This continues to be a common question among homeowners, and I will provide a general guideline to simplify this decision for you. It is very easy to over or under estimate the size of a light fixture when you are viewing it in a showroom, or worse, on the internet.
For the dining room, one rule of thumb is to choose a chandelier that has a diameter equal to one-half the width of the table. For example, if your table is 46” wide, look for a chandelier that is approximately 23” in diameter. There are other factors to consider as well: How high is the ceiling? Is the fixture light and airy in style or does it have a heavier, bulkier look? Ideally the bottom of the chandelier should be approximately 32-36” from the top of the table. You want to be able to provide appropriate lighting without blocking anyone’s vision when seated. If the room is exceptionally large, you will want to make sure that the chandelier does not seem “dwarfed” by the room. In this case, you can increase the overall dimensions of the chandelier slightly.
When selecting a chandelier for your foyer, add the dimensions of the room together. For instance, if the space is 12’ wide by 14’ long, add 12+14. The answer is 26, which means you will be looking for a chandelier that is approximately 26” in diameter. Again, the ceiling height is also a consideration. If you have a two-story ceiling in your entryway, you will want a chandelier that has enough length (including the chain) and is wider in diameter. I suggest taking the answer you came up with by adding the room dimensions together and multiplying by 1.25. If your foyer is 12×14, then the sum of this is 26. Multiply 26 x 1.25 for an approximate diameter of 32+”.
Keep in mind, these are general guidelines, not hard, fast rules! There is an array of beautiful and exciting light fixtures available. Start by choosing a style that you love and is a reflection of the rest of the style of your home. Seek assistance from a professional interior designer or lighting designer when in doubt to help avoid making costly mistakes. And always have a qualified electrician handle the installation.
I encourage you to think outside of the box when it comes to light fixtures and consider something that is a little different than what you might normally do.
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image credit: Currey & Co.