How do I Choose the Best Dining Room Chandelier?

Susan Grindstaff

Several factors should be carefully considered before purchasing a dining room chandelier. The size of the room and the height of the ceiling should directly influence your decision on the size, and in addition, you will want to take into consideration your room décor. Budget should also be considered when purchasing a dining room chandelier, and not simply the actual cost of the fixture. Cost of installation and electricity usage should also be factored in.

The size of a room is part of the consideration when choosing dining room chandeliers.
The size of a room is part of the consideration when choosing dining room chandeliers.

According to some interior designers, the diameter of a chandelier should be in proportion to the size of the room. For most small rooms, they tend to recommend an overall diameter of about 20 inches (51 cm), and for medium sized rooms, this can be extended to around 27 inches (69 cm). For large dining areas, a diameter in excess of 36 inches (91 cm) is generally acceptable for a dining room chandelier. These are considered to be “rule of thumb” measurements, and some leeway is probably okay. Rooms that have numerous windows, often appear larger than they actually are, and for these rooms, it is acceptable to exceed the suggested diameter.

In addition to the size of the room, the height of the ceiling is also an important element, and most decorators recommend that the chandelier hang at least 30 inches (76 cm) above the table. Chandeliers for rooms with very high ceilings are often more expensive to purchase and install, so you might want to look at some alternatives. Some floor model lighting fixtures might work just as well. Some of the taller floor models are made with long curved arms, and though these fixtures will usually only extend to mid table, they could be an interesting and unusual addition to the room.

The size of your table should also be considered before purchasing a dining room chandelier. Ideally, you will want the chandelier to be smaller than the width and length of the dining surface, otherwise it will overwhelm the eating area. A dining room chandelier that is wider than the dining table could also translate into a room décor that lacks balance and symmetry.

Once you have narrowed down the sizes and price ranges suitable to your needs, you should evaluate your room décor. Most home furnishing centers and retailers offer chandeliers in dozens of styles, ranging from rustic to formal elegance. If you are willing to pay a little extra money, you can even design one of your own and have it custom made.

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