Dining room lighting. I bet you never thought it was crucial until the very last minute did you? I know when I’ve had guests round for dinner, the lighting has never been high on my agenda. You’ll usually find me all a fluster, beer in hand, wafting the smoke away from a burnt veggie shepherds pie whilst simultaneously scouring the cupboards for matching wine glasses and the fancy plates. I’m never physically or mentally prepared.
But once the food is salvaged, wine is flowing and tipsy conversation ensues, you just know that my mind will wander to the lighting. Does my food look bad under these glaring LED’s, can everyone see the grey strands in my hair that I didn’t have time to dye or those eyebags from restlessly fretting about my food offerings? In all honesty, and in glorious hindsight, dining room lighting IS important.
- SKY giraffe table lamp£109.99 – £125.99
- HARTLEY hare floor lamp£179.99 – £199.99
- KOKO sitting monkey lamp£99.99 – £119.99
- FRED dachshund lamp£89.99
- DARWIN hanging monkey light£74.99 – £94.99
- TRIKONASANA brass multi-arm light£199.99 – £295.99
- BOCCIA dusky pink pendant light£119.99 – £173.99
- SIMON silver bulkhead£79.99 – £94.99
- DAVE brass bulkhead£74.99 – £89.99
- UMAGE feather pendant light£128.99 – £354.99
- EARL GREY cage pendant light£69.99 – £99.99
- OOLONG cage pendant light£69.99 – £99.99
- HIBISCUS cage side lamp£69.99 – £89.99
- EARL GREY cage side lamp£69.99 – £89.99
- ANGLER wall lamp£59.99
- DANNI christalle side light£59.99 – £93.99
- ELLE christalle side light£59.99 – £93.99
- Large FROSTED BUBBLE chandelier£399.99 – £519.99
- Large BUBBLE chandelier£399.99 – £519.99
- BRAMLEY metal wall sconce£59.99
- CHRIS aged brass bulkhead£99.99 – £114.99
- CHRISTALLE pendant light£64.99
- BAYA NEST ceiling light£74.99 – £105.99
- BATON TUBE pendant light£84.99 – £100.99
- PEG wall lamp£44.99 – £67.99
Dining room lighting is the one thing your guests will notice well before the food is served. It sets the mood for the evening. Creates THE atmosphere. No one wants to be eating flaccid broccoli under harsh white dining lighting, now do they. That’s unsavoury on too many levels. Oh, and it’s not just the hue of the lighting that’s important either, there’s a whole host of things to consider. The light itself, where it’s positioned and its overall style. There’s a reason people use candles, and it’s not just to woo dinner dates.
WHY A DINING ROOM?
To me, the dining room is the ultimate in adulting! Presenting food atop an actual table with matching, non-emergency chairs is when you know you’ve reached peak adulthood. Gone are the makeshift tables of the student days, the cheap wine and meals thrown together using yellow-stickered food offerings. A dinner party in an actual dining room is how you show you’ve arrived. Firmly cementing your status as a grown-up and not being afraid to show the world and its dog. Right?
Well, you’re not far wrong. Originally used by the Greeks, a dining room allowed people to eat in secluded comfort, accentuating their class and status. Those Greek men (women were not allowed such privileges) would gather in rooms created specifically for eating, to discuss all manner of things that women were not allowed to be privy to. pfft. Luckily the Romans embraced equality, allowing women to eat alongside the men in Tricliniums (dining rooms) that changed location depending on the season – oh the glamour.
As trade increased, people began to eat in more comfortable surroundings. Dining spaces were added to architectural house plans, solidifying the dining area as an actual room within a house. Although there would be much debate over where the dining room should be positioned within the house. The gist of my historical ramblings is that the dining room began as a place for the elite to dine, and that, I think, is where my notion of a dining room symbolising adulthood comes from…Well, that and the fact that my mum always made me eat at the table. I still feel like a rebellious child eating from my lap!
So, now you know that a dining room is the epitome of class, I guess I should tell you how to light it up. The first decision you need to make is where you want to place your dining room lighting. Do you want a ceiling pendant, wall light, a lamp, or, if you’re feeling particularly fancy, all three? In this blog, I’ll offer up some dining room lighting ideas to give you a little inspiration.
Wall lights add a certain je ne sais quoi to a room. They’re just that bit more grown-up than having the ‘big light’ on, a little romantic, I guess. To me, wall lights are steeped in history, reminiscent of medieval corridors dimly lit with candled wall sconces, or of Victorian homes with gas-lit wall lamps. There’s a real beauty in them and the way that they introduce light from a different perspective.
Wall lights come in all shapes, sizes and styles and can really transform your space. A personal favourite of mine is the bulkhead light. It’s rugged enough to not be TOO fancy (I’m not a fancy kind of girl) but still oozes style. The great thing about bulkhead lighting is that it works in any room size. So, if you’ve got a vast wall to fill, they can be shown off in a series. However, if you’re not as blessed in the size department, they look fab individually too.
If robust maritime-inspired lighting just isn’t your thing, you could opt for a sophisticated sconce. A metal wall light is the perfect light for an intimate gathering of friends. What better way to show off those beautifully ambient bulbs than with our Bramley wall light, a delicately curved lamp that oozes charm. Or if you’re looking for something a little more quirky, our Angler dining room light fixtures are a more contemporary option.
Feeling particularly DIY averse, or you live in a rented space? you could always try a chic plug-in wall light. Because, let’s face it, sometimes re-wiring your dining room for the sake of less harsh lighting isn’t always viable. A peg wall light is the light of choice for more minimalist dining rooms. Simply screw the peg into your desired location, plug your lamp in and drape, for instant sophistication. That’s the kind of no-fuss style that I like. You just have to do a bit of drilling…or get someone else to do it if you don’t trust yourself with power tools the eve before your big dinner.
Lamps don’t have to be a permanent fixture in your room, you can just bring them in, as and when to brighten up those dingier corners. Again, perfect for the lazy last-minute decorator, or if you live in a rented house.
The great thing about lamps is that they are mobile. Of course, lamps are most at home on a sideboard or table, but have you ever thought about transforming them into a wall light? Just install a hook and drape your lamp from it. Not feeling DIY orientated? fear not, simply drape the fabric cable over a chair for a relaxed vibe. If you have a specific vision in mind, you could always create your own table lamp to complement your interiors perfectly.
Our character lamps are just the ticket for a conversation starter. Nothing quite grabs attention like a cheeky little Koko monkey lamp crouching on your table. If monkeys just ain’t your thing, we have a whole menagerie of other animals for you to adopt too. Choose from Fred the loyal dachshund, Hartley the shy hare or Sky the giraffe.
If you’re really wanting to make an impact, a ceiling pendant is the only way to go. Just picture a gorgeous statement light suspended over your guests, casting its fabulous light onto the meal you’ve selflessly slaved over. Bliss. Your dining room size and layout completely determines the type of light you should opt for. After all, you wouldn’t want a humongous light dangling inches from your head while you’re trying to act somewhat refined. Then again, you don’t want a piddly little light that no one notices either. Your styling efforts have to be worthwhile.
The ultimate dining table lighting is obviously our bubble chandelier light. It’s the perfect talking point, end of. Alternatively, check out the Trikonasana, a fabulous arm pendant light that is a real conversation starter. If a chandelier is not to your taste, you could always try something less conspicuous. Take our baton lights, for example. Suspended in a series, over a dining table, it really does look amazing. It’s a downlighter too, so the perfect choice for secondary lighting. It’s all about the drama.
If your dining area is more practical, opt for a stylish modern dining table lighting. I mean, everything doesn’t have to be glam, functionality is key too. After all, a table is used for breakfast, lunch and quick teas, not just swanky evening meals with friends. Life ain’t all champagne and caviar, sometimes it’s just a bit of marmite on toast, and that’s ok. Some dining rooms are more relaxed spaces where the children’s breakfast is strewn, the morning papers are discarded and weekly to-do lists gather dust. Such spaces crave the simplicity of a ceiling light like our Basque pendant light or a multifaceted geometric Nagoya pendant. Ceiling pendants can add style and depth to your spaces, without dominating the space. You could even design your own pendant light to coordinate perfectly with your dining room. Keep it simple with a bare bulb for a chic and minimalist look. What more could you ask for…except maybe a cleaner?
THOSE ADDITIONAL EXTRAS
Once you’ve set the scene with lighting, there’s a whole myriad of additions you can make to your dining room, take a look at our artificial plants, complementing switches and sockets and hardware such as internal door handles, knobs and pulls to finish off your space. The world really is your oyster. But that’s a blog post for another day.