How to choose the right size chandelier for a dining room
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Today I am sharing how to choose the right size chandelier for a dining room & foyer. A chandelier in the dining room and foyer can make a big impact and can many times be an overwhelming task, especially if the room is large. Choosing the right light fixture should be based on the style of your home and most importantly scale.
How to choose a dining room light fixture
When we bought our home it was the furthest thing from my style. I loved the yard and the open spacious rooms with high ceilings but the Old World Italian style was not my favorite.
In an effort to create a more modern traditional home, we had the entire interior painted an off white color (Westhighland by Sherwin Williams) to create a more neutral look. Paint can really do wonders to change the look of a room.
This post is sponsored by Hinkley Lighting and Annie Selke, both who generously provided complimentary lighting and area rugs. This post contains affiliate links.
The first step to updating our home was to change the light fixtures. Updating light fixtures is an easy and quick way to change the look of a room.
Lighting updates can drastically change the style of your home. The First order of business was our dining room and foyer.
Our foyer is unique where it opens to the dining room and a seating area so we needed to change all the light fixtures at once in order to create a cohesive look.
Here is the dining room before with the old world Mediterranean style light fixture the day we moved into the house.
Here is the dining room after we changed out the dining room chandelier for a more modern traditional light fixture. The large dining room and 10′ and higher ceilings dictated that an oversized light fixture was necessary.
Choosing the Proper Light Fixture Size – Scale
We picked a dining room light fixture that was 6 x 32 x 34.5 inches. It was important that the height and width of the light coordinate with the dining room table as well as the large open space in the dining area.
Rule of thumb tip when choosing size:
If you search google for updated lighting recommendations, most of the professional interior designers and lighting specialists will recommend that the dimensions of the light fixture be around one-third of the width of the dining table.
I opted to go a little larger than 1/3 of our rectangular dining table width as the dining space is open to the large foyer with 25 foot ceilings so I wanted to make sure the scale was large enough to coordinate with the open foyer.
The new light fixture is pretty amazing right?
How high to hang a chandelier above a dining table?
If you have 8 foot ceilings, you should hang 30-to-36 inches above the table. Our ceiling is taller than 8 feet so it’s recommended to add 3 inches for every extra foot of ceiling height over 8 feet.
Here is the before picture of the foyer and dining room that I snapped the day we looked at the house while it was for sale.
I can remember thinking, this is really at the opposite end of the modern transitional look that I love but I liked the high ceilings and grand entrance.
The first thing that popped in my head was white paint everywhere and new light fixtures.
New light fixtures and paint are affordable ways to update and modernize any home regardless of the size or scale of rooms.
I don’t know how else to describe the old lights but they were boob lights on steroids.
You know what boob lights are right? Google it if you do not. The previous owners love these lights, so much in fact, they bought them back. Mr. G especially couldn’t live without them. -ha.
The previous owners are friends of mine and they are probably laughing at me for calling their fixtures boob lights but that’s what they look like!
Traditional Dining Room Chandeliers with Modern Elements
Here is the after dining room and foyer with the new chandeliers.
From the outside the home is a mediterranean style and our goal was to update the inside to a modern traditional style.
The lighter wall color and new lighting updates really make the house brighter and completely changed the style of the home.
We chose the Hinkley Sussex Collection 2-Tier and 3-Tier for the dining room and foyer area.
The dining room and foyer are all one big space so we opted for the same chandelier as the dining room but larger. A style change with lighting updates is one of the biggest impacts you can make in your home.
How do I choose the right dining room chandelier?
When picking a light fixture for any room, you need to take into consideration the style of your furnishings and home decor.
For example, our rugs and existing furniture was traditional with modern elements so my light fixtures need to be a similar design.
Our rug that we picked is a good example of keeping with the modern traditional theme. This gorgeous Crosshatch Ivory wool rug by Annie Selke could not have been more perfect for our dining room.
The ivory and beige crosshatch design is neutral and offers a modern feel to the space. What I love most about the rug is that it’s very neutral and easy to decorate around. The faint lines offer a trendy design without being busy. It’s perfect!
When choosing a rug, be sure to get one that is big enough for your space. I picked a 9×12 for both our dining room and foyer seating area.
Annie Selke rugs are very high quality and seriously last forever. I have a few and love them. The hooked wool feature offers texture and a luxurious feel.
I think the modern lighting updates we picked, featuring the modern traditional chandelier by Hinkley is absolutely perfect for the large open dining room.
The chandelier offers a casual elegance that plays nicely with the overall rustic modern theme in our home. The bronze finish, ivory fabric hardback shade, clear glass columns and candles adds to its sophistication.
Related: Our Rustic Modern Living Room with high ceilings
Things to consider when choosing a light fixture
When considering lighting updates, I always think resale. When you sell your home, not everyone will love a narrow specific design so you are better off keeping your choices transitional and neutral in an effort to appease the majority.
Unless of course you plan to live in your home forever or you have the budget to swap out lighting if potential buyers are not a fan of the design.
Lighting ideas can get tricky and overwhelming so I always tend to go neutral.
We do not plan on moving anytime soon but I always try to chose wisely when it comes to light fixtures.
I think the modern traditional chandelier by Hinkley is absolutely perfect for the large open dining room and accomplished my mission of updating this part of our home.
Here is a picture of the dining room decorated for Easter without the rug.
The rug makes a huge difference.
Here is a shot with the lights on.
We also coordinated the wall sconces in the same open space featuring the Sussex sconce collection.
The Escher Natural tone wool rug by Annie Selke is to die for! The eye catching hand sketched square pattern coordinated perfectly with the dining ivory rug and when I tell you I love this rug, I REALLY love this rug.
Isn’t that the best pattern ever? It’s so soft too!
I wanted this seating area to have additional texture and this unique tile design accomplished the mission. I tend to swap out decor and accessories often so a neutral rug that added warmth was necessary.
Here is a picture of the entrance and foyer before with the old faux paint.
If you look closely, you can see another Sussex wall sconce at the top of the stairs. When I was trying to figure out the lighting updates for our home, I considered mixing and matching light fixtures but in the end decided to create a casual elegant look with the same light fixtures.
I think the traditional aspect of the shades on the fixtures help create warmth and substance in the large space. Pretty crazy what neutral paint, rugs and lighting can do for a home right?
See something you liked? I have linked up the products below.
Hinkley Sussex 2-Tier Dining Room Chandelier
Hinkley Sussex 3-Tier Foyer Chandelier
Hinkley Sussex Wall Sconce Collection
Annie Selke Escher Natural Rug
If you want to see more of our home projects that we have updated in our house, click through to our mediterranean home remodel page.
Next up is the kitchen! We have a breakfast nook and island pendants that need lighting updates to coordinate with the style change throughout the rest of the house. Stay tuned, I will be sharing more on the kitchen soon.
About The Author
What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.
WOW, Jessica! I am floored by the drastic change you made. The lights are awesome and truly bring the house into the new century. The rugs are gorgeous and I can only imagine the quiet they must bring to the rooms. You go girl! TFS
Absolutely beautiful! ????
What a “bright” difference, so pretty.
You’ve made such incredible progress changing the feel of your home Jess!
Hinkley makes some seriously gorgeous fixtures, I’m loving your choices!
Like the light paint over the faux
The trim is screaming “I’m an Italian Villa and u can’t stop me”. Paint won’t make it look non villa. This is the issue when people build with a theme rather than classic.
I truly hope it all turns out the way u want it.
I love what you are doing to your home! It was beautiful before but your updates make it feel so warm and welcoming. LOVE that rug! Thanks for sharing your home with us.
Sunny and bright! Love it! I may be blind, but I’m having trouble seeing the $500 lighting giveaway on your Instagram. Help a girlfriend out please! I’d love to get my hat in the ring! Thank you! ????
Wow, that is a huge difference! It’s also a big difference in the picture with the rug and without. The place does look much brighter with the new paint and light fixtures.
love to enter the Hinkley drawing to win .. is this how I do it ? you know me and technology … I do love Hinkley lights and have a few myself .. classic.. great job showcasing how lighting changes everything!
What an amazing difference!!!! It looks like a different house!!! I love how bright and clean it all looks and the rug makes the room!!!!