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What does your dream kitchen look like? Maybe it’s equipped with top-of-the-line appliances, butcher block countertops and a timeless tile backsplash. Or perhaps your wish list includes a farmhouse-style sink and intricately handcrafted wood cabinetry. No matter what your tastes, chances are you have specific materials and finishes in mind.
But there is one important detail you may have overlooked, and that’s overhead lighting. After all, without the proper fixtures in place, your dream kitchen may be just another dark room. The following kitchen lighting ideas, trends and top picks will ensure the kitchen of your dreams is illuminated for all to admire.
Your lighting should mirror the room’s personality. Not sure which style or material is the right fit for your kitchen? Consider these current trends before choosing your lighting:
Fun and funky patterns, beautiful curved lines and stained glass, once popular in the 1920s and 30s, are making a big comeback! If you’re a fan of that style, art deco lighting may be right up your alley. Look for opulent fixtures made with art-deco-style materials, including etched glass, gold, acrylic
Think antique copper pots, open shelves made of reclaimed wood and rustic, mismatched drawer pulls – pick up any home magazine or flip on the TV and you’ll see these vintage features and characteristics are wildly popular, especially in the kitchen. For a more vintage look in overhead lighting, opt for simplistic fixtures made with natural, old-world materials, such as wood, glass
The average American adult spends more than four hours per week preparing food in the kitchen – so it’s no surprise that highly functional features, such as deep sinks and butcher block countertops, have never gone out of style. Task lighting (such as pendants and spotlights) and recessed fixtures provide exceptional function, but can still be fun and stylish.
How to Plan Your Lighting
Properly lighting your kitchen isn’t a one-size-fits-all task. Your kitchen’s layout, your personal style and even how much time you spend making food are all important factors when contemplating unique kitchen lighting ideas. Here a few questions to ask yourself before determining which fixturesare right for you:
- Are your ceilings low or high? For standard height (8-10’) or lower ceilings, recessed kitchen ceiling lights are an excellent choice; simplistic pendants, flush-mount, and semi-flush-mount lights work well, too. For vaulted ceilings, consider a beautiful kitchen table chandelier as you would for your dining room, pendant lights, or a combination of recessed and kitchen pendant lights to give your space the right amount of ambient light.
- Where do you spend your time? If you do most of your chopping, peeling and mixing in one place, such as a kitchen island, you’ll want to ensure that location is the most well-lit with task lighting. Pendants are a popular choice for kitchen island lighting; recessed and flush-mount lights are also good choices to illuminate a workspace.
Kitchen Lighting Ideas: Our Top 10 Picks
With a bell-shaped shade reminiscent of an old-fashioned farmhouse, the Goodman by Visual Comfort is the perfect pendant-style pick for adding a touch of vintage elegance to your kitchen. The 24” shade is available in a variety of hand-applied finishes to match your kitchen’s unique style and personality.
These mini pendants can make a major difference in your kitchen, especially when it comes to style. The marriage of metal and glass gives each Hicks Mini Pendant a unique, hand-crafted look, while the dimming feature makes them a functional fit for illuminating kitchen activities any time of day or night.
3. Ani by Mitzi
Meet Ani by Mitzi. This pendant has a unique personality that’s part classic and part contemporary. The creative sculpture-like structure of this fixture comes in several different finishes, including polished nickel, brass and copper. Hang above a breakfast nook or cluster several together as kitchen island lights to make a statement.
The Jasmine pendant by Mitzi conjures up images of a Victorian-era collar – it offers structure and sophistication in addition to its functionality. Choose polished nickel, brass or copper to match your kitchen’s color and style, and consider pairing with a filament-style incandescent bulb for a vintage touch.
Whether your kitchen is a modern mecca or an homage to all things traditional, the Truax by Crystorama can fit right in. This modern fixture is inspired by midcentury style, with a strikingly beautiful, orb-like glass globe. Use the large pendant alone as a chandelier or group several together for a kitchen that truly glows.
Want a fixture that’s as unique as you? There’s nothing ordinary about the Delsey by Elan. It’s bold, it’s dynamic, and with five LED bulbs encased in beautifully twisted glass, it offers plenty of light to illuminate food prep spaces. The champagne gold finish pairs perfectly with sophisticated surfaces, such as white marble countertops.
When is chopping an onion more than just a menial kitchen task? When it’s done under the rich glow of the Lumiere suspension light by Feiss. Perfect for large kitchen islands, this four-light lantern-style fixture is inspired by the aesthetic of the French countryside. The dark weathered oak matches well with dark accents, such as bronze faucets or drawer pulls.
For a unique look, use a foyer lamp, like Hinkley’s Clarendon, to light your kitchen island or bar area. With an elegant and traditional two-tone finish, glass panels and candle-style lights, you’ll truly feel like your home is your castle.
Inspired by the traditional lights that adorn and illuminate seaside docks, Hudson Valley’s Paoli can be best described as “wharf-meets-wow!” The minimalistic design is beautiful, yet sophisticated, making it the perfect fixture for sleek, monochromatic kitchens.
Your vintage-inspired farmhouse kitchen needs the timeless look of Tavern by Quoizel. This fixture features filament-style bulbs, a dark-bronze finish and richly colored rubber wood made from 100% recycled materials. Hang as an accent piece above the sink or eat-in island for cozy restaurant-style ambiance.