Dining room lighting for entertaining
When entertaining, consider how lighting affects the scene
If you often invite people to your place for meals, you may place some importance on dining room lighting for entertaining. Dining room lights can exercise a big effect on mood, as can lighting throughout your home.
Types of Lighting for Entertaining
You can buy or make various types of dining room lighting for entertaining. Lighting can be either permanent or temporary. More permanent dining room lights include overhead fixtures, lamps, or fixed lanterns. Temporary types of lighting for entertaining could consist of candles, movable lanterns, strings of lights, and battery-operated candles.
You will generally want the lighting for entertaining to match a theme, mood, or your other party decorations. You can also look for a light fixture that coordinates with your serving dishes, plates, beverage dispensers, flatware, or some other element of your dining room table or buffet.
Buying Temporary Lighting for Entertaining
You can usually buy or make temporary lighting for entertaining at a cheaper cost than you can buy regular light fixtures. So if you're looking for a change from the norm, temporary lighting is often the best way to go. Remember, dining room lighting for entertaining does not have to be bright--just bright enough to see your food. In fact, many people find low lighting can create a romantic or relaxed mood. And you can create low dining room lights with just a few candles.
If you want a simple solution for your need, you might consider a candleholder with multiple openings for votives. You can often buy a whole bag of votives for a few dollars, and a simple but elegant votive holder can be used in a variety of settings over and over again.
If you want to buy something more formal, look for candle sconces, candelabras, or oil lamps. The bigger size of such lighting commands more attention, and depending on your tastes, you can further decorate them with swags of cloth or silk flowers.
Making Temporary Lighting for Entertaining
You can also combine candles with different containers and materials to create unique centerpieces that also provide dining room lights. Floating candles, mirrors, beads, jewels, or ribbon can work well for more formal events.
If you're a casual entertainer, you can also make your own lighting for entertaining. Take a look at the picture above. Fill a glass container or vase with colored sand, some sliced fruit, a dash of potpourri, and a small candle -- and you've got some cute dining room lighting for entertaining. And your lighting can double as a centerpiece without obscuring views of each other around the table.
Or try another casual idea. Make your own decorative paper bag luminarias. You can decorate them with stenciled designs or special hole punches.
Food for Your Party
Dining room lighting for entertaining won't be your only concern, of course. You want food that will look good in any light and taste good, too. Need help planning the right menu? Try the menu planner on Epicurious. It will ask you a series of questions about your entertaining and then suggest some recipes for you.