Now more than ever, kitchens and dining rooms are being given more time and attention than ever before by UK homeowners. Which of course all comes down to the nation’s newfound obsession with home-cooking – staying in having become the new going out. From singles to couples to families of all sizes, the kitchen is once again the heart of the home and the dining room is where most of the good times happen.
But while it’s becoming the norm to invest plenty of time, effort and indeed cash in sprucing up the dining room, lighting can be a tricky subject to nail. Well, not exactly tricky as such, but rather a consideration that is easy to overlook or get wrong. Is there such a thing as getting it ‘wrong’ when it comes to dining room lighting? Much of it comes down to personal preference, but when it comes to creating that truly magnificent atmosphere and ambience that’s nothing short of intoxicating, there are indeed certain rules to follow.
So if you’d prefer your own dining room to be all it can be, here’s a quick look at a few tips from the experts:
1 – Work With the Table
First of all, you might want to remember that given the fact that it’s the table that essentially makes the dining room what it is, it’s the table you should be focusing on. It’s one thing to go to town lighting the room as a whole, but if the table itself isn’t lit beautifully, it’s a wasted effort. In terms of getting it right, most of it comes down to logic and common sense. For example, if you have a round dining room table, you’d find round fixtures like chandeliers and similar examples would look fabulous. Likewise, if the table is rectangular in shape, a linear lighting fixture would be the best way to go. It’s not that the rest of the room should be ignored – it’s just that the table should be given priority.
2 – Decorative Touches
As is the case with all rooms across the home, the key to hitting the nail on the head when it comes to lighting is to think beyond functionality. Functional lighting is of course of the utmost importance, but outside this there’s also the decorative element to take into account. In the case of the dining room, decorative filament pendant lighting strategically hung can complement the main lighting fixture or fixtures beautifully. Focus first on making sure the place is as lit as it needs be, before, moving onto the more decorative elements and aspects of the room.
3 – Consider Size
In terms of size, your primary lighting fixture if hung above the table itself simply must be a good deal smaller than the table itself. As far as most designers are concerned, the general rule of thumb states that the lighting fixture should be in the region of 30cm smaller than the table itself in each direction. Meaning that if your rectangular table measured 200cm in length, you should be looking for a fixture of a maximum of 140cm in length. This is basically a way of ensuring that the fixture doesn’t end up taking over the room and make the table look smaller and more cramped than it actually is.
4 – Controls
An enormously helpful and simple-to-apply tip, never overlook the value of quality lighting controls and dimmer switches. Even with all the decorative lighting and pretty fixtures in the world, you’re going to be very limited with the mood you can create if you have just one switch to activate all of them at the same time. By contrast, if you can operate them independently and install dimmer switches to control their brightness, there are literally limitless options available to you when it comes to setting the mood. And given the fact that dimmer switches are so affordable, it’s a small price to pay for a huge difference.
5 – Varied Sources
Last but not least, it’s not as if you’re looking to create a five-star restaurant experience in your home (unless you are). But one of the things all interior designers brought in to help with dining environment consider very carefully is shadows. Every lighting source you install in your dining room will create its own unique shadows in unique directions – each having its own unique impact on the room as a whole. It’s amazing what kind of effect you can create when you proactively play with lighting source positioning and shadows, so feel free to do exactly that!