How to Choose the Perfect Chandelier for Your Dining Room: 5 Best Tips

Finding the perfect chandelier is a great way to completely change up the look of your dining area. Not only does a chandelier set the room’s ambiance, but choosing the right one can take your dining room’s look from beautiful to absolutely breathtaking!

However, picking out a chandelier that delivers a strong design element is anything but simple.

There are lots of questions to ask yourself when searching for the perfect lighting fixture, including whether or not it’ll match the rest of your décor, which dimensions will fit your space the best, and even how much light it should give off.

how to choose a dining room chandelier

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Although the answers to these questions depend mostly on what your own space looks like, I’ve put together five helpful tips that will help you choose a chandelier that’s perfect for your dining room!

How do you choose a chandelier over a dining room table?

1) Choose A Style

While you definitely want your dining room chandelier to stand out, it should still match the style of the rest of your furniture. That’s why the first thing to consider when choosing a new chandelier is what kind of vibe you’re going for.

There are a number of different styles to familiarize yourself with before going on your shopping spree. Some of the most classic styles for dining rooms include shaded, crystal, and candle-style chandeliers, but drum and sputnik shapes are among the more modern chandeliers, which are also becoming pretty trendy.

Something else to keep in mind when choosing the right chandelier for your dining room is the general style of your home. This factor should play into a number of design elements, including its shape or silhouette.

If you’re looking for a more traditional or elegant look, a candle-style or crystal chandelier are two types you may want to consider for your dining room. Both styles are classic, tasteful, and would bring a sense of refinement to any kind of space!

Budget Holiday Décor

Drum and sputnik chandeliers, meanwhile, are perfectly suited for chic or contemporary spaces. Drum chandeliers come in several styles, but their wide, rounded shape makes for a chic contrast above rectangular tables.

On the flip side, the sputnik style is defined by its show stopping geometric silhouette. This nod to mid century design will bring an eclectic feel to your dining room and is perfect for any modern interior.

Lastly, shaded chandeliers are super versatile, and that means you can get away with them in almost any home. In fact, most of the previously mentioned styles come in shaded variations.

But it’s important to note that most shaded chandeliers have more bulbs to compensate for an obstructed light source, meaning they give off more light than anticipated. If this is the style you choose, make sure you have ample space to disperse that brightness! 

Also, the shape of your dining table can make a difference in which style is perfect for your space. A round table is complemented by a smaller, more compact chandelier, while wider or linear chandeliers are better for rectangular tables.

Neutral Dining Room

I love this modern candelabra chandelier from our recent dining room makeover.

2) Figure Out Where To Hang It

Once you’ve settled on the type of chandelier you want for your dining room, it’s time to figure out where you’re going to hang it.

I would always advise positioning your light fixture directly above the center of your table as opposed to the center of the room. That’s because if your dining room table is positioned off-center, a chandelier positioned in the center of the room will be confusing to the eye, and can also hurt the room’s overall aesthetic.

But even if your light fixture isn’t off-center, using your dining room table as a reference point is helpful for a few other reasons!

Another thing to consider when figuring out where to hang your chandelier is how it’ll affect the flow of traffic. You can get away with a lower-hanging dining room chandelier if it’s placed in the middle of the table because it won’t interrupt people from moving in and out of your space.

However, if extravagant centerpieces are your thing, I would recommend picking out a higher-hanging fixture so the bottom of the chandelier doesn’t bump into anything you might display on the table.

3) Select The Right Size

The size of the room also plays a big part in finding the right sized chandelier, as does the height of the ceiling. For example, small chandeliers would get lost in rooms with tall ceilings, while a tall chandelier would overwhelm smaller spaces with low ceilings.

How big should a chandelier be over a dining room table?

Even though everyone has different notions of the “ideal” chandelier size, it’s common practice to make sure your chandelier appears to be floating. You should allow enough room around it to breathe a little. A good rule of thumb is to measure the length and width of your dining room in order to decide which chandelier size is the best fit for the space you’re working with.

how to choose a dining room chandelier
Example chandelier size using 60 foot round dining table

One way to determine the diameter of your chandelier using room measurements is to add the width of the room with the length of the room in feet and then convert the answer to inches. So if your dining room is 12×16, the perfect chandelier for your dining space would be 28 inches wide.

But your dining room table also plays an important role in sizing your chandelier. Since it takes center stage directly below it. In a room with 8-foot ceilings, the bottom of the chandelier should hang between 30 and 34 inches above your dining room table. For dining rooms with higher ceilings, though, add about three inches of height with each additional foot. 

Lastly, your chandelier’s size should be approximately one foot narrower than your dining room table at its widest point. Alternatively, it should be half to two-thirds the width of the table.

4) Get The Right Bulbs

Chandeliers are considered decorative fixtures, so don’t rely on one to be your dining room’s primary light sources!

I think dining room lighting should have a softer ambiance, given it’s where most people do their entertaining. A softer light is also much more romantic, and what’s better than a dimly lit dinner at home?

For this reason, lower temperature bulbs emitting white or yellow tones are best suited for your dining room light fixture. This is true regardless of the style of the chandelier itself.

If you look for a chandelier which gives off the most light possible, though, you could end up with the perfect recipe for disaster. The perfect way to combat over-lighting your dining room is to install a dimmer switch. This will allow you more control over the amount of light in the room. Not to mention it’s a perfect element for a romantic dinner.

Many types of chandeliers have exposed lighting. To achieve a greater illuminating effect, that means looking for a light fixture that uses brighter bulbs. But brighter bulbs also have a higher temperature. And they can emit an oppressive blue-ish tone which is bad for your eyes. Not to mention the vibe of your dining room.

On top of that, the direct light source can make glare an issue if your dining room table isn’t matte or covered with a tablecloth.

5) Where To Shop For Your Chandelier

Whether you’re looking for something high end or are shopping on a budget, there are so many options when it comes to finding the perfect chandelier for your dining room.

Wayfair is one of the biggest online lighting retailers and also has some of the best chandelier options to fit anyone’s budget. And don’t be afraid of such a broad selection — Wayfair’s filtering system allows you to not only narrow down your options to categories like styles or sizes, but also price range!

Another online retailer you can trust to find the perfect dining room chandelier without spending an arm and a leg is Ikea. The Swedish retailer carries an affordable selection of good quality light fixtures. They’re known for carrying a little bit of everything, meaning there’s definitely something for everyone in their catalog.

If you’re willing to spend a little more for a higher-end light fixture, West Elm is the place for you. Mid century pieces are what West Elm is most known for. However, the brand carries a decent selection of other types of light fixtures as well. It also sells lighting accessories like bulbs and shades, so you can get everything you need without leaving the website!

Now that you know the ins and outs of choosing the perfect chandelier for your dining room, it’s time to make your vision a reality. Let me know in the comments which tips you found the most helpful and what kind of chandelier best suits you

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