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Pendant lighting ideas for dining rooms

A regular-size pendant – or a pair or trio – is a classic way to illuminate eating spaces, but how about being bolder?

Houzz UK deputy editor. I’m an interiors journalist and editor, previously for the… More

Go big and statement-y with the lights you hang above your dining table and you could be adding the standout decorative touch that will give your room that extra interest and designer feel. Just check out these spaces to see how powerful the simple pendant can be.

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Coordinate your colours
For a dining-only spot, these pendants work especially well, as they bring real glamour to the table.

The Scandi-style room is predominantly white, so the white light fixtures are a safe bet. Metallics tend to go with everything, though choose your metal with care. Gold is a winner with white, pale pink and inky hues, so works very well here, even though the metal doesn’t feature much elsewhere.

When choosing statement lighting, identify the key colours in your room. Count them up and consider how your lighting will fit in – is it a rogue, standalone colour? How many items will be in the same colour – have you got the balance right?

To get a better idea, you could mock up the effect before you buy (try picking out some pendant designs from the Houzz Shop and using the Sketch tool to put everything in context).

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Go solo
Because of the long shape of a dining table, it may feel intuitive to choose two or three pendants lined up in order to give the whole space coverage. But when you’re eating, especially, you want to swerve anything that makes diners feel as if they’re under a spotlight.

A single light source above a dining table can be a soft way to illuminate the area, as well as bringing interest and a focal point to the overall scheme.

The key is to be bold: try out something bigger than you’re initially comfortable with and live with the idea for a few weeks to see whether it could actually look amazing.

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Supersize a classic
Again, going for something that seems insanely large can be a way to make an interesting impact. These hammered metal pendants work well in this space, as they complement the industrial style of the table and benches.

If you’re just starting to look for lighting, think about the style of your table and let that guide your research.

Looking for someone to wire in your lighting? Read reviews of electricians in your area

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Expect the unexpected
If you do go for the classic trio of pendants above a dining table, here’s one way to shake things up.

Hanging three large, mismatched chandeliers is a quirky choice, and the mix of industrial style (metal chairs, bare bricks, concrete floor) and soft vintage (chandeliers, scrubbed pine table and antique chairs) is one it would take some creativity to come up with. But the boldness really pays off, don’t you think?

When hanging light fittings as heavy as these, do get a professional involved, as they’ll need to be very well supported.

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Be crafty
Perhaps you already have practical ceiling spots over your dining area, but feel inspired to boost the presence of your light fittings?

This type of floral arrangement could be one way to go. The pendants are a basic wire frame; to find something similar, try searching for a ‘pendant lamp granny frame’ or for large cage-style light fittings that allow for embellishments of this ilk.

These have been adorned with faux flowers. Investigate the stalks of your chosen blooms to ensure you can manipulate them. Wire stems are ideal, but other types could be tied using discreet garden wire. Floral garlands are also good. Hang from ceiling joists, either concealed or exposed, using rope, as here, or fabric-covered cable.

Now simply tilt your existing spotlights so they shine on and through your new fittings for maximum impact.

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Big up colourful cable
Part of what makes this sleek cluster pendant fit so well into the equally sleek dining room beneath it is the subtle focus on colour.

Russet cabling ties in beautifully with the terracotta pots of succulents, but even without those, the deep grey walls and warm wood of the table are a well-thought-through backdrop.

You can find fabric cable in almost any colour you fancy these days. Perhaps you could even use some to give an existing light fitting a facelift.

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Move in smart circles
Much as a long, oblong table tends to encourage a row of pendants, so a circular table is often lit by a central fitting that’s a fair bit smaller than the table itself.

Turn that idea on its head, though, and the whole idea takes a very contemporary turn. Large ring pendants like this one can look fabulous above a round table.

They are often LED-powered, however, so do check the quality of the light – how cool or warm it is – and whether or not it’s dimmable before you buy to ensure it will suit your needs.

Tell us…
What kind of lighting do you eat by? Share your tips and photos in the Comments section.

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Single Tier Layer LED Pendant Light – £658.80 

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