tjdayhouse

How to position light when table isn't centered in the room?

tjdayhouse
4 years ago

Dining room is 16.5ft x 11.5 ft with a bay window. I have long dining table when leaves are in place and they always are when I use the table (I would also like to keep leaves in place when not in use if it looks ok in the room). However, to use the leaves I need to use the bay window space. At this time the light is centered in the room and when I use the table with leaves the light isn't centered and even as it is w/o leaves, it doesn't fit centered under the light due to a buffet (and removing the china and buffet isn't an option, so I need to work with them). Do I move the light so it is centered length of the room, but over the table ( in this picture is would be moving the light toward the window a good 15-18")? But it would be off center from the foyer entry (where I am taking the pic), would that look strange? The China Cabinet is centered on the long wall now, do I move it (toward the window) to be centered with table and light or keep it centered on wall and foyer entry opening?

Also note that I am trying to update this space. This room is 10 years old and I am trying to update it, brighten it up and make it not so formal looking, while keeping the the traditional furniture as is ( I realize it's not the "in thing", but was a gift and must be used and not painted). I'll take any suggestions on this matter too.

Comments (29)

  • sootsprite
    4 years ago
    After 15+ years of putting leaves in and out of my dining table, I decided to leave them in all the time. I suggest moving your table even further towards the windows so that you have equal walking space at each end of the table (from table to window = from table to server).
    Once you settle on a permanent spot for the table, swag the chandelier to center over the table.
    tjdayhouse thanked sootsprite
    Best Answer
  • PRO
    Cynthia Taylor-Luce
    4 years ago

    Don't move the chandelier. It needs to be centred over the table as it sits in the photo. To update the room, I'd change the paint to a very light colour and add a window treatment. You could update the chairs by putting new fabric on the pop-out seats. Why not call in an interior decorator to give you a little makeover? This room has nice furniture and good proportions. It just needs a little boost.

    tjdayhouse thanked Cynthia Taylor-Luce
  • marywhanson
    4 years ago
    I am of the opinion that the light should be centered over the middle of the dining table, wherever the table is located. To have it anywhere else looks strange.
    Why don't you take a picture of the table/chairs with the leaves *in*, and post it? That way, we can more clearly picture what you are describing and can better comment on the placement.
    BTW, I think your furniture is gorgeous and your room is very lovely. I particularly like your use of matting in the pictures flanking your china cabinet. Sometimes the smallest things can really pull a room together, can't they?
    tjdayhouse thanked marywhanson
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 years ago
    How often do you use fully extended table? Are you open to changing the chandelier?
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 years ago
    Is it possible to turn table so it is lengthwise to front bay window? Then placement of chandelier might not be as critical? You then could have small serving table in bay window area or even a little settee? Or a little reading nook? Most don't use formal dining rooms anymore, but maybe you do?
    tjdayhouse thanked Flo Mangan
  • Jennifer Dube
    4 years ago

    So if I'm understanding, when you put the leaves in your table shifts to the left towards the bay window?

  • Irene Morresey
    4 years ago
    You could always swag the light, like in pics, looks fine, many have to swag their light for centering
  • Irene Morresey
    4 years ago
    Whoops here are the pics
  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    4 years ago

    Center the table under the chandelier and move the server to the bay area if you can't remove it from the dining area. Even considering moving the placement of the chandelier makes so sense.

    Eliminate the burgundy paint on the walls and replace with a color that enhances the finish of your dining room set.

    tjdayhouse thanked BeverlyFLADeziner
  • decoenthusiaste
    4 years ago

    I suggest two new, smaller chandeliers for a real update and a way to change to a more casual look.. Since you are willing to move one, why not install a pair? That should solve the issue without moving furniture. Lighten the paint, add drapes and new chair upholstery, and you may want to change the dark art once the paint is lightened.

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  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    4 years ago
    Just wondering if you have thoughts or further input for us?
  • Elaine Doremus
    4 years ago

    I'm of the opinion that when someone gives you a gift, it's yours to do as you wish.

  • marywhanson
    4 years ago
    Elaine, I do not disagree with you, but if there is sentimental value in the gift, i.e., your great-grandfather handmade the furniture and your grandmother (his daughter) gave it to you, then my grandmother's feelings would be more important to me than different furniture. And, after all, Grandma won't live forever. However, if the gift - or the giver - aren't that important, then go for it!
  • Elaine Doremus
    4 years ago

    Point taken!

  • PRO
    KHB Interiors
    4 years ago
    Hello


    This is a design dilemma that is faced all too often. Builders sometimes do not take into account the fact that other pieces of furniture may be placed in a space therefore making the table not in the center but their nature and training has them place the lighting dead center.

    I always recommend that my furniture gets placed where I want it then we hire a electrician to center the light and get the ceiling repaired.

    You definitely don't want the light off center of your table.


    I hope this helps!

    Best of luck !

    KHB Interiors in New Orleans

    Please do me a huge favor and follow us on Houzz!


    https://www.houzz.com/khbinteriors
  • Maraly
    4 years ago
    You can change the surroundings and not the furniture. Definitely a much lighter wall color. The red is rich and formal. also play up the casual into the chairs with new fabric. That's a easy with a staple gun! How about chair railing with breadboard underneath.
    tjdayhouse thanked Maraly
  • leelee
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Start with paint. A light linen color.

    tjdayhouse thanked leelee
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Leave the chandelier as is. When extended while entertaining, stagger small votive candles around the table. No one will notice the chandelier. Make sure it is on a dimmer.


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  • sunnydrew
    4 years ago
    I would not swag a dining room chandelier. Sorry, just my opinion. It is designed to be centered in the view from the foyer.
    Anyone, or guests, who comments during dinner that is not exactly centered would not be invited again. :)
  • tjdayhouse
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Thank you to everyone. Such great advice. I have decided to move the light so it is centered in the length of the room and will place it in the center of the extended table (since from all your comments is the MUST). I have changing the paint color, getting pattern linen curtain panels and new art work that isn't so formal. I am playing with the idea of changing the seat fabric. I am not afraid to do it, just what type of fabric to select. Do I go solid color, or a contrasting pattern to the curtain panels? I want something that could make the furniture not so formal, but at the same time compliment the style of the furniture.

  • PRO
    Glo European Windows & Doors
    4 years ago

    Center the chandelier over the table. You can use a longer chain to do so, which I see someone suggested with photos in previous comments. I would also move the china cabinet to be centered with the table, removing the vase in the left corner. Then, paint room an antique white and add your cranberry color as accent by reupholstering your dining room chairs --that way you won't have to re-matte your artwork.

    tjdayhouse thanked Glo European Windows & Doors
  • leelee
    4 years ago

    fabric ideas for chair seats

    drapes

    art

    tjdayhouse thanked leelee
  • leelee
    4 years ago

    It will be easier to use solid fabric for drapes and pattered fabric for the chairs. Patterns don't show spots as much either.

    tjdayhouse thanked leelee
  • leelee
    4 years ago

    The silk flowers should go and replace the one on the stand with a palm or fig tree.

    tjdayhouse thanked leelee
  • Bruce Crawford
    4 years ago

    I'm w/ Cynthia T-L, above. The chandelier lines up w/ center of far wall & w/ table w/o leaves. For those times when you are using leaves, I would either let it be off-center, or do as others suggested, add a 2nd swag hook over center of full-length table. This would require a longer chain & rewiring the chandelier (not ceiling). Re Bev's suggestion, I like it in concept, but w/ your low windows, it would get fried, especially if they're on south or west facing walls. I like traditionalist, so I like your walls w/ picture frames matted to match. But then, I'm a symmetry geek & dinosaur.

  • leelee
    4 years ago

    Think about not including the burgundy for a color in your new room. Go with a new color to give you a real break with the past. The burgundy has served its purpose.

    Other ideas for color

    Fabric

    Drapes

    Art

    tjdayhouse thanked leelee
  • Charmaine Newton
    2 years ago

    As a designer, yes - the lighting should be centered over the table, but in this room, with the bay area (which is not actually part of the footprint of the dining area, if you choose to leave the leafs in, then I would hang 2 light fixtures, lighten the walls, and perhaps do a buffalo check on the chairs. The check would be a nice surprise and relax the formality.


  • elifpsy
    2 years ago
    i have a similar problem i just bought this house and i still have some pieces i have to buy but my main issue is i can’t center the table with the light because my dining space is small and i can’t drag the table to the center so i need to find a light fixture to make it seem like it’s centered, can someone please advice me?
  • PRO
    Cynthia Taylor-Luce
    2 years ago

    I've solved this issue with track lighting that I can hang pendants from. The track is powered from the original source and allows me to place the lighting exactly where I want it. When I did this, it was in a condominium with a concrete ceiling so the electrical box could not be moved. In a house where you're going to be living for some time, I recommend getting an electrician to move the box to the correct position. This would be a smart investment and I'm sure you'll not regret it.

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