Create a warm and inviting ambiance with overhead lights on a low dimmer setting, indirect lighting, and candles. If you do not have a rheostat (dimmer) switch in your dining room, install one now.
A dimmer switch on overhead lights in the diningroom is required for dinner parties.
Never use fluorescent lighting, which is extremely unflattering and will make any room feel cold and unwelcoming. This includes your kitchen--use indirect lighting without fluorescent bulbs in the kitchen as you are preparing food.
Use indirect lighting
Install dimmer switches on overhead lights
No fluorescent lights
Use votive candles with dim lighting in the cocktail-hour area. They provide warm indirect light and there is really no limit to how many you can add to a room. Votives are also much safer than regular candles, because the flame is protected by the glass holder.
Depending upon your theme, candlesticks and/or votives are a must for the dinner table. Use these in conjunction with dimmed overhead lighting and other indirect lighting. During dinner the lighting should be soft, but bright enough to see other faces at the table.
Be sure to only use unscented tapers and votives at the dinner table. Scented candles will interfere with the aroma and taste of food.
However, scented candles are suggested
for the cocktail area and bathroom. Be sure to choose the same scent
for all of your candles to avoid competing smells.
Be sure all steps and pathways are well lit, indoors and out. Inspect and add any necessary outdoor lighting for safety. White glow sticks can be used for temporary lighting on walkways.
Use votives in the cocktail-hour area
Use candlesticks and/or votives on the dinner table