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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dining Room Lighting

I find that with so many things in life as well as in design, that the first solution to a problem is not necessarily the best. A light fixture to hang over the Dining Room table is the perfect example of this problem. For so many people, the first reaction is to put in a crystal chandelier, while it may be very pretty, there are a host of other options that can create a much more interesting solution.

Here are some thoughts you may want to consider:

  • If one is good maybe three is better? If you really want the sparkle of a chandelier, maybe you could try using a grouping of three smaller ones, clustered together and hung at different heights. Using a collection like this can create a fresh, hipper feeling, and allow you to use less expensive, smaller choices.

  • Try using a lantern instead of a chandelier. Especially in a colonial home, this can be a great, simple choice.

  • The fixture in the picture above is made of papier mache and Christmas lights. I bought it in the south of France from an artist there, and I think it creates the perfect counterpoint to an otherwise sophisticated room.

  • If you find an old piece that you want to use, maybe you can have the wiring removed and use real candles instead of bulbs. This will make even the most pedestrian fixture into a glamorous item. Be sure to use drip less candles!!

  • I like the simplicity of the rice paper lanterns too, that are so readily available at import shops. Their quiet simplicity is perfect, and they cost very little, so you can swap them out for different shapes on a whim.

  • With a little work a regular lamp shape can make a very pretty hanging fixture. You may want to make sure you make a base for it, because sitting at the table looking up into a bare bulb is not want you want your guests to see.

Happy Entertaining!


The Peak of Chic said...

Great advice, and that papier mache fixture was quite the find! I would also add putting the dining room fixtures on a dimmer.

kim. said...

I have never seen such a beautiful paper mache/xmas light chandelier before. WOW....and WOW. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get off my a** and get a decent chandelier.

mohairpink said...

Such a wonderful idea. I think I'll look for another one or two crystal chandeliers!!! My dining room is going to be completely OTT so why not go all the way?