Shine a light on your culinary skills with an eye-catching over-table masterpiece.
Want to create a design talking point? Where better than above the dining table?
A dramatic pendant light or modern chandelier suspended above the spot where you and your friends and family gather to chow and chat will instantly create a visually striking feature and provide potential conversational subject matter.
Lighting is an important part of a design scheme and fittings and electrics ideally need to be in place before the decoration begins, so don’t leave it to the last minute to decide, which lights should go where.
Consider the position of your lights early in the design process, and think about whether you want to have them all on the same circuit or just on dimmers, so that you can change the atmosphere, depending whether it’s a cosy dinner à deux, a family gathering or a night with your rowdiest friends.
Think about the height and size of the room and how you’d like to fill the space too.
See these decadent dining spaces.
A pared-back scheme can be given a touch of glamour with a pretty, glass chandelier, while an already opulent room will benefit from the added drama of a spectacular over-sized pendant.
Whatever your taste, a statement dining room light will help define the look of the space, acting as the table’s centrepiece, even during the day when it’s not illuminated.
So much more than a decorative feature, the right piece – or pieces– will cast a flattering light over you and your guests, as well as the room. So get inspired by the stunning dining room lighting ideas ahead and get your glow on.
Bespoke pieces, such as this table by George Nakashima, chairs by Jaime Hayon for Established & Sons and chandelier by Studio Mackereth, lend a unique finish to this glam dining space.
This Cloud light by Apparatus Studio is a favourite of designer Alexander Waterworth, who used the pendant light at Ober Mamma in Paris (pictured here).
Original mouldings aren’t an obvious starting point for clutter-free living living, but these classic features give the clean lines and minimalist pieces warmth and elegance.
Get the look The American black walnut flooring is from Ardern Hodges. The B&B dining table and dining chairs were bought at Coexistance, while the Didscoco pendant by Christopher Mathieu for Marsat was supplied by The Lighting Corporation.
Slightly arched chairs and a show-stopping spherical chandelier offset the formality of the room.
Get the look: The dining table was designed bespoke by Studio DB in collaboration with Common Practice Studio. These are Niels Otto Møller side chairs from Design Within Reach. This is the Cloud chandelier by Apparatus. The wall art and the vase, jug, bowl and glasses on the table are the client’s own – find similar glassware at LSA International. The Court sconces are by Allied Maker.
The show-stopping feature in here is a floor-to-ceiling mural from Tres Tintas. The brave, show-stopping mural dramatically spans the dining room wall from top to toe, and arrived as five huge panels. The light is visually striking without being detracting.
Get the look The mural is from Tres Tintas in Barcelona. This is the 85 Lamps pendant by Droog. The table and bench are by Timothy Oulton. The chair is by Tom Dixon, covered in fabric from Roche Bobois.
Studio Ashby's motto is "start with art", which is exactly what designer Sophie Ashby did with this punchy dining space.
This dining area has an easy-going vibe, with a vintage table and café chairs mixed with limited edition designs.
Get the look The Hatchlight pendant is by Studio Robert Stadler. The artwork on the wall is by Karsten Konrad. The Jieldé floor light and mantel mirror are both vintage. Try Overmantels for a similar mirror. Travers Antiques in Alfies Antique Market sells Jieldé lighting. The chairs are vintage. Try Retrospective Interiors for similar.
A buttoned banquet and feather light soften the space.
Get the look The feather pendants are from Pluma Cubic and the photograph is Napa Valley Morning by Tipper Gore. Visit tippergore.com. The wallpaper is Floral 100-B090 by Florence Broadhurst at Walnut Wallpaper. These are the Colt Highback side chairs by O&G Studio.
According to these home owners, creating the double-height space was the best thing they did. They love that more light flows in and you can appreciate the curve of the wall. A bespoke pendant fills the space.
Get the look This is the Saarinen Tulip table for Knoll, teamed with DSW side chairs in White by Charles and Ray Eames for Vitra at Aram Store. Jon Loveday of Loveday Construction made the bespoke pendant light.
Antique chandeliers glitter at eye level and paintings, many by the owner, hover above chair height, so that when you’re sitting down, the rooms feel intimate.
Get the look The mirror is from Maison Artefact. for a similar antique light, try O’Keeffe Antiques. The Vitra Eames DSR chairs are from John Lewis. The large painting and the artwork on the lower right are by Liza Giles. The others are by Ray Marsh.
One of the owner’s starting points for the scheme was the large vintage table in the dining area. It has an agricultural look that she wanted to offset with precise lines and clean, smooth materials, such as the glass galleried landing, poured-resin floor and vintage Italian lighting.
Get the look The chandeliers are vintage Italian. For similar, try Rainbow London. The dining table and leather chairs are by Pippa Paton Design.
This light, open and comfortable area is where the family can enjoy what they love doing best – getting together to cook, eat and socialise. They love the dining table as it can seat 14 people.
Get the look The table is surrounded by Hans Wegner’s Wishbone chairs from Skandium. The Murano glass light, right, is from thefrenchhouse.co.uk. For similar, try 1stdibs.com. The polished-concrete floor is by Steyson Granolithic Contractors.
The table is massive, about 3.6 metres, but the scale suits the space. The rug creates a central dining area, while sofas and seating provide natural breakout zones around the edges of the room.
Get the look: The Alkar dining table is by Romanian design brand Materia. The Letters rug is by Layered. The chairs are from One Kings Lane. The vintage ceiling light is from Domino Antik in Stockholm. The brass candlestick is from Oscar & Clothilde. The silver balls by the window were bought on eBay.
The playful yet polished look is down to the rich palette of luxurious fabrics, mirrored surfaces and brass finishes, with the oversized chandelier as a starting point.
Get the look: The vintage marble dining table is by Willy Rizzo. These are Milo Baughman chairs, recovered in a Dedar velvet. This is a Seventies Vistosi chandelier. The rug is from Stark Carpet. The artwork is Jason Shulman’s The Wizard of Oz.
A chandelier by an LA designer emphasises the proportions of this simple, elegant space.
Get the look: The table is by White Arrow. The J39 chairs by Børge Mogensen are vintage finds. This is the Pivot chandelier by Brendan Ravenhill. The Moroccan rug is from Etsy.
Three ceiling lights were mounted above this dining table, each of them with five glass globes, to create a super-glamorous bespoke fitting at a fraction of the usual price.
Get the look: The wall panelling is painted in Dulux 70YY 46/053 eggshell. These are Canteen utility chairs by Very Good & Proper. The light fitting is made up of three of CB2’s Firefly pendants.
This table can seat 16 people so something simple but striking is essential if everyone is to see everything. The wires of these globe lights are ideal – hanging like a cloud above the table.
Get the look: The table was cast by The Concrete Flooring Contractors. This is the 14 Series pendant by Bocci.
The Studio Dunn lighting design over the dining area is as poised as a tightrope walker’s pole.
Get the look: This is the Strut table by Blu Dot. The Saarinen Executive chairs by Knoll are upholstered in Lace linen by Rebecca Atwood. The photograph is by Jeff Barnett-Winsby. This is the Sorenthia pendant by Studio Dunn.
A soft grey paint shade tones down the decorative panelling on the walls and ceiling in the dining room, linking with gunmetal-effect velvet curtains. Mid-century furniture and mesmeric lighting provide modern focal points.
Get the look: These are vintage Series 7 chairs by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen and Rondino swivel chairs by Yngve Ekström for Swedese, all from Dagmar. The Celestial Pebble chandelier is by Ochre. The dining table and console table are bespoke for Barkerdesign by Dean Edmonds. The artwork, left, is by Mark Powell at Hang-Up Gallery and, right, by Peter Blake. The wall light is by Buster + Punch. The walls are painted in Grey Teal absolute matt emulsion by Little Greene.
The trio of oversized black pendants are a striking contrast against the white walls and ceiling.
Get the look: The antiqued bevelled mirror wall panel is from Osborn Glass. These are BA3 chairs by Ernest Race for Race Furniture. The walnut dining table was custom-made by Andwoodcraft. These are Hang pendants by Marcel Wanders for Moooi. The ceiling roses are from London Plastercraft.
The bamboo lights above the table (itself made from recycled floorboards) are clad in gauzy drapery, highlighting the height and lofty proportions.
Get the look: The highback dining chair is the J110 by Poul M Volther, teamed with the J77 by Forke Pålsson and the J104 by Jørgen Bækmark, all for Hay. The pendants are by Marta Castellano.
The all-white oversized chandelier injects a modern punch into this opulent space.
Get the look: This is the Waste table by Piet Hein Eek. The Paper chandelier is by Studio Job for Moooi. The banquette is upholstered in Pierre Frey velvet and the curtains are in Dedar fabric. The vases are from Mint. The ceiling is clad in tin tiles shipped from the US – Rockett St George sells similar.
Why settle for one chandelier when you can have several? Here, three chandeliers hang in front of an exposed brick wall, giving it just a smidgeon of glamour.
Get the look: The chandeliers are from Agapanthus Interiors. The table and pew were found on eBay. The chairs are from Elemental and various antiques shops.
The oversized traditional chandelier makes a huge impact – offsetting the dining table throws the symmetry, creating a more informal vibe.
Get the look: Find similar chandeliers at Maisons du Monde.
A dramatic chandelier of 31 taxidermy pigeons is suspended from the ceiling, each with a light bulb stuffed in its beak. The chandelier is by British designer Alex Randall and took three days to install.
Get the look: The 31 Pigeons chandelier is by Alex Randall.