Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Country Light Fixture | Dining Area

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Finding a new French Country style light fixture for my dining area to replace an original fixture required searching for just the right style and size. Not to say everyone in all house styles don't search for just the right style and size. But, post and beam houses are beautiful open spaces which challenge designers, builders, subcontractors, and owners to conceal modern wiring, plumbing, and duct work to preserve the beauty of the open posts and beams. 

A gorgeous semi-flush antique gold metal light fixture adds the perfect French Country style.
After several months, I found this gorgeous semi-flush, slightly rustic, antique gold metal light that meets all my needs and wants in a new ceiling fixture. Like many internet ordered items this past year, there was a shipping delay. But the light arrived just in time for installing on the day of a Christmas party to celebrate the holiday season with friends last November 30. 

F R E N C H   C O U N T R Y  


Light fixtures in my post and beam house present two special challenges, wiring and size.  


My post and beam house has no sub flooring between the different floor levels. The ceiling of one room is the underside of the flooring in the room above, with exposed floor joists. Which means electrical wiring, plumbing, and heating/air conditioning duct work are cleverly hidden in the posts, beams, and drop-down furr spaces. 

Ceiling lights are attached to the bottom of ceiling joists in French Country style post and beam house.
This photo from a couple of years ago shows the original ceiling fixture attached to the bottom of a joist above the dining table. If ceiling fixtures were attached to the wood ceiling between the joists, the joists would restrict the light flow. 

Most of the ceiling electrical wiring is concealed in routed out channels in the tops of the floor/ceiling joists with holes drilled through the joists to connect the electrical wiring to light fixtures. Which leads to the second special challenge of ceiling light fixtures in a post and beam house. 


I love the style and design of my custom-cut post and beam house, but there are a few things I would do differently from the original design. One difference is the height of non-vaulted ceiling rooms. We specified 8-foot ceilings in the rooms without vaulted ceilings, thinking the bottom of the floor/ceiling joists would be 8 feet above the floor. Instead, the top of the floor/ceiling joists is 8 feet above the floor. 

Since most joists in the house are 6" in height, the true height of those rooms is 7'6", not 8'. And in some areas, there are major support beams that are 10" in height causing the true height in those areas to be 7'2".  This is a case of inadequate communication between home owners and the post and beam saw mill architect who drew the architectural floor plans for the mill to cut the timbers for the house. 

Therefore, the size of ceiling light fixtures is vastly restricted in those unusual nonstandard ceiling height areas. 

If we had realized the true ceiling heights, we would have specified 9 feet ceiling heights. 

French Country style light fixture is slightly less than 14" in height which is perfect for low ceilings.
The dimensions of the new French Country style light fixture are 14 ⅜" x 14 ⅜" x 13 ⅞", just slightly larger than the original ceiling light. The size is large enough for four light bulbs that give wonderful light, but small enough for the low ceiling height. 

Why replace the original 

ceiling light fixture in the dining area?

French Country style was added to my post and beam house with a new small antique gold open ceiling light.
The old fixture had three arms with light bulbs. The electrical wiring in one of the three arms no longer worked and could not be repaired by the master electrician who works on my house when needed. When he declared the fixture not salvageable, I needed a new light. 

Replacing a ceiling light is an easy way to add French Country style to a dining area.
As usual, when I replace anything in the house now, I look for French Country designs. Replacing the light was another opportunity to add more French Country style. 

Low ceiling French Country style light fixtures can be found by searching for semi-flush ceiling lights.
The challenge is finding a French Country ceiling light for a low ceiling. There are so many beautiful French Country chandeliers and lantern-style lights designed for lofty ceilings found in old French chateaux and farmhouses, but not as many lights for more modest scaled ceiling heights. For anyone searching for a smaller ceiling fixture, search for flush and semi-flush ceiling fixtures. 

A new French Country style ceiling light fills a dining area with beautiful brilliant light.
A photo from this past December shows the ceiling light fixture fills the dining area with beautiful brilliant light and adds French Country style to the low ceiling area. Plus, the antique gold finish goes well with the existing older light fixtures in the adjoining open living room. 

The new French Country style 

ceiling light fixture meets all my requirements.

  • Less than 16" in height 
  • Less than 30" in diameter
  • At least 3 light bulbs 
  • Easy access to replace light bulbs 
  • Metal or wood, not resin 
  • Gold or white colored 
  • French Country style


Internet links quickly become out of date and create problems for broken links on a blog site, which has caused me to think of ways to offer a source list of materials and products used in my post and beam house. 

For links to products used, or considered for use in my home, see my newest Pinterest Board with four sections. More sections for different rooms in the house will be added. 

Guest Half-Bath 
Laundry Room 
French Finesse Bathroom