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I was thinking about using those flat, flush w the ceiling recessed lights. I'm not sure what they are called, I think some people call them can lights?
I would like to put maybe 3? over the dining area and then place several over the kitchen. From a distance (think foyer, hall) you wouldn't see any light fixtures of course, but there would be light. Would it look weird to not have a hanging fixture over the dining table? I have shopped all over and I just can't find anything I like, plus I only have 8 ft ceilings, seems like everything is made for taller ceilings nowadays.
I have can lights in my kitchen, with the adjustable "eyeball" so that you can angle them as you wish. They are good for general illumination, and you could certainly put in a center one over your table to 'spotlight' the center, just as a pendant light would do.
I strongly suggest a dimmer for dining room purposes.