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Dining Room Chandeliers

How to choose a dining room light appropriate for the size and style of your space

The dining room serves many purposes and has a multitude of functions. Memorable family gatherings and Thanksgiving dinners are regularly served on the same table that was a desk moments earlier and game table just the night before. Such a multifaceted room demands both attractive and functional lighting fixtures; however, finding such a unique combination and knowing if it is the right size and style for your space, as well as where it should be placed in the room, is often a challenge. Size The first step to finding the right fixture is to measure the size of your dining space. Once you know the length and width of your room in feet, add the two numbers together. This sum should then be viewed as the number of inches in diameter that represent the ideal lighting fixture.
Example Room length= 12 feet Room width= 14 feet Width + length= 26 feet The lighting fixture should be 26 inches in diameter (recall that the diameter of a circle is the length if you measured from one edge, through the center, to the opposite edge).
If you have a dining table that is of unusual proportions in relation to the size of the room, the fixture should be three quarters to one half of the width of your table.
Example Table width= 40 inches 40 * .75= 30 inches 40 * .50= 20 inches The lighting fixture should have a diameter of approximately 20 to 30 inches.
Placement In general, the bottom of your dining room lighting fixture should be 30 to 32 inches from the top of the table. It should be hung either directly over the center point of the table or in the middle of the room approximately 30 to 32 inches above the table top. Defining the center of your dining room can be difficult if you have an open floor plan, where the kitchen, family room, and dining area all blend together. In this case you can measure the general area you consider your dining room, and then hang the lighting fixture in the center of that space. It may be helpful to use changes in the flooring or different ceiling heights to determine where one space ends and the other begins. Sometimes it can be helpful to look at the dining area from the most common viewpoint to determine the center of the space. Style Dining rooms vary greatly- they can feature anything from traditional beadboard and wallpaper, to stained concrete floors and metal accents. The right lighting fixture for the style of you home will complement the rest of your decor and become a stunning, yet functional, focal point in the room.
Formal or Traditional Common Room Characteristics
  • Chair railings
  • Beadboard
  • Crown moldings
  • Ceiling medallions
  • Hardwood floors with wool rugs
  • Generally not the only eating area

Lighting Examples The overall impression of a suitable chandelier should be elegance and it may feature crystal accents, candelabra bulbs, and graceful lines.

Plantation Liebestraum Waterford Linsmore Rockford

Modern or Contemporary

Common Room Characteristics:

  • Straight lines
  • Stone and metal accents
  • Concrete or tile floors
  • Natural stone materials
  • Contrasting colors
  • Geometric shapes

Lighting Examples The appropriate fixture will generally have straight, clean lines. They are usually devoid of floral designs and patterns.

Candice Olson Chandelier Ondrarin Pendant Exos Pendant Low Voltage Chandelier

Oriental or Zen

Common Room Characteristics:

  • Peaceful environment
  • Lotus flower details
  • Small fountains
  • The use of rice paper and bamboo
  • Dark wood furniture
  • Red as a common accent color

Lighting Examples Zen design is usually focused on an airy, uncluttered, almost contemporary design while oriental decor often features more intricate designs and darker colors. Both emphasize the importance of a meditative atmosphere.

13-3155-hf-oval-pendant.gif Soho Five-Light Chandelier Five Light Pendant Castle Hill Chandelier

Rustic or Craftsman

Common Room Characteristics:

  • Wood floors and moldings
  • Straight lines
  • Bold true colors
  • Natural materials
  • Leaded glass
  • Leather accents

Lighting Examples Craftsman lighting fixtures can feature stained glass in geometric designs, where rustic may have woodland or animal accents. Both design styles tend to use natural looking metals. Craftsman decor is generally more elegant and refined than rustic.

Buckhorn Chandelier Prairie Pendant Mackintosh Pendant Inglenook Pendant

-M. Wood