Combining two rooms can be a practical necessity or a classy way to create a modern home, but it comes with some drawbacks. For one thing, how do you light both spaces? If you only have one overhead light, is it even centered where it needs to be? Do you just add a dozen lamps? We have some Living Room Dining Room Combo Lighting Ideas that should help answer these questions.
1) Separate Lighting
A straightforward idea behind lighting a room like this is to separate the lighting. While, obviously, there’s more to it than that, the basic idea is to have two separate light sources, one for each section of the room. For example, you can see how the dining and living areas in this article are each lit by a different bank of windows or overhead light. You can do the same thing in your room, even if you mix and match natural and artificial light sources.
If you have a spacious, open-concept home, you might want to go with a modern decorating style, which means you’ll need modern lighting, of course! You can look for unique, contemporary lighting like this abstract design overhead light fixture from Amazon. This would be ideal for illuminating your dining table, though you could certainly use it as a centerpiece for your seating area, as well. Modern lamps would also look remarkable, as would recessed ceiling lights or flush mount fixtures.
Either your room is normal-sized, and you’re trying to fit two rooms into one, or it’s a large room in which you’re trying to create an open-concept look. Either way, you’re going to want plenty of light to make it feel more open. One way to increase the amount of light without buying more light fixtures and possibly doing electrical work is to add mirrors like the ones in this room. Mirrors reflect the existing light throughout the room, making the whole space feel brighter and happier and even bringing sunlight to places it usually couldn’t reach.
4) Natural Lighting
If you’re trying to cram two rooms into one space, you’ll probably want to make it look bigger any way you can. Similarly, if you want an open-concept home, you’ll need to design an open and airy space to reflect that. So, while you can install numerous overhead light fixtures and lamps, you can also spend that money on something more effective and attractive. For example, you can add more windows or expand existing ones. This increases natural lighting, which is brighter and healthier than artificial light. You can even see the intense effect sunlight can have here.
5) Change It Up
Having light from multiple sources is typically more convenient for a multi-use room, but what sources should you use? Do you prefer overhead lighting? Lamps? You might be better off using a couple of different types of lighting, such as using lamps in the living room and a chandelier for the dining room. You can see in this article how using different types of light fixtures makes each room seem more interesting and unique. It also adds more options for lighting based on whether you’re sitting to read a book or sitting down for a meal.
Chandeliers are upscale light sources, making them perfect for a formal living or dining area, but they’re also suitable for any place where you entertain guests or need a lot of light. For example, you can hang one over the dining room table to illuminate it or put it in the center of the living area for a central light source. A chandelier would be an excellent way to highlight a section of the room, and it’d create two distinct areas so that you don’t have to light the whole room if all you’re using is the table.
7) Unique Fixtures
Lighting is a vital part of what makes your living and dining spaces feel separate despite being in the same room, or what makes them feel like one space even though they serve different purposes. Since it’s such a valuable aspect of your design, you can make it a prominent part of your decor, too. Try getting unique light fixtures that tie into your existing decor and show off your personality or your home’s theme.
8) Pendant Light
Pendant lights are one of the best ways to illuminate a small area without lighting the entire space. They’re small, easy to make, and inexpensive relative to other light fixtures. You can hang a pendant light over the dining table, another in the center of the living room or over the couch for comfortable reading, and more anywhere else you need extra light. Try finding them in unique designs like the ones in this article. Which style fits your home concept the most?
9) Pool Table Lights
Pool table lights aren’t just for pool tables, and a combined living room and dining room is actually the perfect place to put one. You can buy a pool table light or kitchen island light like this to place over your dining table or a breakfast bar if you have one. This separates that area and makes it so that you only need to light part of the room if you’re just sitting down to eat.
If you’re styling an open-concept room because you love modern design, glam style is a contemporary style that could be perfect for your room. The major advantage to glam lighting is that a silver, gold, or sequined light fixture like this one will catch the light and create a more sparkly and glamorous look. The light’s reflection on the shiny surfaces that are common in glam decorating will also make the room seem brighter and less cramped.
11) Lots of Light
Sufficient lighting will typically make a small room seem more spacious, so if your room isn’t quite big enough for a living and dining space, or if it’s big enough but still looks a bit cramped, adding more light could help. To create the illusion of a broader space, you can let in a lot of natural lighting since sunlight is brighter than artificial lighting. Try adding mirrors to reflect that light around the room, too.
If you’re trying to make it look like you have two distinct spaces in your room, pendant lights and chandeliers might not be enough. You’ll want to find a way to direct light downwards towards the place you’re trying to light, whether that’s a dining table, reading nook, or living area. Shades are a good way to direct light down since they block most, but not all, sideways light, and you can get them for lamps, pendant lights, and chandeliers alike. You can even get shaded semi-flush mount lights like this one.
13) One Sheer Curtain
Suppose you want your open concept living-dining area to feel like a single comprehensive room instead of two rooms sharing the same space. In that case, you can actually get a single curtain rod that extends across both areas like the one in this room. A sheer curtain like the one shown will distribute light and make it feel like a single space lit by a bank of windows. The natural light also makes a room brighter so that it looks more spacious.
14) Wall Sconces
Wall sconces are one of the more frequently overlooked ways to isolate light and frame an area. You can get wall fixtures like these that light a small area so that you can only illuminate the areas you’re going to be using. That way, you don’t waste electricity, and you can create an open impression by lighting the whole room or a cozy feeling by only lighting your little nook. You’ll probably still want an overhead light for the dining table, but wall lights are great for breakfast bars, walk areas, and your living space.
Did any of these ideas help you create the modern, open-concept room you want or mitigate the effects of having to combine two rooms into one? Which suggestions helped the most? Please let us know in the comments below.