Lighting Choices for the Dining Room

By Dan Gregory

A dramatic array of glass votivesfor the tablescape by Glassybaby (courtesy Glassybaby website).

What are current ways to brighten the dining area for family gatherings? The variety in table top candle holders, or pendant lamps, for example, is vast. Here’s a sampling to help you start your search.

If you want old fashioned candle power — check out the intensely colorful glass votives from GlassyBaby. They come in a great many nature-based hues. A recent GlassyBaby blog post even matches a range of votives to a collection of fall leaves. Candle holders are another way to go. The classic shoemaker’s candle stand from Shaker Workshops, is ingeniously adjustable (up and down) thanks to the screw pole at the center. The  spare functional design gives it a contemporary look. Or consider a modern candelabra such as a solid chrome example by Design Mango from Dutch by Design. I like the contrast between the minimalist base and the slightly wavery candles…it’s ultra-sleek and Shaker-simple at the same time.

The 7- by 11-inch “Aura” by Resolute from Surrounding Lighting, with its amber-hued whirl shape made from printed polycarbonate plastic, takes a compact fluorescent bulb and would suit a dining alcove. The “Moare” mesh-covered drum-within-a-drum design from ylighting comes in small, medium, and large sizes (up to 24.8 inch-diameter by 24 inch-high).  It uses an incandescent bulb. The free form WillyDilly pendant by Ingo Maurer from Stardust Lighting uses stiffened card and plastic, takes a halogen bulb, and is put together by the purchaser. These more dramatic pendants would suit larger spaces.

A more eclectic though still contemporary approach would be to mix a traditional fixture with modern furnishings, as illustrated
by two “Jamison” chandeliers from Rejuvenation. Some classic reproductions of early chandeliers, like one from Conant Metal & Light, are contemporary in their simplicity.

A friend has an antique candle chandelier on a rope and pulley so that it can be lowered and lit and then raised to the appropriate height — this might be the perfect solution for adding romance and a sense of history to your evening meal. Another friend scoured junk stores for old electric chandeliers, rewired several,  and strung them up on pulleys in the trees around the house for his daughter’s wedding reception. Now that was a magical evening!


As you browse possibilities think about the kind of light you want and balance that with projected energy use: fixtures designed for compact fluorescent bulbs remain an important eco-friendly alternative to typical incandescent lights, though even more efficient LED (light emitting diode) fixtures are developing fast.










Originally Published in Eye On Design

08/21/2013

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