Lighting Ideas for new Kitchen
July 17, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We just moved into a new home and I am looking for some suggestions!! Considering that the kitchen will be getting the most use, I would like to start here. I believe we are going to stick with the current paint colors, but we are looking for some additional decor ideas. I believe that I would like to start with lighting -- island lighting, one over the sink, recessed cans in the ceiling and then possibly some under/over cabinet lighting (last).

Right now I'm having the biggest trouble deciding on the island lighting, but would appreciate suggestions in all directions!

Thanks so much!
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A Crew of Two
The island lighting needs to be bright enough for tasks, but not so bright you feel like you are under a spotlight. The kitchen is gorgeous. I like the idea of lighting with some black in it for drama. Eclectic Pendant Lighting Small Aspen Iron Ceiling Light Firefly Pendant Lamp
July 17, 2013 at 8:28am     
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Thanks for your feedback, Kelly, as well as your compliments! I really like the idea of some black in there, too. I think that's a great idea. I'm actually really diggin the Firefly Pendant Lamp....just would want to make sure that the pieces were dark enough. One thing I like about those is that since the bulk of the lighting is glass/clear, it doesn't completely block out view through the kitchen.
July 17, 2013 at 8:33am     
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David Waguespack - Case Design/Remodeling Inc.
pantry cabinet to left of fridge, upper cabinets to the ceiling, valance panel over window, larger island with overhang for stools, tile backsplash, undercabinet lighting and pendants over the new island
July 17, 2013 at 8:38am        Thanked by mrbigelow
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Joy Hoover
Yes lighting you definitely need but I got to ask, are you planning on keeping the cabinets and island base as dark as they are? It seems to draw the room in, makes it too dark.... Now this is just my suggestion but I would paint the cabinets and then the island base in a contrasting color to lighten up the space and will also give it the illusion of being bigger. Just a thought... good luck and hope we see the finished outcome :-)
July 17, 2013 at 8:43am     
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the room needs some color! Its so monochromatic. Try Red this one over the table 2 of these over the island and one over the sink
July 17, 2013 at 8:43am   
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David -- Thank you for the suggestions!

Joy -- Yes, we definitely plan on keeping the dark cabinets. I agree that it would probably make the space look a little bit bigger, but we really love the dark color. Its actually not too bad when you're in the space! Thanks so much for the suggestion though!!! :)

njrealtor -- Thanks for the link, I'll check it out!
July 17, 2013 at 8:47am     
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Congrats on your new home. Replace the ceiling fixtures with pendant lighting matching your dining area fixture. Very DIY friendly. Also under cabinet lighting is a must - trust me it'll be your favorite add on. Add some cabinet hardware to coordinate with the appliances and fixtures. What is your decor style, contemporary, traditional, modern? Keep window treatments minimal so they dont cover up the natural light. Don't paint until your new home has settled (about a year). If you can beef up your island top size for additional seating by adding more cabinet bases too - I'd recommend doing it now while they are new and in stock. Enjoy your new home.
July 17, 2013 at 8:57am     
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JAC Design
Definitely needs a complete lighting update. Layer the lighting as well as task lighting is essential in any kitchen. Recessed cans with the proper lighting adjustments and spreads will cover most of the general lighting requirements. Adding additional layers with under cabinet lighting and even some above the cabinets will add additional task lighting and drama to this kitchen. The island does not look that big in scale but adding a couple of decorative fixtures will add to the overall appeal. Be careful of the scale of the fixtures selected. Proper placement of the cans is also a must!
July 17, 2013 at 9:07am     
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Denise Richardson
Great space!! I have a very similar layout and color pallette which we addressed with staggered pendant lights over the island.
July 17, 2013 at 9:16am   
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Try adding a little something to the ceiling?
July 17, 2013 at 9:25am     
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If you drink coffee or tea, the open area left of the fridge would make a great "coffee bar". I am also in agreement with the others about pendent lighting over the bar. Artwork would also bring in some color as well as door/drawer handles
July 17, 2013 at 9:30am     
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I'd also invest in 2 unique and colorful stools - (perhaps with a beautiful upholstery) for the island counter overhang (looks like there is one in the photo). That will add color and block some of the darkness of the island cabinets and add some softness to the kitchen. You can also add some color in the window treatment.
July 17, 2013 at 9:59am     
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I also have a kitchen with black cabinets and appliances at our lake house. The countertops are a fake butcher-block, which I plan to replace with real butcher-block soon. Our floor is a light laminate. The island light fixture is silver, with 4 lights. It coordinates with the breakfast room fixture, which is also milk glass shades.
We put a small black cabinet at the end of the bar, with lots of light baskets. It's where we keep the coffee maker and hot chocolate machine, the supplies fitting in the baskets.
The painter wasn't sure about the black at first, but it is one of the more popular kitchens in his portfolio. And it certainly beats the John Deere green cabinets that previous owners chose.
July 17, 2013 at 10:13am     
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Mari Becker
I'd pick a metal you like for the cabinet pulls/knobs and light fixtures (nickel, chrome or...) and bring some sparkle in with that for starters. Add a 2 stools to island that are a contrast to the dark wood - here's one that adds a lot of style for great price: You've got a great blank canvas to start with and I think just the lighting, knobs, stools will add some interest without even changing the paint and then you can start layering with pretty things on the counters, etc...
July 17, 2013 at 11:43am     
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A Direct Distributor Corp
It's a good start they builder gave you. You can see where he decided to go budget friendly. I would put a pantry to the left of the fridge. It will keep the space for the fridge to open, and give you more food storage. I would research and see if the cabinet company has a bigger molding option while the kitchen is still new. (The wood oxidizes through the years, and if you do this later, the molding will have to catch up in color with the rest of the kitchen). Maybe do a riser board, then a bigger crown to give it a more "grand" look. Definitely some two pendant lights, or a billard light type set up over the island. Maybe even seating if your budget has the room. But this will require a new top (but you can use the exisiting island top on a vanity that they may just have formica on or something). I wouldn't paint until the house settles too. That's when you may occur some cracks. So let them happen, and fix them when you know what color you want to paint the room. You can always take out the 4" backsplash, and put in a stone/glass/mosaic/metal backsplash depending on taste to spruce it up. And of course, hardware..... it's your cabinet's jewlery. :p
July 17, 2013 at 12:48pm     
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need some drama in the center some type of chandelier (I agree black would look good), under and above the cabinets, track lighting above the sink.
July 17, 2013 at 3:10pm   
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My kitchen is similar colors. Add pretty hardware to the cabinents. We had outlets above the cabinets so used a plug-in floursent light, but rope lights work well above and below the cabinets (ours are on wall switches). Use extra large platers, vases and canisters with color/patterns above the cabinets for color and interest. I'd use glass tiles as the back splash all the way to the bottom of the cabinets. Place some stools in front of the island (people love to sit and talk as you cook) and a center piece. I agree with recessed lighting, but if you can't do it, just use pretty pendants and a nice light over the sink - make sure they all coordinate. Have fun decorating!
July 17, 2013 at 3:50pm   
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Logue Designs
With the upper cabinets being so far below the ceiling, there exists a very good opportunity to install over the cabinet lighting that will reflect light off the ceiling for a nice soft lighting effect. LEDs are the way to go these days, and can also be installed with a dimmer to control the amount of soft light you get. Today's LEDs also come in various temperatures to fit the color of lighting you desire.

Not representing them, but check out the Coveline series.
July 17, 2013 at 3:50pm   
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I think the kitchen is beautiful! I have to agree with the pendant lights over the island. Perhaps some adjustable track lighting near the cabinets. Also, I have just installed and have seen in magazines the rope lights tucked under the cabinet bases to illuminate the floor - very soft and dramatic! Also, some lighting on top of the cabinets near the ceiling would add some soft drama too. Last, lights under the cabinets above the countertops are really helpful when preparing food, and are a nice alternative when you don't want all of the brighter lights on. Good luck and keep us posted! p.s. You can add color easily with dishes, towels, table linens, and other accessories including artwork, that are easily changeable and add a big punch!
July 17, 2013 at 5:16pm   
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In my recent kitchen remodel, I added under cabinet LED lighting. The strips have two settings--very bright task lighting and another for a soft lighting. All of the under cabinet lighting can be turned on or off at a wall switch. The energy efficient LED lighting is one of my best design ideas for the kitchen. It makes a bigger difference than I thought it would. It is so nice to have lighting options. I put most of my lighting on dimmer switches to change the mood of the area for various reasons--cooking, entertaining, or a night light for guests who want a midnight snack! Good look with your project. I know you will have a beautiful kitchen that you will enjoy!
July 17, 2013 at 8:05pm   
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If you can afford it, go overboard with your lighting and change the tap to tie in. A few bar stools for the island along the same lines as the lights and taps - pewter and glass?
July 17, 2013 at 11:32pm   
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Your room is off to a great start. I would add a backsplash, whiten the ceiling more for more reflection, add pendants over island, and by all means, spend money on under cabinet lighting and above top cabinet lighting. Use accessories in one bold color theme and keep window treatments simple and clean but in your color scheme. Add pops of metallics too, such as knobs and mercury glass. You also have a lot of room or artwork.
July 18, 2013 at 4:39am   
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I second - or is it third? - the idea of LED lighting. It's usually a bit more $, but they're cold (no heat off them, unlike halogen, ugh), and will outlast all of us. You can buy neat little strips of LED that tack on under your upper cabinets, and they also come in low-profile pucks, and regular suspended fixtures as well.
July 18, 2013 at 1:41pm   
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Is it possible to reorient the island? It may open up the space more....
July 18, 2013 at 1:51pm   
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Breanna Megan Studio
Let me know if you need any custom artwork!
July 18, 2013 at 2:47pm   
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Post an updated picture when you add something love the kitchen!
July 18, 2013 at 4:10pm     
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Ceiling fan!
July 20, 2013 at 10:00am   
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What if you just hung 1 lantern style light over the island? Look at this one that I picked from Lantern & Scroll (you can find them on here or Facebook) They were so helpful to work with. Love the home!
July 21, 2013 at 12:21pm   
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We Got Lites

If your thinking of one fixture in the center of the island, this choice is very popular. It's warm colors and uniquely textured glass will create a cozy atmosphere: Vetraio Oil Rubbed Bronze Kitchen Island Light Toffee Art Glass by Uttermost

Maybe you would also like this best-selling mini pendant: Urban Renewal Bronze Mini Pendant with Seeded Glass Carbon Filament Light

We have many more styles to choose from on our Houzz page or website. Feel free to browse!

Thank you, and good luck!
July 21, 2013 at 3:04pm   
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the essentials inside
I think this would look great above the island.. This is available at our store. We carry a wide variety of pendents also. Free Shipping and no sales tax.

Feel free to contact us at or email me


Legato, Kitchen Island by Uttermost, available at The linear complexity of this design is unique and intriguing, yet somehow very simple with its own quiet elegance. Distressed chestnut brown finish with heavily frosted Scavo glass globes, this collection can move easily from casual thru contemporary, and the classic shape of the Scavo glass softens and relaxes the effect.

Fine Points:
Height: 22 in.
Width: 39 in.
Depth: 10 in.
Shade size: 10 in. Dia x 5 in. H
No. of Lights: 3
Wattage: 100
Voltage: 110V
Weight: 23 lbs.
January 22, 2014 at 4:12pm   
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