There are always exceptions to every rule, but what are the rules? For dining rooms the question is often about the lighting, which I think is the main event in the dining room. You may want to make a major statement with more than one fixture, or you may want to downplay the fixture. The mood is set with the lighting and since I am on the hunt for a new dining chandelier, let's talk about basic guidelines.
Height of the chandelier:
For 8' ceilings generally 30-34 " centered above the table. For higher ceilings, add 3" per foot.
Size of the chandelier:
1/2 - 2/3 the width of the table, or 12" narrower than the sides of the table. There are plenty of formulas available, but its best to also stick with the shape of the table, i.e, a rectangular table might look best with 2 fixtures or a rectangular chandelier. I always say larger is better, personally.
Don't use high wattage bulbs. They increase heat and cause table glare. You want a soft glow.
The Dining Room Rug
Carpets are a warm artistic addition to a room. As I always say, they are like "pictures for floors". They can provide color, texture, warmth, function or accent.
Size of the rug under the table: add 24-30" around all sides of table to accommodate chairs. It's best to arrange your furniture prior to buying a rug, then measure the distance from the table to determine the size you need.
Some other tips to a well designed dining room include:
Add sparkle and shine (glass, mirrors, cleaning silver, Nancy's BRAGG concept)
Use your good china
Add fresh flowers, greenery
Plan for extra seating (pull benches, ottomans, garden seats from other parts of the house)
Have an extra serving area (bar carts, consoles, buffets)
Want a proper table settings guide?
Have fun with your tablescapes and make your dining experience memorable!