The Right Chandelier for a Dining Room with a High Ceiling

When I’m reviewing a set of photos for an on-line consultation, if I see a double storey height or high vaulted dining room, I know I’m in Florida because in most homes if the living room has high ceilings the dining room ceiling is normal height.  I’ve seen a few dining rooms there recently with chandeliers that are way too small (they came with the house each time so not my client’s choice) and dangling way below the ceiling, right above the dining room table.

Image via Pure Style Home

This post is for those clients and for those that have a tall entry, keep in mind the ‘visual’ height and width’ of the chandelier or it will just look wrong.

The other thing to notice when the chandlier is hanging so low from the ceiling is that it is left higher (below) than the standard measurement of 30” above the table (above).

You also need a chandelier that visually takes up more vertical space like this wine barrel chandelier (below):

And then I opened up my April issue of Veranda Magazine this morning and saw this chandelier in another dining room with high ceilings and (big surprise) it’s located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Veranda Magazine, Chandelier from Mrs Howard
See how much higher it is than the dining room table? (above)
Scale is so important when choosing a chandelier.
Finding a dining room chandelier can be a challenge but if all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a drum shade chandelier. Still better than standard, builder light fixtures!
If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.
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  1. Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES)

    Maria– Great post! Beautiful chandys!

    Love that house in Veranda, the arched windows really make the rooms.


  2. Love this post! Especially since I am in FL! And I am in need of a new chandelier for my DR. Although my ceilings are not 2 story- only 10ft. My entry is 2 story and I wonder if the same applies for the height for the chandelier there. Right now there is a tiny little light and it looks horrible. And I think the height is way to high too.

    I have seem medallion rugs a few places lately. Target has a nice looking one in their ad this week. I don't think it is available online and I didn't see it in my store today when I was there. And only comes in 5×8 too. Also saw some at Home Decorators…

  3. Hi Maria,
    You share so much… so I thought I would share this with you. If you are looking for a modern chandelier, lighting designer Lindsey Adelman has instructions to make 3 chandeliers on her website. "you make it"
    Happy Spring and Everything.

  4. I was going to post the West Elm one.

    I have been thinking about chandeliers a lot, too. I need a new one for my entry (vaulted) and my dining room (12 foot ceiling). So far, nothing has jumped out at me at being "perfect". Good luck with your search. 🙂

  5. I love your blog so much…
    have been here many times before,
    that's why I'm surprised to know that I was not yet a follower…
    But now I am, don't want to miss a single post ♥

  6. Luciane at


    It's always so nice to see your comment. Thank you for dropping by!

    You made so many great points. A chandelier installed in a bad position/height can be a disaster and when it's done right can add so much to a room.

    Great post, Maria.

    Have a wonderful day!


    Luciane at

  7. I love all the rugs your previous commenters have mentioned — your blog (and your Comments section) is always such a great design resource!

    Unfortunately, I have the opposite problem to your client… low/standard height 8 ft. ceilings in my small DR. I'm hunting for a great "statement piece" chandelier that doesn't overwhelm my space.

  8. Maria,

    Look at all the love being shared in response to your post how cool is that! Sources shared for all our needs love it, great chandelier from Veranda Mag. I'm with you great way to enhance the out-of-balanced lighting in such great spacessuch as foyer, dining, and stairwells is the scale of lighting fixture no doubt.


  9. Annie, bossy color

    Re: Madeline Weinrib, West Elm actually used to have a few "medallion"-like rugs –
    But I've had trouble finding them, too. Savafieh makes some, but they're not flatweave, and they're not inexpensive. Let me know if you want more on this, Maria…

  10. Grace @ Sense and Simplicity

    I've never been a fan of cathedral ceilings and you've just given me another reason to dislike them. They would be so hard to get the scale and size of the chandelier right.

    As for the carpet, what about stenciling the round design on some of those worn over-dyed carpets from Elte. Mind you the carpets probably cost a fortune and you wouldn't want to play around with stenciling in case you ruined it. Just a thought though.

  11. We just got a new chandelier..but I think I need to paint it. My hubby and kids say it doesn't 'go' in the dining room..or match. Tim hated the Texas themed one (black iron with a star symbol punched out) that came with the house..and our kids who moved to Seattle left me this sort of 'French cottage' looking one. I thought of painting it with a bronze rub.

    We lived in Florida for a year and you describe their problem perfectly. I can't help you with the resources..but the post is very interesting!