A chandelier is pictured at Valerianne Home in Vienna. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Just in time for holiday gatherings, Michael Murphy, design and trends producer for Lamps Plus, offered his advice on dining room lighting in a recent Home Front online chat. Here are his best tips.

Where should a chandelier go?

Position a dining room chandelier in the center of the dining table, about 30 to 34 inches over a table with an eight-foot ceiling height. If your ceiling is higher, raise the chandelier three inches for each additional foot of ceiling height. “Lighting from a chandelier, no matter what the setting, should make a room, people, home furnishings and prized possessions look their very best,” Murphy said. “So it’s important to hang the chandelier in the right spot and at the proper height for maximum impact.”

How large should it be?

To prevent guests from bumping their heads, the chandelier should be 12 inches narrower than the table and be at least 48 inches from the wall. Here’s a handy way equation: Take your room dimensions (such as 12 feet by 14 feet) and add them together (so 26). That makes a good chandelier width in inches.

What about other lighting?

Your everyday lighting might be too bright to create an intimate holiday dinner. But too little lighting might leave guests wondering what they’re eating. “For any room, in this case a dining room, you want multiple lighting layers,” Murphy said. That might mean candles on the table, an overhead light on a dimmer and even an accent lamp on a side table. “If you don’t have a dimmer, use lower-wattage bulbs.”

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