For a bit of industrial style in your kitchen, upcycle a light fixture. Designers with McNeal Walker Interiors in Atlanta found the metal fixture at the Atlanta Habitat for Humanity ReStore and repurposed it to fit in their kitchen redo.
“Lighting is so important,” says designer Diane Foreman of Neil Kelly Company. She mentions that undercabinet lighting, faucet lighting and other ambient lighting can boost the overall appearance of a space, like it does in this 2016 National Kitchen + Bath Association Competition winner.
“I use lighting to my advantage in any space to create drama,” she says. The pendants and undercabinet lighting were from Tech Lighting. These pendants were about $300, but beehive-shaped pendants for task lighting above a bar can be found for about $100 from online and home improvement retailers.
When you have a large island, designers often use three pendants to fill the space. A pendant with mercury glass, for example, can add style to any kitchen, no matter whether you’re going for a retro look or an upscale Mediterranean-style beach cottage, like this home in Alys Beach, a coastal Florida community.
This finish is available anywhere from $50 and up through home decor stores and retailers.
Gourd-shaped pendants are a designer favorite for a rustic aesthetic in a new or renovated home. You’ll find them starting at $100, and the finishes range from chrome to mercury glass to beaded. And in this home, they point to a defining element — the rustic ceiling beams.
Instead of the functional but boring can light over the sink, use a mini pendant. This dome light with a clear prismatic glass shade and a bronze finish retails for less than $50.
Most frequently seen over an island workspace, pendant lights are as striking as they are practical. The pair here is “clean, classic and timeless. The brushed nickel finish and clean design of these striking pendants add a ‘wow’ factor, combining the best of form and function,” says Kim Mager, Marketing Director at Hinkley Lighting.
“Adequate wattage of bulbs for pendants, and the number of pendants used, have a direct effect on the quality of the light on the island for food preparation. Take care when placing pendants above an island to avoid them being too close to those seated at the island or too close to the cooktop, if one is installed on an island,” suggests Susan Serra, CKD, CAPS of The Kitchen Designer and President of Bornholm Kitchen.
Photo courtesy of Hinkley Lighting.
For just under $150, these Savoy House Vintage pendants really pack a punch. Designers Cate Dunning and Lathem Gordon of GordonDunning placed the pendants over the island, using them to highlight the pops of color provided by fresh produce.
According to Serra, the dreamiest, most upscale kitchens today are likely to feature some distinguishing elements: “Innovative designs, first and foremost, will clearly differentiate truly fabulous lighting from the rest,” she says.
“Quality materials with quality finishes further differentiate the upscale from the ordinary. In addition, it is often the details the small crystal ball, nickel chain, hand blown glass, luxury fabric, reclaimed wood that clearly communicates quality as well as authenticity.
Chandeliers featuring waterfalls of crystals, pieces of luxury metals, feathers and fabric add both strong texture and luxury to a room. Here clean, modern pendants light the island, while a classic crystal chandelier graces the dining area.
Photo courtesy of Susan Serra.
A gooseneck fixture over the sink fits with the style of a renovated Georgia lake home, designed by Beth Johnson. These vintage-style fixtures are often sold new for less than $100.
Scour home donation centers and nonprofit home decor stores for single pieces that can go into small spots, such as a bar nook. This industrial-style fixture was one of the items that McNeal Walker Interiors found at such a store and repurposed.
Take a cue from the lighting in this coastal kitchen, which combines sleek style with weathered ceiling beams reminiscent of driftwood from the sea. The glass-domed shade on these pendants strikes a fine balance between those modern and rustic elements in this home in Florida’s Alys Beach community.
You’ll find similar pendants priced between $125-$200 at lighting and home decor retailers.
“Upscale kitchen lighting must be beautifully designed. Its form and proportion should be scaled properly to the space. The size of a fixture should not be too small, especially over a table, as luxury often is communicated by size,” recommends Serra.
“The style of a lighting fixture should complement the decor of the kitchen and surrounding rooms. It should also relate, but does not have to match, the finish of other fixtures,” she adds. Here, the clean, warm lines of this kitchen are echoed in the mission-style pendants and matching fixture above the window.
Photo courtesy of Susan Serra.
Bling out an existing or repurposed light fixture by adding crystal garland and gorgeous glass droplets to get the look of a crystal chandelier without the cost. You also could repurpose crystals from another fixture.
Let your love for vintage jars shine. Light fixtures made from Mason jars fit with a vintage, rustic or farmhouse kitchen design. These single pendants made of upcycled jars cost about $125 each, says Atlanta designer Jenn Ryan, owner of Jenn Ryan Designs and Reclaimed Lighting.
Chandeliers made with a trio of Mason jars can also be found for less than $200 through online artisan marketplaces, or you can make a holiday-inspired Mason jar chandelier.
Being thrifty also can help you find fixtures with a history. DIY blogger Dena Stormer snapped up this ceramic light fixture, from a Luby’s cafeteria, for just $40 at a flea market in Texas. All it needed was a gloss white paint to freshen it up.
She made the calendar/diner sign and crafted curtains using vintage chintz fabric.
A globe chandelier adds a geometric element in a kitchen, and often without the high cost of ornate fixtures. This new Allen + Roth fixture was less than $175, and the black finish ties to the Silestone countertops selected by Atlanta stylist and DIY blogger Jo Torrijos.
Patience and timing can pay off when trying to redo a kitchen and also stick to a budget. Elizabeth Lineberry with New River Building Co. in metro Atlanta found round glass pendants priced at two for $289, with 20 percent off at a modern home decor and furniture store.
The simple glass fixtures add subtle visual curves and don’t obscure the shiplap walls and rustic wood vent hood.
The trendiest fixtures today express strong visual design statements. “Lighting that makes a statement is now,” enthuses Serra. “Oversized fixtures make for a bold entrance into the kitchen. Simple shapes, often with heavy textures, vintage styles and Edison-style bulbs are all saying, ‘Look at me!'” Mager shares, “If you want to update your kitchen lighting, think about adding one of the hottest trends in lighting design: a linear chandelier.
Not only will it provide more light, it adds a dramatic and stylish focal point to the room, immediately upgrading the overall design and elegance of the room.” Photo courtesy of Hinkley Lighting.
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“The use of accent lighting is all about atmosphere, and the kitchen can and should have the ability to communicate a feeling to family, friends and guests, just as other rooms do,” Serra says. “Accent lighting is used best when it is designed to feature specific areas of detail, whether architectural elements, artwork or decorative areas in the kitchen.
” This dramatic, domed ceiling glows with accent lights that highlight the architecture, the hand-painted floral detail and the grand chandelier. “The color of the bulb, spread and intensity [of the lighting] will create dramatic or soft shadow effects and add dimension to the areas the light is focused on,” Serra elaborates.
Photo courtesy of Susan Serra.
“I really love dining chandeliers,” says Serra, and we agree! Here, two glittering mini chandeliers add a luxe feel to a bright, beautiful kitchen. Mager adds, “Kitchen lighting has definitely evolved beyond the typical flush-mount application (one large overhead fixture flush against the ceiling).
Chandeliers were installed only in dining rooms or large foyers, but [today] in high-end, luxurious kitchens, chandeliers are right at home.” Photo courtesy of Susan Serra.
These glass Kichler Everly pendants boast a gentle curve and a filament bulb for a vintage twist. The pendants can be found online from multiple retailers for less than $150. This kitchen is designed by Cate Dunning and Lathem Gordon of Atlanta-based GordonDunning.
A vintage-industrial fixture like this one creates a sleek yet cozy silhouette. You can find these one-light pendants for around $200 each from online and home decor stores, in polished and oil rubbed finishes, from chrome to bronze.
To get a designer look on a budget, Atlanta designer Jessica Murphy of Her Cave Atlanta says she loves the prices and variety of lighting fixtures offered at home improvement stores. “They literally have a thousand choices online.
You can order something and if you don’t like it, you can take it back in the store, so that’s a really great feature for lighting and mirrors,” she says. These orb lights from Home Decorators Collection were under $50.
These pendant lights were $90 from Joss and Main, which designer Nancy Keenan of Harris Park Homes often goes to for stylish budget pieces. The streamlined shape of the glass shades are timeless, she says.
Illuminate key sections of a peninsula or island by using stylish lamps normally reserved for other parts of the home. Atlanta designer Jo Torrijos selected white table lamps from a national home goods retail chain for the renovated kitchen in her modernized Craftsman bungalow.
Create a trio of colorful pendants to illuminate a small island or kitchen table. Reuse paint cans as the base and then wrap them in oak veneer, in this low-budget DIY project that Lowe’s says beginners can do in a few hours.
Change the look of existing pendants or garage sale finds with interchangeable shades, says Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson, architect and designer with Terracotta Design Build in Atlanta. You can alter the room’s design style and add color with this simple change.
Here, textured glass shades catch the eye and soften the light over the kitchen island.
A drum pendant with a shade offers affordable elegance, no matter your style, above an island or kitchen table. The filter on the bottom hides the bulbs and creates a soft glow, says interior designer Michelle Mentzer.
You can find drum pendants with solid or patterned linen shades often starting at $125.
Industrial lights are becoming more popular in styles and designs, which is bringing down the price point for new fixtures. “If you use authentic industrial lighting, it was meant to hang in a factory.
So you can find an old vintage light a lot of time and get it for a good deal,” says Stephanie Andrews, a designer for an Atlanta-based company, Balance Design.
From the fixtures to installation, get inspired with these clever and functional kitchen lighting ideas.
These pendant lights are a classic look that won’t go out of style too quickly. “You have to be careful with something that most people feel like is a pretty permanent addition,” says Atlanta designer and builder Nancy Keenan.
Similar lights with a schoolhouse look and a white opal glass shade can be found at home improvement stores for under $70.
“Layered lighting can be used to supplement the intensity of light or to overlap fields of light, creating interesting shadows and manipulating the dimension of areas the light is directed toward,” explains Serra.
“Lighting, when layered, can add a wonderful dimension of shadows and color to feature and enhance natural characteristics of woods, stones and metals. In many kitchen designs, a focal point is a prominent feature of the space and lighting can immediately focus attention to one or more special areas to guide the eye into the design.
” Here, recessed lighting, accent lighting, over-counter task lighting and pendants work together for a welcoming, warm result. Photo courtesy of Susan Serra.
When it comes choosing light fixtures for a dream kitchen, some “rules” are made to be broken. “I do believe that any style of lighting has a place in the kitchen,” Serra says, “whether in a fabulous breakfast room or in the center of a kitchen work area.
” “These contemporary pendants are actually made for outdoor use,” reveals Mager, “but they are so modern and chic, they look just as fabulous inside. The seeded glass and minimalist, stem-hung design adds an urban edge while providing excellent task lighting that reduces eye strain while preparing a meal or doing homework at a kitchen island.
” Photo courtesy of Hinkley Lighting.
“Layering light is a technique that is often used in dining rooms or living rooms but, until recently, wasn’t utilized in the kitchen,” says Mager. “Now kitchens have become the hub of the home, being used for socializing, eating and entertaining, as well as homework stations or home offices.
” “Layering light is the best way to provide task as well as ambient lighting,” advises Mager, “striking just the right balance between function and mood.” This farmhouse-style kitchen includes a pared-down chandelier and matching sconces to “complete a cohesive, stylish environment where you want to spend time, regardless of whether it’s for relaxation or entertaining,” according to Mager.
Photo courtesy of Hinkley Lighting.
“Sconces with silk or linen shades on either side of a window over the sink in a formal kitchen provides an elegant look, especially [since they] are an unexpected lighting solution for a kitchen. Wall sconces bring the ‘living room’ feeling into the kitchen and serve well as mood lighting.
” The sconces shown here are so understated, yet they really add an impressive design [element] to the kitchen, making it not only functional but stylish,” says Mager. “The brushed-nickel finish, white fabric hard-back shade and clear-glass casing on the finials make an unexpected statement of luxury, subtly injecting a dose of traditional style into the contemporary, clean lines of this contemporary kitchen.
” Photo courtesy of Hinkley Lighting.
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“Hand blown glass is popular, as its wonderful imperfections and artisan elements add warmth to any kitchen,” says Serra. The gorgeous cobalt glass pendants here add a pop of color and unique appeal to a contemporary setting.
“Natural materials in lighting fixtures such as reclaimed wood and distressed metals also add that authentic element we crave. Imperfections are desired and coveted…in context, of course!” Serra says.
A side note on pendant fixtures, Serra adds, “I love layered pendant lighting groupings of pendants set at different heights, creating a singular form. I also like multiple pendants placed close together, say, four to six across an island.
It is simple yet makes a strong design statement.” Photo courtesy of Susan Serra.
Change up your room with an industrial light fixture, but in a color that doesn’t seem too harsh. These metal pendant shades, which are under $80, come in a spa blue selected by Wendy Durnwald, Georgia DIY and home decor blogger.
She saved even more by finding the vintage-like fixture at the Ballard Designs outlet.