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Kitchens are often called the heart of the home, since there is a special kind of bonding that takes place while cooking and eating food. Because there is so much heart in the kitchen, it's important that this room facilitates the gatherings you want to host. If your kitchen has an island, this space can help define these gatherings, but no kitchen is complete without the proper lighting. We have gathered some of our favorite kitchen island lighting ideas and given some guidance in how to incorporate lights above your kitchen island.
Kitchens are highly used areas, which means that there must be enough lighting to make it a functional space as well as a stylish one. This kitchen relies on three hanging pendant lights over the island, which is ideal for creating a large area that is extremely well lit and practical. Since it is a seating area as well, the lighting not only impacts the practicality of prepping food in that area, but it also sets the proper mood for those eating in the kitchen. As you seek to brighten your kitchen, consider how to disperse lighting across the entire island to create optimal ambiance and functionality.
Modern and traditional styles can be combined to fit into a transitional style. The lighting fixtures above this island fit into a modern aesthetic through the simple structure, ring, and color, but they are also traditional in their overall shape and use of a shade. If you find you enjoy both modern and traditional styles, use your kitchen island lights as an opportunity to blend those aesthetics to fit into a transitional style.
Although this chain light will not have the same brightness as other lights, its soft draping, small crystal lights, and placement enables it to be a beautiful accent for the island. This chandelier can be hung straight downwards or draped as this kitchen chose to do. When looking at lights, consider various mounting and style options to customize how the lights are displayed over your kitchen island.
This kitchen island is designed to have three seats, and regardless of whether those seats are filled all at once, they are well balanced with the two pendant lights before them. If this room had used three fixtures, they would have been perfectly in line with the seats (or close to it). With one central fixture, the middle chair would have gotten far more light than the others. While you do not have to replicate this exact setup, carefully considering the lights' alignment with the chairs will help you strategically furnish and decorate your kitchen island.
Lights with glass bowls, especially ones that look hand blown, are an ideal addition to kitchens where you'd like an extra artistic touch. These sorts of lights come in many shapes and styles, so whether your kitchen is contemporary or traditional, you can find glass pendant lights that are perfectly suited for you.
The two pendant lights in this traditional kitchen are perfectly suited to complement the warm, neutral color palette of the space. However, there is one additional detail that neatly reinforces the room's style: the crossbars at the bottom of the pendant lights' bases. These crossed lines may not be identical to the x's on the backs of the chairs, but this similar structure neatly ties the space together in an unexpected way. You can similarly use the light's shapes and structures to tie back to other furnishings/decor to add a subtle yet effective motif.
Many of the kitchens thus far have featured multiple pendant lights to accent a kitchen island, but that is not the only approach one can take with illuminating the island. A linear pendant light can serve as one central focal point and brighten a larger area because of its design and how the light is cast.
Modern minimalism is a popular style for clean, uncluttered kitchen design. If you are sticking with a white color palette like this kitchen, your lights themselves can be white and still make a stylish statement. Two ways to have them stand out is to have a different shaped light versus the cabinets (so rounded lights versus rigid rectangular cabinets) and a different finish to be matte or glossy.
The designers and craftspeople of Hubbardton Forge are known for the attention they put into each piece as well as employing designers from various crafts to inspire their unique designs. The Amulet LV Mini Pendants showcased here take clear inspiration from jewelry, which creates an aesthetic unlike any other. Most companies have signature aesthetics and specialities, so if you like a fixture from a certain company, consider shopping through their other collections for more of their specific style.
Traditional style lighting puts an emphasis on symmetry and tidiness, which is why this kitchen's lighting and seating arrangement works well. Each chair lines up with a light, and with one light per chair, it creates a very evenly spread space that creates a traditional aesthetic. Consider this approach if you strive to create a traditional style in your kitchen.
Recessed lighting is a great addition to kitchen spaces, since they add necessary task lighting and general lighting. Recessed ceiling lights are extremely simple and straightforward in their design, which means that pairing them with more traditional or ornate island pendant lighting will allow those pendants to shine as beautiful accents.
Modern kitchens tend to utilize sharp, clean lines through the furniture, cabinet detailing, handles, and backsplash. Aside from the accents placed in this kitchen, the lights are the two most prominent aspects that break that mold through round diffusers. Incorporating soft lines and rounded shapes through lighting fixtures is a fantastic way to maintain a kitchen's modern aesthetic and add stand-out island lights.
The metallic finishes on your lights carry great weight in conveying the room's tone and style. The gold finishes on these three pendant lights add a warm metal to the room, but they also tie back to the pulls on the kitchen drawers and cabinets. It is a minor detail, but using similar finishes throughout all the kitchen's metals can help solidify a consistent style.
Double islands are becoming popular for kitchens, since one can be used for food preparations and the other can be focused solely on seating guests. If you have two islands, consider using two sets of lights to highlight each island. Those additional lights will serve to differentiate the two islands from one another and will add practical lighting to both spaces.
If the kitchen's hood is centered on the middle of a wall, then it is ideally placed to be the room's focal point. Therefore, when placing your kitchen island pendant lights, set them carefully so that they don't detract from your decorative hood vent. You may do as this kitchen did and use two pendants on either side of the hood vent, or you can space them out whatever way suits your kitchen's layout.
A large part of bohemian style is being "piecemeal" in the sense that decorative elements are compiled over time and therefore are not one matching set. Modern iterations of boho style increase how often and well things match, but this kitchen keeps some of that eclectic spirit alive by having cabinet pulls that do not match the metal of the pendant lights. While it can be neat to have all the kitchen's fixtures match, having some differing elements here and there can create a natural, authentic style.
In terms of practical kitchen island lighting, pendant lights and chandeliers typically direct focused light downward to create practical task lighting on the island. In addition to that, you can have light cast both upward and downward to provide that functional lighting and create ambiance.
When creating a functional kitchen, it is important to consider lighting in all areas. The three pendant lights above the island do an excellent job of developing the space's ambiance and practicality, but they are complemented by the under-cabinet lighting behind them. Creating a lighting plan for the entire room will allow you to adequately illuminate key areas and use fixtures that complement the room's aesthetic.
With dark cabinets, it is important to incorporate plenty of light into your kitchen if you do not want a moody room. One way to quickly change the kitchen's mood is through a chandelier with warm tones and glass bowls. The glass bowls of this chandelier help spread the light further throughout the space to brighten it, which makes this kitchen feel balanced between the sophisticated dark cabinets and the warm contemporary light.
George Kovacs, designed both furniture and lighting fixtures for the style. This linear chandelier designed by Kovacs uses a distressed koa finish that reflects the wood tones used throughout the middle of the century. However, the lights are not the only element that establish that style: this kitchen's use of backsplash, countertops, and seats all use similar warm wood/metal finishes to create a cohesive style. In minimalist mid century kitchens, using warm tones like these against cold greys can create a masterful display of mid century modern style.
The sculptural nature of Hammerton Studio's Gem Ring Single Tier Chandelier allows it to serve as a functional work of art in more ways than one. The downward cast light is spread across the bottom ring to illuminate a larger area of the kitchen island while the gems reflect subtle light across the area to create ambiance. As you seek your ideal kitchen island light, choose what purposes you would like it to fulfill in order to best illuminate and decorate your kitchen.
In kitchens with high ceilings or ceilings that extend into the home's second level, there is greater potential for including lights that are vertically longer. Incorporating lights such as these will naturally lead the eye upward and draw appreciation for the home's architecture along with the beauty of the unorthodox lighting fixtures.
It has already been established how it is important to choose stylistically similar lighting fixtures to match one another in open concept layouts. If you do not feel comfortable searching and matching lights yourself, you may be able to choose lights from the same collection. Even if the light you love is not part of a collection, you can also look through the rest of that company's fixtures for similar aesthetics and finishes to help you establish a cohesive home.
Kitchen island lights that can be directed to shine in certain directions can help you make the most of your space and add a stylistic flair. These Flos AIM pendant lights give contemporary flair through their draping cables, varying heights and placements, and overarching style. Whether you use these exact lights or not, this kitchen shows the potential with unique lighting layouts and directions.
Kitchen island lighting is an essential part of defining the room's tone and creating a practical workspace. Whether your style is traditional, contemporary, elegant, or another aesthetic, you can choose island lighting that is both functional and beautiful to define your kitchen as a central hub where memories are made.
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