Top Ten Secret Kitchen Design Tips - Lighting!

DSCF4158a.jpgDo you think lighting is boring? Do NOT touch that mouse...I promise to totally excite you with these tips, ideas, and whatever, about lighting your kitchen. Here we go... (come on, get ready, settle down!) These are quick, useful, and un-boring ideas, like take-out from the gourmet food store. Maybe not ALL you need to know, but close!

1. Let's talk style! Lighting is jewelry, end of story. Think of it as such. It says something, a big something. Whatever you want it to say, it says it, and says it loudly. Do you want to pick something safe? It will say safe. Do you want style that's "out there"? That's your message. What's the point? Take your fixtures' design SERIOUSLY please...put TIME into choosing your lighting jewelry.

2. Pendants - hang 'em LOW! Low is cozy. Low is dining table-like. Low is cool. If your mother tells you they are too low, you know they're close to perfect, and maybe a little bit lower will do. If your contractor says they're too low, lower them two feet! (I'm joking, no cards and letters please.) :)

And, no, you need not worry as much as you think you need to worry, about the fixtures bumping your head. See? I knew you were thinking that!

Trend-5.jpg3. Pendants - hang 'em HIGH! Some pendants look okay hung high, and they would be wider/bigger/fatter fixtures, please, not the small ones hung high. Please! They will look lost, or worse, insignificant. I can think of lots more adjectives of an unfortunately negative nature for small pendants hung high!





4. Pendants - hang 'em close together! They do not have to be hung 3' apart (yawn) over the island. Put a few close together, especially on a smaller island.  Where you'd normally put 2, put 3 closer together.

5. Does the island have a seating area? Put two different types of fixtures on the island...pendants on the work part, a larger fixture to feature the seated part.

6. Mix your metals, finishes, it with care, I don't want the lighting police banging on your door, but get creative with complementary styles and color.

DSCF4181a.jpg7. Don't forget the dimmers!

8. Recessed lighting - Save the planet and use CFL (flourescent fixtures)

9. Recessed Lighting - There are two schools of thought...the recessed lighting plan is either a) equally spaced in a logical grid type pattern (watch the swiss cheese effect-too many lights) or b) positioned over certain elements without a strict grid pattern. Give thought to which you prefer, keeping in mind if a light is off center close to a featured cabinet, it could look like a mistake. Take care in your planning. Me, I usually look to see what features are important in the kitchen, and sometimes use a particular feature as a starting point and then move off from that, like the hood, for example. Then, of course, get ready to do it all over again once the electrician says, "lady, there's a beam in the way!"

10. Under cabinet (not under counter as it is typically called) lighting - LED lighting is PERFECT for this application. Look it up, and again, save the planet. It is crazily energy efficient!

Bonus #11 - Trusty Wendy, from the comments section reminded me about sconces! Yes, sconces are very wonderful in the kitchen. I have two kitchens at the moment where I brought sconces into the design from the beginning, and an interior designer on the project said "Sconces? I like it!" They are flanking the window in each case, but don't stop there... 

There, wasn't that fun? I had a great time! 


Posted on March 13, 2008 and filed under Kitchen Design Details.