Dining Lights

Back when we bought this house, the front, more formal dining room had an incredibly gaudy light fixture.  It wasn’t anywhere near our style, and it hung about 40 inches from the floor.  Super strange.

New-House-Dining-into-Living-Room April 13 2012

After bumping into it too many times, we took it down and have been living without a light ever since.  So glamorous, we are.


And then we changed out the doors for a window.


And pulled off all the sheetrock, making the dining room look even more amazing…ly neglected.


Right now we’ve got patched sheetrock walls, in need of a coat of knock down texture (to match the original walls) and then trim, primer, and paint.


Getting my butt moving on this has made me want to finish the damn room already.  I’ve got a plan for new curtains, and I’ve told myself I need to pick out a light.  After more than two years without.  Problem is, I’m terribly conflicted as to what I want.  Maybe I haven’t found the one yet and that’s my problem.  At any rate here’s what I know I do, or in some cases, don’t, want.

No bare or exposed bulbs.  While I think this fixture from Crate and Barrel is beautiful, I’m not sure the exposed bulbs would offer the warm, inviting glow we want.

Which brings me to my next check point;  soft, diffused light.  We had a cheaper down cast barn style design and hated how it directed the light.  So, nothing harsh or only down directed.

I love dome pendants, but the light is directed down.  So something like this probably wouldn’t work either.

Preferably two or more bulbs, but it has to be a single box installation.  Which brings me to my internal debate.  Do I go with a classic drum shade?  Like West Elm’s Short 25.5 inch diameter drum pendant in natural for $150:

Or the Oversized Equator pendant, which is the widest at almost 35 inches in diameter and priced at $199.

Or a similar option at sister store Crate and Barrel, also $199, but smaller at 28 inch diameter.

We had the Eden pendant in our last dining room and loved it.

Dining Room May 2011

If a drum shade, I’m kind of leaning toward a natural linen look over a bright white.  Question is, would a round shade look strange over a seven foot, three inch long by four foot wide rectangular table?  Even if it is 35 inches wide?  It certainly would be nice to have a round shape to soften the hard lines of the table and chairs.

On the other hand, a longer, rectangular fixture would look more proportiante with the table.  Like West Elm’s Rectangle Capiz in gray for only $175, but it might be too frilly when paired with a Mission style table…

In terms of color, this four bulb dark fixture would pair nicely with the entry light across the room.  And the shades point the light up, so that would work.

A rectangular fabric covered shade kind of marries the drum shade and rectangular design.  At $250, it isn’t that much more expensive than the other options, either.

Decisions, decisions.  What’s a girl to do?  Which would you choose?  Feel free to share lights not on the list, too.

35 thoughts on “Dining Lights

  1. If you like the shade look best, I would definitely go with the last option! I’m have the same issue with a long table and round fixture. We have a round fixture now (moved temporarily from the old dining room) and it looks very unbalanced. Hope that helps!

  2. I like the black, 4-bulb fixture. The rectangular shape is definitely more proportionate to the table, and the black would provide a nice bit of contrast instead of blending in completely (this is assuming that you paint that back wall a light color though).

  3. Okay, I seriously LOL’d at, “amazing…ly neglected.” That’s how I’m going to refer to my house from now on. Haha! Lighting is always so hard for me, too. Personally, I like the second to last fixture best (the mission style one), and I would pull the trigger on the in a heartbeat.

    1. Hello Hevel House!

      It’s so true though! Always worse before better. And usually gets neglected for a few months (or longer).

      Glad to hear you like the mission style one, too.


  4. I am leaning toward the West Elm round, the 28″ round, or the rectangle linen looking one. The down-side on the mission one would be the tendency to collect bugs in those upright shades. I do like how the round breaks up some of the hard lines you’ve got going in these rooms and yet it echoes the shape of the brown leather ottoman in the living room.

  5. The next last option with the lights facing up suits the style of the house best. It also suits the mission style of the table and chairs.

    1. Hello Dittobelle!

      I completely agree with the styles matching best. My big concern with that light is how dusty our house gets. It’ll be a spider’s paradise. 😀


  6. I like the four bulb dark fixture. Have you consider one of the lights with the faux candles? I think that’d look nice too and they have rectangular. I would definitely go rectangular or two smaller matching rounds. That’s a big table. 😉

    1. Hey Selena!

      I’ve seen the candle ones, but in our house it would be a pain to keep clean. It’s crazy how quickly the dust accumulates in this house.

      Unfortunately, I highly doubt I’d be able to convince Ben to move this box and add another. Which is why I think a longer light would work best. 😊


  7. I love the last one, the fabric covered rectangle one. I think it’s the one that pairs best with your other decor and the table.

    1. Hey Amy!

      I do really like that one. Now it’s a matter of actually purchasing one. A few people mentioned the Panorama chandelier from West Elm. It’s really great, too. Too many options!!


    1. Hi Lori!

      That light is gorgeous! However, I don’t think I could ever get Ben on board with that expensive of a light. At least not when we have siding, windows, and a kitchen to work on still. 😀


  8. If you start to lean towards the drum pendant, you could consider a mix-and-match option like what World Market offers. There you can buy a one-light or three-light pendent (for one socket) and choose the shade from there. We’ve done it twice with our home, for our dining table and hallway (there are pictures on my blog if you’re curious).

    1. Hi Domesticphilosophy,

      Ooh, that’s a great idea. Years ago, I saw a really nice three globe MCM light. At the time, I didn’t need it, but it would work so well here. Of course I can’t find something like that now!


    1. Agreed! When reading your post I predicted that the “panorama chandelier” Pamela posted above would be your choice but it didn’t even make the running. I also like the rectangle drum. Good luck deciding!

      1. Hi Olivia!

        I absolutely LOVE the look of the Panorama Chandelier, but I haven’t seen it in person. With the open bottom, is it a harsh light? That’s my big concern with it. It is really beautiful and I love the simple lines, too. I’ll have to have someone check it out to let me know. 😀


    2. Pamela, you’re speaking right to my heart. I’ve drooled over that light online so many times. My only hesitation is the open bottom. Is the light too harsh from it? Otherwise, I think it gorgeous, a little glitzy (which strongly appeals to my inner raccoon) but still simple. I’ll have to have someone see it in person for me since we don’t have a West Elm.


  9. We have the Ballard Designs Orb Chandelier over our 98″ table and it’s fantastic! http://www.ballarddesigns.com/orb-chandelier/292465, (they are doing a 15% off promotion right now). We get compliments on it all the time and it goes well with our mix of traditional & industrial/eclectic vibe we have going. We use round bulbs (40W) instead of candelabra style ones and by putting it on a dimmer, we get a really nice warm light when needed. Not sure how high your ceilings are though–ours are 9′ so we were able to get away with using the large size which balances out the length of the table.

  10. I like the last two options. However, the very last option seems too tame for your house. Second to the last!

  11. I prefer the last one, since it will complement your room and table the best.

    I’ve noticed your language has been on the rougher side lately. It doesn’t suit you or the blog.

    1. Hi Jessie!

      Thanks for your vote. I didn’t realize my language seemed harsh until you pointed it out. Apparently my annoyance with my lack of finished projects is showing. ☺️ I will keep it in mind.


  12. you knocked out doors??? oh dear, I would love to trade out the window for french doors … only it’s our bedroom … out to the deck …

    1. Hi Nancy!

      We just added a new sliding door (no room for the swing of a French door) in our bedroom. Of course, we still have to build a deck, but we’re on the same wavelength.


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