I love to cook, eat, and especially share a meal with friends and family. Sitting down at a dining table after a long day (working or playing) is just such a pleasure. Today I sat down and wanted to write about all the practical aspects of dining room lighting. Measurements and numbers etc. All good stuff. But when I went to look for photos I REALLY got sidetracked. After hours of pouring over wonderful images of various dining areas I realized that there were SO many places I would feel at home and would really enjoy lingering.
I personally lean towards contemporary design, but enjoy all kinds of spaces. A traditional dining room with perfect place settings can be such a treat - with the right company and good food! And that's just it! It's all about personal style, expressing ourselves and embracing different styles when we come across them. Good food, friends and good company.
In our showroom we so often get questions like how large a chandelier to choose for the dining area or how high to hang it over the table. (Answers: Diameter 12" less than the width of table. The bottom of chandelier should be 30" above table.) In most cases the chandelier is hung way too high, probably with the thought in mind that it could then help illuminate the entire room. Wrong!
The bottom of chandelier should be approximately 30" above the table. With a chandelier hung too high and no additional lighting the overall ambiance of the dining room is more of a diner or fast food restaurant, less conducive to lingering.
Do keep in mind that all these rules of thumb I am presenting are really just that - "Rules of Thumb". They are not set in stone. There are quite a few factors that determine the right fixture size and hanging height, like the space, the size of the table, the diameter and height of the fixture, as well as the height of the ceiling. This said - A dining room chandelier generally should measure 6-12" less in diameter than the width of table. Makes sense: You don't want to hit your head on it or feel crowded. The diameter of the chandelier in inches should at least equal the room diameter in feet. (Well, just thought you'd like to know... ) For ceilings nine feet or higher consider a multi-tier style chandelier to fill the space .
Thinking back to meals I have thoroughly enjoyed over the last months, there were cozy gatherings at friends', a few nice restaurants, several business lunches and dinners. I ALWAYS look at lighting, when I am in a room (No, It's not a crick in my neck!) because it amazes me, how lighting affects the mood and general well-being. Without an exception, the places with the best lighting had the best food!