When you are hosting a holiday dinner party, the ambience is everything. Beyond the food, it’s what sets the tone for the evening and can be a great way to take a gathering to the next level. Lighting plays a key role in building ambience; it can create focus, allow for intimacy or add a little drama to any space. By mixing statement lighting fixtures with more temporary solutions, you can create a custom backdrop for your next seasonal soiree – and we’re here to share some of our favorite holiday tips to get you started.
Spotlight your dining table
Statement lighting is having a moment. Equal parts function and art, chandeliers that perfectly anchor a dining room table can be a great way to set the stage. Consider metal pieces that bring in a hint of shimmer and can perfectly transition to feel like an additional layer of holiday decor. You can even have a little fun by layering in a handful of gold or silver ornaments to add another level of festive flair. When you are hanging a chandelier above a dining table, the bottom of the light should be ideally 32–34 inches above the tabletop so it does not block guest views and allows room for any table centerpiece.
Consider battery-operated or rechargeable lighting
Once you’ve selected a great permanent chandelier to spotlight the space, consider how to use impermanent lighting to provide drama or a specific function. While traditional candles are great, flameless options can last longer and remove any safety concerns during your event. Layer in a variety of sizes with garlands or wreaths to create a more magical feel. Consider adding to a table setting, sideboard or even mantel if you have one in your space. Rechargeable LED lamps are another easy option for temporary lighting. With no cords and a charge that lasts up to 5 hours, they are a great solution for added lighting, whether you’re dining alfresco or just looking to add some additional lights near a serving area or bar cart.
Host an alfresco affair
If you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate or have a heated patio, porch or four-season room, open-air dining can be a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday in a more natural setting. In addition to leveraging the rechargeable LED lamps mentioned above, consider adding lanterns or string lights for an intimate dining moment. You can add flameless candles to lanterns or even fill lanterns with fairy lights for a little whimsy.
Don’t forget to add festive flair
Don’t underestimate holiday decor to light your space. While Christmas trees are often added to embellish traditional living rooms, opting for a secondary tree in your dining space can provide a memorable focal point. If space is a concern, consider featuring pre-lit wreaths, garlands or even miniature trees, which can all be great alternatives.
Make it your own
Whatever lighting solutions you choose, make the design and party your own. There’s no wrong way to celebrate the season, but adding small design details that bring to life your unique story, home and personality is the best way to make an event memorable. Now it’s time to send out those invites and toast to the season!