lamps on your sideboard or wall lamp over a piece of art.
Light Fixture Shape & Size
Before you buy a chandelier or pendant light to illuminate your dining room table, it’s important to think about size. Oversized styles may get in the way of guests, while small designs look entirely lacking. Considering your space from different vantage points is a good place to start, but if you’re looking for a little more than intuition to guide you, consider the following tips.
Function vs. Aesthetic
Before you begin, prioritize what’s important to you. Is it more important to have a well-lit dining room table or a design that fits your personal style? The light bulbs each fixture requires can make a difference, too, so consider the number of lumens or watts needed to create the right mood.
Table Size & Shape
The size and shape of your dining room table can act as a guide for selecting a chandelier or pendant. In addition to what design you choose, it’s also an indicator of how high to hang your fixture. Given an average eight-foot ceiling, the bottom of your light should hang 30 to 36 inches above the tabletop. For every additional foot of ceiling height, raise the fixture an additional three inches.
Round or Square Dining Table
Typically speaking, square and round tables are best complemented by a single chandelier or pendant centered above the tabletop. The fixture’s diameter should be approximately one-half to two-thirds the width of the table to look proportional and allow for ample head space.
Rectangular or Oval Dining Table
Long tables look best with linear pendants or paired fixtures. These options will balance the shape of the table and provide ample light from end to end.
Dining Room Lighting Styles
Dining room lighting can be as unique as your entire home, but if you’re looking for styles that are particularly here-and-now (and perfect for dinner parties), we’ve rounded up a few of our trending favorites.
Linear pendants, particularly refined industrial styles, are popular for long dining room tables that seat six or more. A matte black finish particularly pops against chic farmhouse décor.
If your space is graced with high ceilings, consider hanging multiple mini pendants at various heights. It’s an unexpected way to feature Edison bulbs, and the draping cords above will add texture and depth.
Don’t let the name fool you – wagon wheel chandeliers look incredibly elegant with modern dining sets. These circular, single-tiered styles work well with coastal and farmhouse sets as well.
Similar to satellites the style is named for, sputnik pendants ignite a sense of wonder and discovery. The look blends seamlessly into maximalist décor or stands out as an eye-catching focal point.
With modern design techniques, chandeliers are no longer confined to their traditional tiered styles. Opt for a fixture that doubles as a work of art in your dining area.
Glass orbs also complement a range of dining room styles and décor from farmhouse to glam. When grouped together, the look is particularly romantic and creates a charming glow.
Branch chandeliers are both linear and sculptural and work particularly well above long tables. Asymmetrical designs make for a contemporary space that won’t get boring from season to season.
Remember: A little extra time spent finding the right lighting fixtures for your dining room will pay off. In the long run, you’ll have both a well-lit dining space and a design you love.