Choosing dining room lighting ideas is often a second thought, but getting it right is crucial for creating the perfect balance for day and nighttime use. 'Whether it’s eating as a family during the week or entertaining friends at the weekend, most people tend to use their dining room in the evening and at night.
As such, statement chandeliers and clusters of pendants above a dining table are a great way to achieve drama.
If your dining room is part of your kitchen or lounge, a statement light or row of pendants will also provide a zoning effect.' ‘We’ve found a combination of wall lights and directional spotlights works well most of the time.’ Says Heather Marshall of Corston Architectural Detail. ‘Regularly placed wall lights will create a gentle, diffused glow.
While spotlights will be brighter for when you’re working (or tackling hectic family meals) but can be angled so they’re not shining in anyone’s eyes.’ Made from the lightest glass balls in different sizes with barely-there gold fittings. 'Our best-selling Ribbon pendant light (opens in new tab) diffuses a dimmable warm glow, while acting as an artistic design piece with its looping curves, offering a touch of luxury when poised above a dining table and a sleek alternative to a chandelier,' says Claire Ansty, Lighting Buyer at Heal’s.
Similarly, the Makiko Pendant Collection (opens in new tab) by Heal’s offers a range of showstopping fixtures that cast a dramatic yet beautifully ambient glow – perfect when hung individually or as a cluster above the table. For an uncluttered look, a classic white pendant shade is hard to beat and an easy dining room lighting idea. 'Hanging pendants work really well when positioned over a dining room table, and to draw attention to the centre of the room, choose something big and impactful,' advises Marketa Rypacek, Managing Director, Industville Ltd (opens in new tab).
Treat the dining room lighting ideas the same way you would your wardrobe - keep it looking and feeling fresh for every party.' Metallics add instant glamour and are the perfect pairing to glamorous dining room wall decor ideas. ‘Consider also accent lighting to highlight areas of interest – it’s a great way to showcase a collection of china, or wall art.' Chandeliers may vary in style from traditional ones to uber-modern ones and are a timeless dining room lighting idea.
They have been with us for centuries and will continue to do so – they are so versatile and can create a great talking point over a table. If you are looking for a vintage look, a metal, French-style one with candle holders is a good choice that won’t date.
They tend to have filament bulbs which are designed to be seen and traditional cord that you can have in different colours to suit your decor. This cottage has a striking stone wall and a black fireplace, so a simple light would go unnoticed.
Go for something dramatic such as this black glass droplet chandelier with candle holders, it’s gothic, impressive and suits the room perfectly.
They are made up of multiple lights attached or suspended from a bar structure that is attached to the ceiling, so they are easier to put up than individual lights and it generally means you won’t have to upgrade the electrics.
There are lots of really cool designs in all sorts of shapes and sizes to choose from but bear in mind the light should be between 300mm-600mm shorter than your table for the most pleasing look. 'Whether you have an open plan kitchen diner, or a separate living room, hanging a ceiling light above a dining table creates a focal point and helps to define the space,' explains,' Julian Page, Head of Design, BHS (opens in new tab).
Reinforce this definition of the space by choosing a boldly contrasting colour for your dining room lighting ideas. 'Make the dining table the focal point of the room by hanging an impressive fixture above it,' suggests Marketa from Industville Ltd. 'A popular trend for dining room lighting to hang a clustered pendant above the table to create a modern statement show-piece.' 'Incorporating task lighting such as pendants works particularly well above the table to highlight a specific area.' A row of three pendant lights above the table creates a striking look while also ensuring the whole are is evenly lit.
Keep things on the contemporary side by switching up the colour or material of your light in contrast to other key pieces around the room. A glass extension is the perfect place to situate your dining table, and you'll be more likely to make use of the space during the day.
At night, collections of candles and lanterns will reflect prettily on the glass walls and ceiling, creating a dreamy ambience. Whether you use that table for mealtimes, homework or your day job, singular overhead dining room lighting ideas will be your friend.
Having a central source of light helps to anchor the room around it and it will determine furniture placement. 'We always recommend having a stunning statement chandelier or pendant light as the centrepiece of a dining room,' says Ian from Cameron Design House.
'Hung centrally above a table, a nice bright light draws the eye in and brings people together. Installing a smart design will give you the flexibility you need to adapt the space to suit multiple purposes in an instant.
A smart kitchen idea is to source similarly shaped pendants, using the bigger ones over the dining table, and the smaller as task lighting over the island. In a living room, you wouldn't think twice about adding a couple of table or floor lamps. Turn the 'big light' off and you can use them to create a more relaxing mood when you're watching a movie or curling up with your Kindle.
'Create layers of light that you can control separately (ideally on dimmable circuits) to create different moods,' suggests Victoria from Rothschild & Bickers.
Using smaller amounts of light from multiple sources and locations in a space will create visual depth.' Though they're typically used on a desk, they'll work well in a dining room, since you can angle the bulb differently depending on the mood you're trying to create.
If your dining room is off the kitchen, create a more cohesive, open-plan vibe with matching decor – and that includes the lighting. Mirror kitchen lighting ideas to welcome a seamless flow from one room to the other, transitioning the journey through from prep to serving and dining.
Break with the norm and add a decorative twist to the design rule of three (using the uneven number for displays, to avoid stark symmetry). So if you feel safer with neutral dining room ideas, here's a good way to upgrade lighting without it overwhelming your space.
To create a real talking point choose statement overhead dining room lighting ideas sure to start a conversation, such as a striking cascading design. Not only does a cluster provide a style statement for the overall aesthetic it will also add light on many different levels to create a central focus of interest.
Be sure to position a show-stopper light in the middle of your your dining scheme to avoid it throwing the rest of the room off balance. This glam black chandelier instantly ups the wow factor in this traditional dining area. 'Lights above a dining table need to be perfectly situated so they create visual interest without being impractical during dinner time,' notes Ian from Cameron Design House.
This idea will create a more subtle statement, and you have more freedom to choose a material that works with the rest of the room.
Jazz up your existing lighting solution by simply changing the shade. Add a touch of personality to your dining room with the addition of a bespoke light-up sign.
From neon signs to retro diner designs choose a light to personalise your space. Not only is it a creative dining room wall decor idea, it also helps to add a touch of illumination too.
A sociable dining area is a great place to have fun with pattern – and may encourage the family to sit at the table for dinner. Pick a colour, then clash patterns – as long as they're the same tone, you're guaranteed success. Alternatively, you could attach foliage to existing fixtures, like ceiling rafters or a chandelier. We would always suggest combing a range of different lighting that can be blended depending on the task and mood using dimmers.
‘We love to use a focal lamp or pendant above the dining table that creates intimacy and is not too bright or harsh,' says Thomas Housden, Design Director of Hand and Eye Studio. These can add the homely feel and allow you to illuminate corners of rooms of a particular area of joinery etc.’ ‘With your ceiling lighting, it’s always best to make a statement in the dining room,' says Julian Page, Head of Design at BHS. ‘The industrial look looms large in lighting design, creating a statement with its use of weathered materials, visible production methods and exposed filaments.
It speaks to a rise in urban living and an appreciation of architectural detail, seen clearly in lighting with the use of exposed wires.’ Easily switch up colours in the living area by using lampshades,’ says Mary Buchanan, Creative Director of Laura Ashley Lighting and Mirrors.
Opt for richer ‘jewel colour’ hues like burnt orange, navy blue, emerald green and mustard to quickly upgrade your space with warmth and cosiness, with a luxe twist.’