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Watt’s up? Time to talk dining room deLIGHTS

We give you the lowdown on lighting to put the spotlight on the spread and create a cosy mood for conversation….

Whether your look is elegant, glam, simple, Scandi, industrial or quirky – you’ve still go to eat – and so long as you’re not chowing down at the kitchen bench (nothing wrong with that my friends), you’ll have some sort of dining table, somewhere……

…..which means you ought to give some thought to how It’s lit. Forget renovating, adding the right lighting above your table can have as much impact as re-doing the entire room – at a fraction of the cost.

The science is pretty simple:

Position perfect

Overhead pendant lighting is THE look in dining table lighting right now, and a few key tips can help get it just right. Firstly, whatever shape your table, the bottom of the overhead hanging lights should be no lower than 76 – 86cm above the tabletop. Old-school interior design theory says the diameter of an over-table pendant light should be half the diameter of the table itself (for circular tables obviously), and while that may be a handy guide, if you fall in love with something more dramatic, we say bending the rules is pretty much always ok.

…..when overhead’s not an option

Replica Achille Castiglioni Arco Floor Lamp

If an overhead pendant isn’t an option because of space, the table’s position or the in-ceiling electrical room available, consider a dramatic over-arching floor lamp and a couple of strategically placed wall sconces instead. You’ll still benefit from ambient lighting rather than dreaded downlights, you’re just looking at overhead from a different perspective.

…..don’t compete with the kitchen

Step Pendant Large

Finally, remember that if your table is close to a kitchen island beach with major overhead feature lighting, adding a competing pendant right next door mightn’t be your best bet. In this case wall lights, floor lamps or a single subtle pendant that complements, rather than competes with, your island illumination will be the most fashionable way forward.

One or a tonne? It’s a question of numbers…

Let’s start with just the one. Single pendant lights are best for smaller tables, and while one sensational chandelier can also be an impressive option for larger tables, another current look to consider is either cluster lighting or a series of pendants – kitchen-island-style – especially for long rectangular tables.

Replica Omer Arbel 7 pendant light

Either a pair of symmetrical chandeliers or three pendants in a row work equally well with this type of look, and often a series of individual lights may be more cost-effective than one immense wow-factor fixture.

If the ‘hero light’ is more your look, a seriously sizeable chandelier has a huge impact, but it works best with high ceilings, while an exposed wire cage frame or simple glass pendant with filament bulbs channels an industrial, slightly vintage vibe.

If you opt to line your lights up remember they don’t have to be identical, for a more offbeat look that oozes serious modern style, try hanging three pendants with contrasting shapes but the same colourway to create your own original fab fitting.

Tips and tricks

If fixed overhead lighting isn’t an option – and a substantial floor lamp won’t work in your space – use table lamps, lanterns and candles to create a warm glow and appealing full film Silence

Always consider installing dimmer switches for dining table lighting – you can amp it up for homework and tone it down for evening entertaining.

When it comes to bulbs, low-watt, warm lighting is always preferable to blinding, bright white light…unless sunnies indoors is your kind of look.

Mirrors are a great tool to reflect and bounce light around a room, especially if your dining table is in a small space.