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      Guide

      Dining Room Planning and Selecting Tips

      Dining room light done right

      Your dining room is often so much more than a place for entertaining. It can become a homework hotspot, a quick substitute for a craft space and an impromptu game room. So it’s important to choose lighting for your dining room that meets the needs of your family and your space. And when it’s time to entertain or sit down to a home cooked family meal, the perfect lighting sets the mood for great conversation and genuine connection. Here are a few things to consider when selecting your dining room lighting.

      Say it all with a strong statement

      Most dining rooms have a statement piece. A light fixture that sets the tone for the space and is the first thing guests see when they walk in the room.

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      Size up your statement

      When choosing your focal piece, make sure you get the sizing right, because a light that’s too large can make your room look small or even pose a hazard for taller guests. Here are a few size rules to make sure everyone is comfortable at your table.

      • The base of your light should sit 26-30 inches above the table.
      • When you add the length and width of your dining room in feet, the sum will equal the average diameter (in inches) that your fixture should be.
      • In general, your light should be between ⅓ and ⅔ the size of your table, so a bigger table makes space for a slightly larger fixture.
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      Let your style sparkle

      Choosing the statement piece for your dining room can depend on your space and your style. In general, you can choose between a chandelier, a cluster of pendants or a ceiling light depending on your room.

      Chandeliers set an elegant and beautiful tone in a dining room. Larger rooms with round tables can benefit from a big, glowing chandelier, while a linear chandelier works better for a long, rectangle table. Choose a glass or crystal chandelier to let the light play off the walls, or find a more modern black metal piece for a subtle but beautiful statement. If your table is a size for two or four guests, a mini chandelier can still sparkle brilliantly. Learn more about choosing the right chandelier.

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      If chandeliers aren’t your preferred style, or just want a more modern, unexpected look, a cluster of mixed and matched pendants can make a dining room feel special and set it apart. Choose exposed bulbs for an industrial feel, or go with traditional bell-shaped pendants for a classic look. Find out more about choosing the right pendant for your space.

      And finally, if your ceiling is low or the room is more of a combination space, consider a ceiling light. They come in beautiful looks and almost every size and style, so it’s easy to find one that will fit your room.

      Layer up

      Since your dining room is often used for more than just dining, consider adding light layers. Downlights add light to a big space and are perfect for busy evenings of homework and projects in the dining room. For proper illumination, downlights should be no less than 2 feet away from your walls and spaced evenly throughout your space. Find out more on how to space your downlights.

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      Dimmers can also help you set the right tone. Turn all the way up for family game night or set the mood for an intimate dinner party with lower light.

      Highlight your artwork or mirrors and any shelves or nooks with tape and accent lighting. Accent lighting shines a spotlight on certain aspects of the room with a directional glow. Tape lighting can illuminate an entire space without a visible fixture like the shelves of a built in china cabinet.

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      If you have a bar, buffet table or hutch, consider elevating that space with a sconce. A sconce has a style all its own, while shining a light on decorations like vases or bottles. When you’re ready to shine, learn how to install your sconce.


      With a dining room, the possibilities are endless and lighting makes switching your look simple. Whether a traditional dining room, an outdoor eating area or a nook in an open floor plan, set the right light and you’ll always set the right tone.

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