Alluring lighting for a traditional dining room

There are few rooms where lighting is as crucial as in the dining room. Not only is the light fixture a focal point here, but as your family or guests sit around the table, the fixture will constantly be in view. Plus, you want the quality of the light to be great -- once you've slaved over a beautiful meal, you certainly want everyone to see it!

Here are a few tips for creating a lighting scheme for a traditional dining room that suits your palette (and your palate).

Few things feel more traditional than a classic crystal chandelier. With accents of gold or silver, a chandelier adds the perfect shot of shine that makes a room feel elegant but never overdone.

Height is an important consideration when hanging your chandelier. Hanging it 30 to 36 inches above the dining table is ideal for bathing the table in light but not blocking diners' lines of sight.

There are some options when it comes to hanging your chandelier. Some prefer to have people immediately sit at the table, so the chandelier is purposely hung low enough to encourage guests to take a chair. Just make sure that bulbs are never below eye height -- even when someone is standing -- to prevent a glare.

In many rooms, it's easy to turn the overhead lighting off and allow secondary lighting to create a dim, romantic glow for entertaining. The dining room isn't one of those rooms. Because the dining room is so often dominated by the main chandelier, it's even more crucial to control the lighting with a dimmer switch. That way you can adjust the light so it's just right for any time of day or occasion.

The general rule of thumb when deciding what size fixture is right for your room is to take the dimensions of the room in feet, add them together and buy a chandelier that many inches in diameter. A 12-by-15 room, for example, would need a 27-inch fixture.

If you're going to break that rule, the dining room is the place to do it. Because the lighting is usually the main focal point of the dining room, a larger chandelier makes a nice statement.

While a gorgeous chandelier is generally the main lighting in a traditional dining room, it certain isn't the only lighting to consider. Can or pin lights can illuminate certain areas to ensure that no corners are dark. Some frequent entertainers even go so far as to have a pin light aimed at each person's plate. Talk about presentation!

Sconces offer an ideal way to incorporate more light into your dining room. When you have something as stunning as this mural by Sergey Konstantinov Art Studio, there's no reason to dim the lights. Just make sure that the bulbs or candles are above eye height.

Built-in cabinets for china storage can be a dining room's crowing glory. To make sure treasures don't go out of view during candlelit suppers, install pin lights in the arches so that your favorite pieces shine no matter what the time of day.


Houzz is the leading online platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish - online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals around the world. Beth Woodson and Kristy Harvey are a contributors to Houzz.

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