Decorating & Design

November 28, 2008

Hanging Lights

Q. I’m in the process of buying a chandelier for our dining room and I’m wondering what height it should be from the dining room table? I’m looking at one with 4 candles and shades.

A. In general, a dining room pendant or hanging light should be installed at approximately 30” from the top of the table. Have someone hold the light at various heights until you find the one you like best. If the chandelier is a more opaque type, with a frosted glass bowl or very ornate with crystal pendants, it’s a good idea to hang it a little higher, so any artwork on the walls adjacent to the table will be less obstructed. A candelabra chandelier like the one you are considering buying is a great adaptable fixture as you can change the look of your chandelier simply by either removing the shades and having bare light bulbs for a more sparkly effect, or changing the shades to vary the look and style of the lamp, depending on your design style or room scheme. Make sure to put your new fixture on a dimmer switch so you have the option of adjusting the light.