Home & Style

Ask a Designer: How Can I Install Lighting Above My Dining Room Table Without Hardwiring?

Here, we bring your home design questions straight to the experts—interior designers.

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Washingtonian’s “Ask a Designer” series takes readers’ home design questions and conundrums directly to the experts—interior designers. Struggling to find the best kid-friendly rug for your mudroom? Looking for a desk to fill an awkward space? Need exterior paint recs? Send your questions to mmontgomery@washingtonian.com and we’ll get them answered. 

“Do you have recommendations for overhead lighting to go above the dining room table in a rental apartment? I can’t hardwire anything.”

We asked DC-area designer Laura Hodges of Laura Hodges Studio for her advice:

“If you can’t hardwire a light fixture into the ceiling, I would suggest hanging a plug-in fixture instead. You can hang these fixtures on a hook in the ceiling and then swag the cord over to the wall that has the outlet.

“With these types of fixtures, make sure you like the cord since you’ll see it prominently. I would suggest looking for a fabric-wrapped cord, if possible, and coordinate the color with your decor. These fixtures will likely be pendants, rather than chandeliers, but there are some good options out there from spots like Color Cord Company and Pottery Barn.”

This response has been edited for clarity.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.