Posts Tagged ‘chandeliers’

Dining Area via Skona Hem

I love to cook, eat, and especially share a meal with friends and family.

Sitting down at a dining table after a long day (working or playing) is just such a pleasure.

Today I sat down and wanted to write about all the practical aspects of dining room lighting. Measurements and numbers etc. All good stuff. But when I went to look for photos I REALLY got sidetracked.
After hours of pouring over wonderful images of various dining areas I realized that there were SO many places I would feel at home and would really enjoy lingering.

A mix of Warehouse Shade Pendants in a cozy Kitchen

I personally lean towards  contemporary design, but enjoy all kinds of spaces.
A traditional dining room with perfect place settings can be such a treat – with the right company and good food!
And that’s just it!  It’s all about personal style, expressing ourselves and embracing different styles when we come across them. Good food, friends and good company.

I’ll therefore share a bunch of fabulous photos of dining areas in between all the dry facts.

Dining room with Ingo Maurer Zettel'z Pendants

In our showroom we so often get  questions like how large a chandelier to choose for the dining area or how high to hang it over the table. (Answers: Diameter 12″ less than the width of table.  The bottom of chandelier should be 30″ above table.)

In most cases the chandelier is hung way too high, probably with the thought in mind that it could then help illuminate the entire room. Wrong!

Beautiful sunny dining room via CGS Design Build

The bottom of chandelier should be approximately 30″ above the table.

With a chandelier hung too high  and no additional lighting the overall ambiance of the dining room  is more of a diner or fast food restaurant, less conducive to lingering.

Do keep in mind that all these rules of thumb I am presenting are really just that –  ”Rules of Thumb”.  They are not set in stone. There are quite a few factors that determine the right fixture size and hanging height, like the space, the size of the table, the diameter and height of the fixture, as well as the height of the ceiling.

This said -

A dining room chandelier generally should measure 6 -12″ less in diameter than the width of table.
Makes sense: You don’t want to hit your head on it or feel crowded.

The diameter of the chandelier in inches should at least equal the room diameter in feet.
(Well, just thought you’d like to know…. )

For ceilings nine feet or higher consider a multi-tier style chandelier  to fill the space .


Flos Mod30 Chandelier, striking and elegant

Thinking back to meals I have thoroughly enjoyed over the last months, there were cozy gatherings at friends’, a few nice restaurants , several business lunches and dinners. I ALWAYS look at lighting, when I am in a room (No, It’s not a crick in my neck!)  because it amazes me, how lighting affects the mood and general well-being. Without an exception, the places with the best lighting had the best food!


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Light up Your Dining Table with Indirect Lighting

Want to add interest to a room, highlight your collectibles, and add ambient lighting:  try lighting your cabinets or – like here – add  illuminated niches.

One  way to take away from the harshness of the main light source in a dining area is to use additional  lighting around the edge of the  room.  This diminishes the strong contrasts between light and shadow in the room and makes it possible to dim  the main fixture, usually the pendant light or chandelier over the dining table to a comfortable, more intimate level.
Buffets and hutches  can be illuminated from within and light up your collections of china or treasured pieces .
Look for the color temperature of the bulbs you use for your display. In order to get the effect shown here you need to look for bulbs (lamps) close to 3000K (Kelvin.)
Most quality halogen and fluorescent lamps give you the color temperature as well as the  CRI (Color Rendering Index.) If there is a choice, look for a CRI as close to 100 as you can get.

My comments to this beautiful dining area: I love how the illuminated niches stand out and add architectural interest to the space. They fill the room with warmth and make the art pieces “pop”.
That said, I find that  the pendant light / chandelier looks kind of lost way above the table.  Is it even centered? – It looks like some kind of afterthought.  Lowering it would do a world of difference.

Rule of thumb for mounting height of a pendant of chandelier : 30″ above the dining table.

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Zettelz Chandelier by Ingo MaurerChandeliers come in many shapes and sizes, and even though I usually prefer  contemporary design there is just something about a decorative chandelier laden with glass droplets or crystals that is so festive and romantic that it’s irresistible.

Not to say that chandeliers by nature have to be traditional. Many contemporary designers like Phillippe Starck and Ingo Maurer have created their own exuberant interpretations of the traditional chandelier.

Just look at the Zettelz by Ingo Maurer: Slips  of Japanese paper- some printed, some blank – attached by paper clips to thin wires entice you to participate and add your own thoughts.

We have one hanging in our showroom that our customers have added to. They just felt like it, had to.

Notes in Spanish, Danish, German…..

Love it!!

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We first met the great people from Hubbardton Forge in the mid 80s and added a few of their their floor and table lamps to our Santa Fe showroom. Over the years we have kept adding to our displays, since they keep introducing new, exciting products. We now show a large array of their hand forged wall sconces, outdoor lights, chandeliers and pendants and of course still several floor and table lamps.

Just like our showroom has changed a lot since 1984 their collections now span an incredible range from more traditional pieces to sleek contemporary designs with a sculptural presence. We have been so grateful for our relationship with this wonderful company.

Here’s what they have to tell about themselves. I like their story:

The Hubbardton Forge StoryGeorge Chandler and Reed Hampton  first fired up the forge in a drafty old barn in the town of Hubbardton in 1974. They had taken an art class together in college and had lucked out that one of the choices offered was a class by a renowned local blacksmith and they fell in love with this ancient art.

They set out to master the art of black- smithing,  learning as they went from a few remaining craftsman of an industry gone by. Scavenging through New England they gathered up rusting anvils, trip hammers, swage blocks and other discarded tools of the trade and put them to good use.

Now fast forward to Hubbardton Forge of today: More than 200 employees, a sound growth based on integrity, quality and value which is reflected in the fact that Hubbardton Forge is a three time recipient of the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Vermont. Where others might cut corners to save money, Hubbardton Forge has been moving forward as a great role model as an environmentally responsible company.

As they put it themselves “Hubbardton Forge® has long believed in the necessity of using the most environmentally sound means of creating our product. As a result we have adopted and pioneered new methods for cleaning and finishing, reducing process waste, and managing energy. We have not trumpeted our desire to be “green” but rather emphasized our continuing mission to create the best possible product by the best possible means. We are pleased, therefore, to be recognized for our efforts by the State of Vermont, as a three time recipient of the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.”

Despite the strong competition from cheap imports  and living through having their designs copied time and again, the Hubbardton Forge brand has continued to strengthen and is recognized by an increasing number of consumers who value timeless quality.

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