How to Select a Dining Room Chandelier

Selecting the perfect chandelier for your dining space seems to be a baffling task. As you browse through hundreds of styles in the catalogues or conduct endless visits to lighting showrooms, one tends to feel perplexed, either ending up buying something to get it over with, or end up not buying anything at all.

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I have been in the chandelier field for almost three years now. I would say that the lighting feature could make or break your desired space. It sets the tone. It creates a huge impact on the overall décor.

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Before purchasing the right chandelier, there are several guidelines to consider in order to achieve the beautiful dining setting you envision.

Design style What is the predominant style of your dining room? Is your furniture style Modern?Contemporary? Is it formal? Then you would need a more impressive feature.
Do you prefer a more relaxed laid back dining area?
A creative piece made of natural or recyclable materials would be more suitable.

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What are the material finishes? Have your fabric swatches /material samples with you during your selection and compare them against the chandelier. Ensure that your chandelier is in the same style of your furnishings. If you wish to go for an eclectic look, make sure you have a complementary shade to any of the existing materials in the room.

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Chandelier Finish Match the finish of the chandelier frame to your accessories and furnishings. If you have a lot of warm tones and gold, select a gold or bronze finish.

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Polished silver finish is very ideal when you don’t want to highlight the body of a crystal chandelier. Silver finish works well with black, grey and muted tones.

Design by Candice Olson of Divine Design. Photo by BBP Image via: Naples News
All crystal chandeliers are versatile in various design settings.

Design by: Candice Olson of Divine Design. Image via: Kamelcody @ Flikr

Chandelier’s Proportion to the Dining Table

The chandelier should never be wider than the width of your table.
Rule of thumb 1: Choose a fixture that has a diameter 1/2 the width of your square, rectangular or circular dining table.

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However, it would be better to have two or more chandeliers in an elongated or banquet sized table in an oversized room.

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Rule of Thumb 2 : Suspend the chandelier 3 inches above the table for every 1 foot of the ceiling height.Having said that, the bottom of the chandelier should be hung roughly about 27- 30 inches above your dining room table assuming a 9 foot ceiling.

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Surface mounted close to ceiling lighting are not really recommended for dining areas. It’s always better to have a suspended piece on top of the dining table.

Room Dimensions
Measure the Size of the Room. The worst thing that could ever happen is to pick a chandelier too small or buy something too large it overpowers everything inside the room. Another pitfall is hanging it too high within your room. For small breakfast /dinette type of room, an elegant pendant lamp would be more suitable.

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Two or more small pendants are not recommended for dining table as they are more appropriate on top of kitchen bar counters.
Measure the Ceiling Height. Higher ceilings require large chandeliers and more illumination.
Illumination Based on the Area Calculate the total area of the room. For a ceiling higher than 9 feet, multiply 2.0 Watts for every square foot in order to achieve a well-lit room without causing a lot of glare. Installing a dimmer switch is wise. I suggest referring to a lighting consultant and customize chandeliers for palatial ceilings and grand spaces.

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Budget is another determining factor, but always remember that a chandelier is an investment and should last for a very long time. It could even be an heirloom, so it is very important to buy something that you love.

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