The dining room can be a tricky room to light. It can serve many different functions from formal to casual. It’s usually a place where some of your nicest furniture goes and where you put your best foot forward for your guests. Accommodating all of those purposes can be tricky when it comes to lighting.
Some tips and tricks you can use for lighting your dining room including mastering overhead lighting, manipulating it with dimmers, using candles to create atmosphere, and using mirrors to bring in natural light during the day.
Overhead lighting in a dining room is a little more formal than other parts of your home. You can’t go wrong with the classic lighting effect given off by a chandelier. If your dining room doesn’t have one, you’re renovating, or you’re building a new home, buy a chandelier that will fit with your dining room furniture. You can find chandeliers in so many different styles today, you’re not just restricted to the traditional crystal chandelier.
Keep overhead lighting from becoming overpowering or harsh by installing dimmers. These give you more control to make the light appropriate to the occasion. You can turn them on full when you’re doing paperwork like bills or the kids are doing homework but bring them down to a softer level when you’re having a holiday meal. More control over the lighting means you can make the dining room more adaptable to everyday life.
Two rows of pot lights or recessed lighting will add another dimension that will make the lighting feel more dynamic. You can also use wall sconces unless the walls will already be busy with decorations or solid wood cabinets.
Candles add to the atmosphere of holiday dinners or dinner parties and they provide a much-needed alternative source of lighting. Lighting that starts low and projects upward will cast shadows that give the room an atmosphere and counterbalance the one-directional flow of light heading downward and outward. Candles have a calming effect on a room that can help reduce stress. You may even want to use them for everyday purposes.
Many dining rooms can feel like dark and mysterious places. Often located in parts of the house without windows, adjacent to the kitchen or living room, dining rooms can suffer a feeling of darkness, especially during the day. A formal dining room may only be used for evening meals, or in some cases even reserved for holiday dinners or dinner parties. But if you’re the type of family that needs to put every room to good use, the dining room can be used for breakfast, homework, paying bills, doing taxes, and playing board games.
Placing a few mirrors strategically in the dining room can help reflect natural light coming in from other rooms to brighten things up and make the room feel more spacious. Ideally, your mirrors should reflect diffuse natural, not direct sun beams that heat up the room and cause glare. Indirect sunlight will help fill up the room.
Equipped with these tips, you can artfully light your dining room for formal and informal uses alike. From weekday breakfasts to Thanksgiving dinners, your dining room should be a pleasant place to spend time.