A beautiful chandelier hanging above your dining table becomes the focal point of the room.  It draws your eye upward, so it’s important to choose the right size and style for your room.

Chandelier above dining table

Image from Traci Rhoads Interiors via DecorPad

How big should the Chandelier be?

It is better to go bigger than smaller when it comes to hanging a statement light over your table.

As a general guide the diameter of your chandelier should be about three-quarters of the width of your table.  So if your table is 100cm wide, you would look for a chandelier that is about 75cm wide/diameter.  Another decorating guideline is that the chandelier diameter should be about 30cm less than the width of the table so 100cm – 30cm = 70cm wide.  Using these 2 guidelines will give you a general size to look for when choosing a chandelier.

Chandelier width

 Photograph from House to Home UK

How far from the Ceiling should the Chandelier hang?

This will depend on the height of your ceilings, and again there a a couple of guidelines you can follow.

One guideline is to hang the chandelier 75-85 cm above the table top so you can see clearly across the table and there is sufficient room for a flower arrangement.  Another guide is to make sure there is at least a 210cm clearance between the floor and the chandelier, so if you move the table people can walk under the chandelier without walking into it.

Chandelier over table

Image from Jennifer Brouwer Design via DecorPad

Chandeliers come with chains that can be cut so the chandelier hangs the right distance from the ceiling.  The length of chain will depend on how high your ceilings are and how tall your chandelier is.  In general if you have standard 240cm (8′) ceilings, your chandelier will need to be mounted flush to the ceiling with no chain to hang the right height above the table.  If you have 270cm (9′) ceilings your chandelier height plus chain can be 60cm allowing for 210cm clearance from the floor.  If you have 300cm (10′) plus ceilings your chandelier height plus chain can be 90cm or more.


Where should the Chandelier hang above the Table?

In general a chandelier is centred in the room, or centred directly over the width and length of the table.

Centre Chandelier

Image from Decor de Provence via DecorPad

If you have a very long table, it may look better to have two smaller chandeliers hung off centre rather than one large chandelier.  In this case, divide the length of the table by 3 and mount the lights one-third of the way in from each table end.


Double Chandelier


Image from Moeski Design via DecorPad

Other Things to Consider with Chandeliers

The number of arms a chandelier has will determine the number of bulbs the light has.  Most chandeliers take a maximum bulb of 40 watts, so the more arms, the more bulbs, and the brighter the light will be.

The light from a chandelier will be less bright if the bulbs have light shades or diffusers over them.

Clear candle bulbs spread more light and look more like candles than frosted bulbs.

Dimmer switches are a great way to control the amount of light and create mood lighting.

The light cast by the chandelier should spread across the table.  If your table is large, you may need to hang the chandelier higher to get the rights spread of light.

Sarah Richardson chandelier

Image from Sarah Richardson Design via DecorPad