These days, the dining room is used much more often than simply for entertaining and intermittent family meals. Many dining rooms have become work zones as more open floor plans have transformed it into a central hub. Family members look for a place to lay their laptop, a space to spread out a school project or a large table to host a club meeting. For these reasons, the requirements for light in the dining room have changed, and as the room’s functions have diversified, so, too, does the lighting scheme. Using the right type of light can improve the experience and make the room really impressive. Always consider good lighting when you are arranging or decorating your interior.
[info]Image: Chandelier above dining table is classic dining room lighting, but you have many other options.[/info]
Here are several considerations to keep in mind as you plan your dining room lighting, as well as a few notes on the latest trends in lighting this important room:
- A chandelier or pendant light is still the go-to fixture for many homeowners in the dining room, but people are getting far more creative with these impressive pieces. People are mounting unusual chandeliers and enjoying their ability to be conversation starters; some have even employed chandeliers made out of forks and spoons, among other creative materials.
- A dimmer switch has become essential for many homeowners in the dining room as well. This way, you can have both ambient and task lighting. In other words, you can have soft lighting to set a great mood for a meal, as well as more intense wattage for when you clean up.
- Because of the need for differing types of lighting, more fixtures are making their way into the dining room. Homeowners are adding wall sconces, buffet lamps and torchieres in the corner to both enhance the atmosphere and give more light to more places. As you install these lights, make sure that they are not directly in the eyes of diners or in the way of a chandelier’s beam, which creates shadows. Many designers prefer recessed lights that direct light toward the ceiling.
- Modern lighting yields many more possibilities for highlighting certain pieces in the dining room. Halogen bulbs, for instance, can show off your crystal from within the china cabinet. Tract lighting can be used to shine on your paintings.
- As for themes, more and more dining rooms are going with a rustic feel. That means that lighting fixtures are made out of wrought iron, brushed steel and other metal combinations. To fit this theme, designers recommend drum pendant lights, which are available in a healthy variety of patterns, materials and finishes.
- As many kitchens open up into dining rooms, designers are choosing metallic finishes to blend stainless steel appliances with dining room décor. As a result, chrome, nickel and brushed silver are hot materials for chandeliers and sconces.
The dining room is filled more than ever in modern homes. For that reason, more attention should be paid to its lighting, which opens the door for more creativity as you plan. As a greater variety of activities are done in the dining room, more types of lighting and light fixtures are required to make the room fully functional no matter who is in it and what they are doing.