How To Choose a Chandelier for a Dining Room I A Style Guide

How to choose a cahandelier for a dining room

A dining room chandelier provides ambient lighting and is a visual focal point.

For many of us, chandeliers hold a special place in our memories. Perhaps it was the formal dining room lighting at Grandma's where the whole family all gathered for dinner every Sunday. Sitting at the long dining table under the beautiful formal crystal chandelier. Or perhaps the beautiful chandeliers at your wedding reception. Sure, chandeliers are grandiose (or they can be), but today, chandeliers have become much more approachable. Chandeliers are pieces of jewelry for your home. A way to add a touch of your personal style. In fact, a chandelier can become a transformative element in your home design!

Let's how you can use a chandelier in your dining room to enhance your personal style and how to choose the perfect fixture for your needs.

First, define your lighting needs

Before you run right out and buy a dining room chandelier, you need to understand the reasons for this light fixture and the attributes of the room itself.  Here are a few elements to consider before you buy.

What is the purpose? - If lighting a dining are you seeking to create mood lighting or a design focal point?

The scale of the fixture – How big or small should your chandelier be based on its use and the size of the room.

The height of the space – How high should you, or could you hang the fixture based on the size of the room and the chandelier placement.

Finish – What type of finish fits your personal style and your space?

Style – Do you have a particular style in mind?

Care – Is it easy to install? What about long-term care and cleaning?

In the dining room, a chandelier functions as both ambient lighting and as a decorative fixture or focal point in the room. It adds elegance and glamor to your environment as well as working to establish the style of the room.  A dimmer switch adds another layer of functionality. Whether your fixture is a multi-armed chandelier, or a simple drum, adding a dimmer gives you control over the intensity of light.  A dimmer allows you to set the mood and add aesthetic appeal to the room.

Sizing Your Dining Room Chandelier

This is important. The worst mistake you can make is choosing a fixture that's too small. If you choose a fixture that is too small, it will be a noticeable mistake. Too large, and you can overwhelm the room. That being said. It's always best to make the fixture too big rather than too small. No matter what style of chandelier you choose, the size of the fixture is important.

There are a few different methods for properly sizing your fixture. One method relies on the length and width of your room. For example, if your dining room is ten by 16 feet, just add those numbers together and instead of feet, convert the number to inches.  You can also take the diagonal measurement of the room and do the same. Whatever the measurement of the room's diagonal in feet, convert to inches, so if the room has a diagonal measurement of 20 feet, a 20-inch diameter fixture will look best.

Finally, the bottom of the fixture should be between 30 and 36 inches above the tabletop allowing your guests to have ample light, while still being able to see across the table to converse.

Choosing a Chandelier Style

A dining room chandelier can add drama and personality to your space, while also showcasing your personal sense of style. Let's take a look at the style choices you'll have when picking the perfect piece for your home!

Tiered fixture – The more tiers, or levels a fixture has, the bigger it will appear. Tiered chandeliers can take on any style, from traditional to contemporary to rustic.

Traditional – Traditional fixtures feature ornate detailing like scrolling and filigree and are made using fine materials. A traditional chandelier can add a sense of formality.

Crystal – Crystal chandeliers can be an investment. They are glamorous, eye-catching and have a traditional look. Light reflecting off of the individual crystals can create a romantic and enchanting setting in which to dine.

Drum – A drum chandelier resembles a pendant light, but features one or multiple lampshades surrounding all or each light.

Transitional – Transitional Lights are somewhere between contemporary and modern in style. They often have a modern sleekness combined with ornate designs found in traditional fixtures. Transitional designs are extremely adaptable, fitting into almost any décor.

Rustic – Common motifs include branches, animal horns, plants or distressed materials. These chandeliers add a casual element to your décor.

Mini – smaller versions of grand chandeliers can make a big statement without taking up a lot of space.

Contemporary/Modern – featuring clean lines and sleek designs these chandeliers often have little detailing and can often feature futuristic shapes and designs.

Choosing the right chandelier for your dining room can help you to establish your décor, add functionality, and create the perfect ambiance for entertaining guests. If you're still not sure what style of chandelier will work within your dining room, give a designer a call at Toulmin Cabinetry and Design. Our showroom is located in Tuscaloosa, and we are always available to help our clients make the best choice for their unique needs. We can offer you professional guidance to help you choose the perfect chandelier for your décor and needs.


About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation.