4 Delicious Lighting Tips For Your Dining Room
Each room in the house has its own function and personality - what works in the bedroom, for example, doesn't necessarily work in the dining room, and vice versa.
Bedrooms are all about mood lighting and you can get away with a lot less brightness and a lot more diffusion, than in the kitchen, which needs a lot of light, or the dining room, where a good balance is key.
Dining rooms can be tricky to light properly. It's a very social area, designed specifically to encourage interaction with family and friends. You need plenty of light to see what's happening and to see what you're eating and drinking, but harsh or over-bright lighting can make it unpleasant to stick around for long.
Dining rooms are all about finding the right balance and these tips will help you find it.
1 - Room to move
Dining rooms are quite dynamic; even though the idea is to sit in your chair and enjoy the meal, there will always be a lot of movement around the table - people pushing out chairs, getting up to switch places or move large dishes to sideboards... the furniture never stays in one place, unlike your living room.
That's why this is not the ideal room to include standing lamps - they could too easily get knocked over and broken. Likewise, because there is a lot of movement on the table itself, table lamps are not ideal.
That, of course, leaves us with limited options to ensure good lighting in the dining room. You basically have overhead lighting, sconces and natural lighting to make sure everyone can tell the difference between the potatoes and cauliflower, and avoid knocking over too many cocktail glasses.
2 - Heads up
Because it's such a social area, you can really go all out with the style of your ceiling lights and chandeliers. Don't be afraid to show off or get extravagant - if that's your style - but remember one thing: don't knock yourself out.
All that movement we mentioned in point 1? Remember that means vertical movement, too.
You don't want Grandpa concussing himself on the low-hanging chandelier at Thanksgiving dinner, or to get Mabel's lavish hair fascinator stuck in the baubles when she toasts your health at your Great Gatsby-themed birthday party.
Watch the height and make sure there is always plenty of room to move, even while making sure the chandelier is going to provide enough light.
3 - Go to your corner
Sconces are a fantastic way to add extra light to any room, and the dining room is no different. The trick with sconces, however, is always about positioning them right.
You don't want the light from sconces to shine too directly in anyone's eyes, but you want them to provide enough illumination to move around easily and see everyone's faces clearly.
Try using sconces that work in corners, so that they not only clearly delineate the room, but ensure there are no dark corners, all while being conveniently not directly behind someone - and in someone else's eyes.
4 - Dip it low
Good, bright lighting will do perfectly for ninety percent of your dining table needs, but for those lengthy dinner parties that just go on and on into the night, you may want the option of adjusting the lights, both to create ambiance and to soften the impact on semi-intoxicated guests' sensitive eyes.
In other words, get a dimmer switch installed in your dining room. Also make sure your chandelier and sconces are controlled separately, so you can turn one off while leaving the other on.
Like with any other room, plan your lighting carefully. Measure not only the length and width of the room, but also the height, before you go shopping, and take the overall style of the home and the room into account.
- Matthew Pillet