They say the kitchen is the heart of the modern home, but for those who love lingering over meals with friends and family, the dining room shares that billing, especially during the holiday season.
But unlike a kitchen, which should be bright and airy, a dining room can be moodier and your choice in lighting will set that tone. Here are ten ideas for using lighting to create a space that’s ideal for cozy gatherings.
BASE YOUR LIGHTING AROUND YOUR DINING TABLE
The way to do that is to base your lighting design around the dining table, rather than the room as a whole. That usually means a chandelier, a pendant or a series of pendants, hanging relatively low.
USE MULTIPLE PENDANTS IN ODD NUMBERS
If you have a long rectangular dining table, then you can go for a large chandelier, or how about a series of matching pendant lights? For a longer table use a row of lights: odd numbers generally work best, so typically three or five pendants in a line.
USE LIGHTING TO CREATE ZONE IN AN OPEN PLAN SPACE
In an open plan living space or a kitchen-diner, a large pendant light over the dining table can help with your ‘zoning’. For example, even in daylight this large pendant helps to focus the eye on the table and separate the eating zone from the rest of the room.
DIMMER TO CONTROL MOOD
At night you’ll want to turn it down low, so make sure you invest in a dimmer. The best light for evening entertaining is low-level warm light; it creates an intimate atmosphere and, perhaps even more importantly, makes everyone look prettier.
MAKE A STATEMENT
Because the light over a dining table has such a specific use, it does give you the opportunity to do something dramatic. Luckily, chandeliers don’t have to break the bank.
LAYER THE LIGHTING
Having multiple light sources gives you options: so give yourself a choice of moods with a few other lamps around the place. How about a table lamp on a sideboard, or a couple of wall lights to match your pendant?
WHEN IN DOUBT: CANDLES
They’re a great way to immediately add a soft glow and intimate feel to a room. You can use a series or just a few. You can set it on the table in a grouping with some smaller votives.
DO NOT OBSTRUCT THE VIEW
Some dining rooms have a great view from the area or feature an interesting wallpaper or wall decor. If that is the case, make sure that your lighting fixture will not obstruct the view.
GET THE RIGHT SIZE AND SHAPE
The size and shape of your dining room light fixture will have a great impact on your space. A fixture should be 30 cm or 12 inches smaller than the table in all directions.
MAKE SURE IT’S APPEALING
As always, we need to consider function before aesthetics first. But whatever you choose, make sure that it looks appealing, inviting and it adds beauty to your dining area.
Ideally, the dining room should be a convivial gathering place for family and friends, with a lovely warm glow cast on your favorite faces. One of the best ways to ensure this is with proper lighting.