If you follow my blog, then you now that my family recently moved from Charlotte, NC to Charleston, SC. We love our new house and started right away at making it our home. My husband and I both wanted to play up the tall ceilings and natural light in the living areas. We finally had the space to display some of our favorite possession and our art. What we did not love was the builder-grade lighting. It is not terrible, but it is also not us.
Here is where it all began.
Online Shopping for Affordable Lighting
We have an open dining area, which means the lighting above our table is visible from multiple rooms. We wanted a more attractive light. As you know, I am ALWAYS on the lookout for a good deal. Since leaving Charlotte, (and easy access to Ikea ) I have had a hard time shopping for affordable home furnishings.
Here is how I define an affordable lighting solution for my dining room.… Under $200, or a DIY light, that is all that I will do without becoming nauseous. I have tried my hand at creating a DIY geometric pendant and wanted to take a different route. We have two young kids, bills, groceries, and everyday life soaking up our extra funds. I love a good bargain and had exhausted my search around Charleston. There are amazing shops here, but everything was a little out of my price range. So I went shopping online. This time of year is a good time to try to find a deal on just about anything…including lighting.
Size matters when it comes to lighting.
My first step was to determine what shape and size of lighting that we needed. Here is my table. You guessed it, it’s from Ikea.
It is extendable with a length of 86 5/8 ” and with of width: 33 1/8 ” . Since the table is long and the dining area has high ceilings, I determined that a light with a width 19″ or larger would work best. I don’t want the room to swallow the light fixture up. Have you ever walked into a big room with a tiny light or tiny ceiling fan…. it is just weird.
Type of Light
Keep your home’s interior style in mind when shopping for the type of light. Modern home lighting can also work well with a casual laid-back style. Our home has primarily contemporary furniture and art and I wanted to keep that in mind. I think eclectic homes can use anything from traditional chandeliers to industrial lights.
I love pendants. When pendants are placed above a dining room table it automatically makes it the brightest spot in the room. I want my tabletop to feel warm and have the ability to see what is on my plate, especially if it is something good.
Now with the look. There are a zillion options when it comes to lighting. Google “pendant lighting” and see for yourself. Here are a few that I liked online.
I really love the color and texture of wooden pendants. I am slightly concerned that with a light wood table and light wood floors it would be, well, too much light wood.
I want something interesting, but appropriate for the space. This one seems to intense for the look I am going for.
This is a nice simple pendant, but maybe a little too simple for the room.
This geometric glass fixture is amazing, but did not fall in to my “affordable” category.
I like the idea of keeping the light and bulb exposed, so that it does not block any art on the wall. I also love vintage geometric designs.
This light is beautiful, but it is under 19″.
I love the airiness of this glass bulb pendant.
I found a lot of lights that were cute, but probably more appropriate in another type of room.
Online Shopping Tips
In my opinion the best part of shopping online is the ability to read customer reviews. I ALWAYS read reviews. However, I am always mindful that some people just like to complain and one or two negative reviews will not affect my purchasing.
Determine what (if any) return policy the store has. I would not purchase anything online without a return policy that is reasonable.
Google (name of online store) and the word “coupon”. You never know what deals are out there.
Also, don’t forget about installation before you buy. Pendants, and Chandeliers are awesome, but they also require wiring and installation. If you like to change your decor or switch styles, keep that in mind while shopping.
Whew…after my search I finally picked out and ordered my dining room light. Stay tuned to see if I made the right choice.