This post was published July 2011 and updated September 2019.
A chandelier adds ambiance and provides general lighting for dining and entertaining. You’ll want to choose one that’s large enough to wash the entire table in light, so you don’t leave some of your guests sitting in the shadows. Read our tips below for choosing the right chandelier size for your dining.
Size it up
If you’re selecting lighting for a new home and you don’t have dining room furniture yet, there’s a very simple rule you can follow. Add the length and width measurements of the room together. Your answer equals the right size diameter a chandelier should be. For example, if your dining room is 10′ x 14′, a 24″ diameter chandelier would look great.
However, if you already have a table, it’s more important to size the chandelier to the table than the room. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your chandelier is one-half to three-quarters the width of your table.
For the right hanging height, position the bottom of the chandelier about 30-32 inches above the table, adjusting to work with the size of the table and the overall scale of your space.
Light it up
Casting the right amount of light is so important in creating an ambient setting in your dining room. You want to avoid the harsh light that comes from functional, or more direct, lighting. Instead, cast a soft, warm glow over your picture-perfect feast. Consider adding a dimmer switch, so you can adjust lighting as needed. You can also use shades for softer lighting.
Swap your shades
We happen to love chandelier shades for their flexible styling. Easily switch up your look throughout the year—use deeper, more dramatic colors in the fall, and lighten up in the spring with cream, butter yellow or another soft color. Or, switch to frosted glass for a totally different look altogether.