I love different levels of lighting in a room. Many homes have overhead can lights, which are fine, but in a dining room, it is much more romantic and inviting to also have layers of lighting; a chandelier, wall sconces and candle light.
One question I am often asked is “what height should I hang my chandelier”. Well, that is important, as is picking the right scale and proportion for your room and dining table.
Read on before purchasing your dining room lighting.
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Select a chandelier that is no wider than 12 inches less than the width of the table and no smaller than half the width of the table. The height of the chandelier depends upon the ceiling height. For pleasing proportions, the chandelier is usually at least as tall as it is wide.
Hang the chandelier so the lowest point on the fixture is 30″ above the tabletop. Since most tables are 30″ high, the bottom of the chandelier is usually 60″ off of the floor. In rooms where the ceiling height is over 8′, raise the chandelier 3″ for every additional foot of ceiling height.
- Use wall sconces for a second layer of light. The electrical box to which the sconce back plate is attached is usually positioned 72″ above the floor. The sconces can either match the chandelier or coordinate with the style of the chandelier.
Photo Credit: Tami Smight Interiors
- Place a pair of candlestick lamps on the sideboard or use a more substantial lamp on a corner table. This provides a third layer of light.
- Use shades on the chandelier, the wall sconces and, of course the lamps, to soften the light emitted.
- Add dimmers to all three layers of light. This will allow you to create depth and atmosphere in the room.
Now you just need to plan that romantic dinner party, and wow your guests with the beautiful ambiance you have created with a properly lit dining room! Enjoy.
Tami Smight Interiors, a full-service interior design firm, has been gracing southern California homes with warm, accessible designs since 2004.