The kitchen is one of the most used spaces in the home. Your use of it changes as the stages of your family and life change, so, it makes sense that the aesthetics and functionality of your lighting might also evolve over time.
Who says chandeliers only belong in the dining room or foyer? In 2015 new-builds and remodels, chandeliers are re-emerging in the kitchen to create dramatic focal points. Mini-chandeliers can be priced right with a very contemporary look in a variety of shapes and materials. They fit well in tighter spaces. Even traditional chandeliers, with the more extravagant crystal stylings, can find their place in the right kitchen. Be bold, but, don’t overpower the space. The diameter of the chandelier in inches should not exceed the sum of the width and length of your kitchen in feet. When hanging a chandelier, shoot for 30 to 32 inches above the table or counter surface.
Pendant lights are a great choice for reflecting your style above the kitchen table or over a large island. Some people err on the conservative side, leaning toward small pendant fixtures because they’re safe. If you’re looking to make more of a statement, move up a size or two so the lighting is intentional and makes an impact. If small is more your style, try hanging them in multiples to add interest to your overall design. The sleekness of retro pendants are in, dispensing light from spherical shapes of mirrored glass, gold or a variety of metal finishes. Another popular pendant style is industrial. Industrial pendants are typically a simple mix of milk glass and ceramic or reclaimed metal. Mounting the pendant 30″ above the table or island top is standard. It should be at least 12″ narrower than the width of your table or island.
Recessed light cans are often the go-to for illuminating kitchen work zones. Understated, they never really go out of style, and, they blend well with other types of more decorative and visible fixtures. Although very utilitarian, recessed lights work well with modern kitchen designs when strategically placed. They use 75% less energy than old-school incandescent lights, and last 30 to 40 hours longer. If you have darker areas in the kitchen, recessed lights typically add a nice finishing touch. Place them around the perimeter of the kitchen about 30″ away from the wall and 12” to 15” inches away from cabinetry. To create ambiance, consider installing a dimmer.
What can really set a kitchen off with ambiance are strategically-placed LED lights. Around the perimeter of the room, under-cabinet mounted lighting looks great when illuminating a tile backsplash or any other significant metal or glass kitchen accents. This look is best achieved when purchasing LED in linear strips of 12 or 24 inches. Singular LED disks are also available for dispersing light in tight areas, serving as task lighting for food prep or acting as a night light. LEDs install quickly and easily with clips or magnets, and, can be purchased with motion detectors or a variety of colors. Whether puck, rope or tape, LED offers consistent color quality that doesn’t fade products around it. It’s also very energy efficient, running off electricity or battery.
If you’re ready to change up your kitchen lighting, our KSI design team can help you get your shine on! Depending on the size of your kitchen and height of your ceiling, you may want a single decorative fixture, recessed lighting or a combination of both. Additional interest comes when LED lights spill onto surface tops. Contact KSI today for a consultation on kitchen light design.
Lindsey Collins is a professional designer with over 10 years of experience servicing the Birmingham, MI area. She specializes in delivering best-in-class design concepts to homeowners by blending style and function.