Wednesday, March 5, 2014

All the dining room tips in one place

There are always exceptions to every rule, but what are the rules? For dining rooms the question is often about the lighting, which I think is the main event in the dining room. You may want to make a major statement with more than one fixture, or you may want  to downplay the fixture. The mood is set with the lighting and since I am on the hunt for a new dining chandelier, let's talk about basic guidelines.

Height of the chandelier:
For 8' ceilings generally 30-34 " centered above the table. For higher ceilings, add 3" per foot. 

Size of the chandelier:
1/2 - 2/3 the width of the table, or 12" narrower than the sides of the table. There are plenty of formulas available, but its best to also stick with the shape of the table, i.e, a rectangular table might look best with 2 fixtures or a rectangular chandelier.  I always say larger is better, personally. 

Don't use high wattage bulbs. They increase heat and cause table glare. You want a soft glow.

The Dining Room Rug

 Carpets are a warm artistic addition to a room. As I always say, they are like "pictures for floors". They can provide color, texture, warmth, function or accent.

Size of the rug under the table: add 24-30" around all sides of table to accommodate chairs. It's best to arrange your furniture prior to buying a rug, then measure the distance from the table to determine the size you need.

Some other tips to a well designed dining room include:

Add sparkle and shine (glass, mirrors, cleaning silver, Nancy's BRAGG concept)
Use your good china
Add fresh flowers, greenery
Plan for extra seating (pull benches, ottomans, garden seats from other parts of the house)
Have an extra serving area (bar carts, consoles, buffets)
Want a proper table settings guide?
Have fun with your tablescapes and make your dining experience memorable!

I can't wait for spring, and pictures like this are helping me to get in the mood! Hope you're having a good week and are safe and sound from the storms this week!


  1. Great tips Nancy! This is a must see for anyone making changes to their DR!

  2. I love that first image - all of those beautiful windows and doors.

  3. I love oversized lighting over dining tables. I have the oversized drum light from CB2 over my kitchen table and its the perfect thing for the space.

  4. Bigger is better with so many things ... chandeliers and rugs, especially. For me, I like to hang a chandelier just above eye level. I have been known to stand with the fixture on my head, so my husband can get the height just right as he installs it. It's hard to find something that ruins the look of a dining room so completely as having a rug that's too small.

  5. The dinig rooms you showed us are gorgeous, but my fave is no. 1!! It is perfect!!

  6. Yes, I say go big as well ... just more fun! i am ready for that outdoor space!! xo

  7. Great tips for everyone to follow!

  8. Great post, absolutely shows the impact your lighting makes!

  9. Great tips Nancy! I think I basically followed most of this rule with my new chandy! yey!

  10. Love these tips. I'm currently hunting for new lighting and a rug in the dining room :)

  11. Dining room? Wait, what? I thought everyone ate standing up in the kitchen. That's just me? These are great tips and "rules" to live by! I love your inspiration rooms.

  12. Thank you thank you for putting all these "rules" in one place!

  13. Thank you, thank you Nancy! I was just butting heads with my hubby over whether a chandy was too big. I will be pleased to inform him that I have back up from a professional. LOL

  14. That measurement off the table, would that be the bottom of the fixture or the center of its mass? Mine, for example, is 24" off the table at the bottom with about 30" being the center of the fixture. But my ceilings are 7-1/2 feet high. I think I might just like them a little bit lower; It feels a little bit more intimate to me.

  15. This is just a general rule of thumb. I'm thinking it's from the bottom of the fixture but if you like them lower or higher it's your call. How you use your space, the type of fixture and whether it obstructs any views all come into play. Oh and the biggest factor of all- good taste! And making your space your own. Thanks for stopping by !


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