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Option to NOT have pendants over island

blublublubly
3 years ago
Confused now

Our designer has said that if we want to just have pot lights over the island and not have pendants that it would look good. She said pendants are sometimes annoying, have glare right in the eye when sitting there and for a tall person a sitting at the island might be obtrusive. She also said if there were pendants we love to go for it but watch for glare and that they don’t impede the people sitting at the island.

The lighting store guy said we needed a pot light over the island and two pendants on a separate switch.

Do folks on this sight have advice? Same experience?

Comments (84)

  • Nira Juso
    3 years ago
    Wondering what OP blublublubly went with....I really enjoy the before & afters. Try myself to come back and update.
  • emlouhall
    3 years ago

    mequonremodel lovely kitchen!

  • emlouhall
    3 years ago

    @boxerpal do you have a store like Rejuvenation in your area (not sure if it's just a PNW store) but they have tons of pendant lights to select from, going to a store where they have them hanging is super helpful, plus their designers can help you decide what you need/want if you bring in your kitchen layout/design-which would save you money rather than having a lighting consultant. Just a thought, you may have already done all of this. My island is small, 3x5ft and our kitchen doesn't open up to a family room like yours, if it's a big space go for pendants, ours isn't and it faces the main window, so we didn't. My husband is 6'5 and hates anything hanging, but his sister is 6ft and loves her peninsula pendants, so it's just a personal preference. There are so many affordable options these days, you don't have to get designer pendants if your budget doesn't allow for it. Wayfair and Birchlane are great options, and reviewers usually post pictures of their lights hung-so you can see a real life image of it in someone's space. We got our dining light from Hinkley Lighting, delivery was quick, pricey but not too bad, and it appears to be awesome quality (haven't hung it yet). I don't think you can go wrong, and if you're not sure, don't get anything and live with it to see. Can you do 4" cans so you can swap out later, rather than minis?

  • Boxerpal
    3 years ago

    Emlouhall,

    Thank you. You are so kind. I love the the idea of putting in 4 inch cans and changing later.. But before I do that I just love your idea of going to lighting stores with my plans and getting advice in person. I have been searching on Wayfair, Pottery barn, restoration hardware, Ballard designs (not sure I like them) Lighting websites and even Ikea. I must check out Hinkley lighting! Thanks for that tip. In my town we have several electrical supply lighting stores along with a Circa lighting that might be helpful. I still need to talk with my KD who is mostly about the cabinets etc... But she has offered to help me in the way of lighting, window coverings etc..

    I made the decision to do pendants so it is just a matter of finding the best one for my style.

    Thanks again

    ~boxer


  • emlouhall
    3 years ago

    @boxer-good for you, pendants are a gorgeous feature that not all of us can make work in our kitchen! Do check out Hinkley, when we were planning on a bigger remodel (bumping out back of house, huuuge island) I was going to do these pendants from Young House Love, on shades of light (check them out too) https://www.shadesoflight.com/products/young-house-love-metal-convertible-pendant

    alas we decided to work within our current footprint, so smaller island.

  • Boxerpal
    3 years ago

    Thank you Emlouhall. I am currently in counter chaos... Maybe you could help me? I need ideas opinions and suggestions. See this other link. Just need to figure out which stone. But ongoing thinking about pendants.

    https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/5228989/lets-share-some-progress-and-positivity#22016288


    Pendants... Here are a few I think are dreamy...


    Ginger, 6 Light, 2-Tier, Chandelier With Satin White Glass · More Info

    Lucent Pendant No. 302b, Blue Glass Shade, Brushed Nickel Hardware · More Info

    3 Light Standard Bulb Large Pendant in Polished Nickel · More Info

    3-Light Sphere Pendant, Burnished Silver · More Info

    Chandelier 5 Lights With Polished Nickel White Linen Steel 24" · More Info



    Thanks again for all your help.

  • emlouhall
    3 years ago

    @boxer...in looking at your counter selections, I would go with a pendant that isn't too busy and doesn't compete for attention, but still adds to the design element. From the options above, the lucent pendant would do just that, unique enough but not too ornate. The sphere pendant could look nice and unique as well, I'd have to see a picture of the space to know if round is the way to go-I think you're in the right realm by going with brushed or polished nickel for sure though, love that!

  • LJK
    3 years ago
    The first photo is the kitchen/dining area before pendants-the chandelier is in the dining area. The pendants were placed too close together, we are debating having skipping the pendants vs positioning the pendants further apart... leaning toward skipping pendants and adding recessed lights above the island instead. With this open layout I’m concerned pendants are distracting when looking to the kitchen with the chandelier and hood all in the same visual plane. Input is appreciated! (Unfortunately don’t have a photo showing both chandelier and pendants)
  • chocolatebunny123
    3 years ago

    LJK - I like the idea of removing the pendants as you're right - there's too much in the same sight line.

  • PRO
    Galilee Lighting
    3 years ago

    You can go for a centered chandelier but not a clear glass one, to avoid the glare.

    CONTEMPORARY WHITE GLASS CHANDELIER, LIGHT CUBES ART GLASS CHANDELIER by GALILEE · More Info

    Elegant chandelier - by GalileeLighting · More Info

    Galilee Lighting · More Info

    Hand crafted lighting in a modern farmhouse kitchen by Galilee lighting · More Info

  • FlannelGuyDIY
    3 years ago

    Sometimes pendants do not provide sufficient lighting or they are pinpointed and not spread out over the entire island evenly. In some of the pictures provided by others above, the pendants are hanging from ceilings that are higher than 8 feet and the fixtures themselves are a lot higher than what you would find in a traditional kitchen with an 8 foot ceiling. That makes a huge difference.

    Flannel Guy DIY - Youtube

  • Carolyn K
    3 years ago

    We just renovated our kitchen and installed a 10 foot island. No pendants, just recessed 3" LEDs above the island and around the perimeter. There's plenty of light. I urge you to consult a lighting designer to place your cans. It was well worth it.

  • PRO
    Renov8or
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    This discussion has been so helpful. I'm a minimalist at heart and I think that's why I'm not falling in love with any of the pendants I see. I live in a NYC apartment where we're removing a wall between the cramped galley kitchen and the living room. The room definitely needs light, especially in the area by the island, so I want good task lighting.



    However, when I'm relaxing on my sofa I don't want to feel like I live in a kitchen. I've gone minimal all the way, with integrated appliances where possible.

    I do love these canned lights, but I haven't seen them used over an island:



    Is the rule of 3s a hard and fast rule?



    Wouldn't four look better? The island is 9 feet.



  • Boxerpal
    2 years ago

    Renov8or,

    I hear ya sistah.. I am not doing Pendants. It was a hard choice but in the end I wanted my backsplash to be the art in my kitchen. I chose to g without so that my backsplash could be the star of the show without anything blocking the view. These were my inspiration photos. Maybe they can help you on your decision process.

    ~boxer


    Ladyhill 50th Anniversary · More Info

    This one had tiny pendants that backsplash as the star.

    Futuristic Interior for a Malahide New Build by Suzie McAdam · More Info


    Westover Hill Renovation · More Info

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    another beautiful slab backsplash that is the star of the room
    North York Condo · More Info

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  • PRO
    Renov8or
    2 years ago

    Boxer, thanks for these no-pendant island photos. The sleekness of these islands really appeals to me. As does letting my marble backsplash be the showpiece. The lights I'm ordering have stems that can be trimmed to whatever length I want. I'm now strongly considering very short stems.







  • Boxerpal
    2 years ago

    Ohhh that looks excellent. I am loving that marble slab backsplash, (I am a huge fan) and the sleek MidMod pendants are perfect for a effortless and clean look. Love it!

    Here is a tiny peek of my slab backsplash. Wait.. you probably saw this on the progress link.

    This hood below was too ornate for me but I only had a few options in my price range. Had to stay in budget.


    What kind of cabinets are your doing? I did Shaker because Darling husband loves Shaker. But I really like the walnut slab look for a clean mod feel.

    this one has pendants.. Very pretty and discreet sort of like the ones you are thinking of.

    Russian Hill - John Maniscalco Architecture · More Info

  • PRO
    Renov8or
    2 years ago

    Boxer, I can't look at your marble enough - I'm sure you feel the same!

  • Boxerpal
    2 years ago

    Renov8or, Thank you, You are too kind. And you will be in my shoes one day too. It took me months to find the right stone. I am glad I stuck it out.

  • Nira Juso
    2 years ago
    Reno8tor, what phase are yiy in?? In regards to the rule if 3s, I firmly believe it isn't so. Also I remember seing 4 pendant over island at the eco chic remodeled McD's, surely they've spent hefty sums on their sophisticated interior design. I enjoy taking my babies for early breakfast when there is no crowd, does that count as minimal? Ha! Light is always a huge factor. The countertops and paint will play a role too. I will share here my very 1st inspiration pic. Our home was a complete remodel (due to a hurricane) which took over 7 grueling months. I acquired lots more inspiration pics over time, enough to make a woman mad! (And cry) Hard to decide, and was always second guessing myself (you can bet hubby loved that....). In the end I decided against pendants. Not to say that cant change, but I am enjoying the open feel. Flush mount lights on ceiling are awesome.
  • Boxerpal
    2 years ago

    I ended up going without any pendants and I love the look. I have can lights..

  • Nira Juso
    2 years ago
    sorry for the blur. here are some before and after pics. I remember seeing and feeling no end in sight.
  • Nira Juso
    2 years ago
    Towards the end, a slight change as far as island color. My contractor wasn't happy but we are. That's all that matters :)

    Good luck throughout your process. Do share!
  • PRO
    Renov8or
    2 years ago

    Nira Juso, what a beautiful kitchen! Thank you for sharing your photos. (And I agree on your last minute change of color — it's stunning.

  • Nira Juso
    2 years ago
    Thank you. There are still details to take care of. I find that redesigning makes OCD acute, lol!
  • pe1970bar
    2 years ago

    I have 2 recessed lights over 5 ft island that are not centered- can I still put pendants? They would not be evenly spaced but not by much.

  • amyrmk
    2 years ago

    I am remodeling our beachfront home. I have a white 8x4 island in an all white kitchen. The island counter stools will look out through the 20x15 DR straight out to the beach. Thoughts os pendant lighting in my situation. Oh, and we a very short family.

  • J J
    2 years ago
    Nice work!
  • Jenn B
    last year

    I consulted with a professional designer on our lighting when we built our new house this year. She highly suggested putting in two large pendants over the island. They were clear/water glass, very large and beautiful. But you know what? Not our style. They competed with the large rustic chandelier in our adjacent gathering room and the large living room ceiling fan (all open to eachother). Too many LARGE features. We went completely out of character and put in 4 (YES...I said 4!) beautiful water glass teardrop simple pendants over our 110" island. I don't care what anyone says, as I think they look interesting and elegant. Going with no pendants can also look very nice in some homes, but I need a lot of light over my island for cooking and baking. Nothing is worse than a dim kitchen. We also have 7 recessed lights in the kitchen. The cans and pendants are each on separate dimmers. I love having all the options to work/play/create a mood. Bottom line - there is no right or wrong. Everyone has their own style and you do what works for you!

  • blublublubly
    Original Author
    last year

    We went with pot lights over the island and no pendants. It looks great, nothing wrecking the sight line and no glare in the eye.

    My designer suggested hanging a piece of string from the ceiling with a ball of tape on the end where the pendant lights would go. Sit there to see if the ball irritates you, is in the way of if you think gate will bug you.

  • M
    last year

    I keep reading that people mention glare, and I don't get it -- until I look at the choice of pendants in some of the pictures. Yeah, that's a problem. Tiny, small light source, and clear glass enclosure. None of those are great ideas for a functional pendant.

    You should pick something that diffuses the light nicely, then glare is a complete non-issue.

    The following is not a kitchen, but it should give you a good idea for the type of pendant that doesn't cause glare:

    And yes, an appropriately chosen pendant can work beautifully and structure the room. It also can provide very nice soft light just where you need it. I am glad we installed pendants over our island. Besides, with exposed beams, there really was a choice of having recessed lights.

    But it all depends on the overall design of the room. As the examples in this thread show, there are situations where things work better without the pendants.

    I don't think a hard-and-fast rule really works. That just makes things look cookie cutter and poorly designed. Everybody should do what works best for their particular space. I echo the suggestion of hiring a specialist who actually understands lighting and who understands the rather dysfunctional lighting industry. There are plenty of awesome fixtures out there, but they are not necessarily well-advertised.

  • Aaron Levey
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Would love some help designing the light placement in my remodel. I'm pretty sure I'm not doing pendants as the 120"x54" island will have a sedna granite multi-color and lots of movement... I want that to be the focal.


    Can anyone help give specific advice on where to put in the 4" 5000k 650 lumen LED recessed lights? Kitchen is 26 ft wide X 11 foot deep, opens into 19 ft wide X 16 ft deep Living Room


    thx for the help!


  • M
    last year

    5000K is an unusually high color temperature for a residential space. I don't think I would really go much higher than 3500K. Anything bluer than that, and it'll look like an office instead of a home.


    I don't think the right type of pendant would detract from your island. But I also think that recessed lights would work, if you prefer that. Talk to your electrician, architect, or general contractor. They should all have the required experience to know how densely to pack the cans for even lighting.


    Just make sure to avoid harsh shadows by keeping sufficient distance from walls or cabinets. And put the lights on a dimmer, so if you end up installing too many (e.g. in order to get even light distribution) then you can always turn down light output.


    I'd opt for smaller-diameter cans and then install a larger number. Maybe 9 or even 12 cans in that space?

  • blublublubly
    Original Author
    last year

    Get someone to come to you house to figure out your lighting plan.

    Use dimmer switches when you can.

    Be sure to get under cabinet lights.

  • Aaron Levey
    last year
    last modified: last year


    I updated the design with my first draft of the light placement.

    If anyone has suggestions for placement of 4" lights please let me know, I'd really appreciate it!

    @M ... I am the 'designer', which is why I'm asking for help with layout. I definitely ~12 lights but the locations is what I'm hoping someone can help with. For the past 3 years I've used 5000k lights (on dimmers) in my entire house and love it. I do not like yellow light. The lights I'm choosing can change color temp if I ever change my mind.

  • likestonehomes
    9 months ago

    Reviving this thread, it is so very helpful. I truly thought pendants were an absolute necessity. However, I have now decided to forego pendants In our kitchen remodel, with 17’ high ceilings.

  • Aaron Levey
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    In November we put in a 120"x54" sedna granite island. Tons of color and pattern variations. I put in three 2" 5000k spot lights instead of pendants. It is awesome. Everyone comments on how it makes the island the centerpiece when on. And no annoying pendants to mess up the openness, knock into, or glare in the eyes.

    I interviewed a bunch of designers... They were all unimaginative. Putting in white cabinets and granite is boring and bland...they were all scared when I didn't want what Pottery Barn "easy. I designed everything myself and even the installers say it looks like places they see in houses costing three times what mine does... And I paid half as much as I would hiring a designer.


    Here's some different angles and lighting. Yes, there are RGBW LEDs under the island apron. I can make it whatever color I want.








  • Boxerpal
    9 months ago

    I totally agree that going without Pendants is a great option.


    Aaron can you post your space? Would love to see what others have done..

    Here is ours.



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  • Lisa Dipiro
    9 months ago

    No pendants. My hubby is ) feet tall and we have friends taller
    They get in the way from
    seeing each other’s faces — I am only 5 feet sooo no pendant just
    Pot lights. And I’m the kitchen I look left
    And they the living room to
    The lake view.... I did grapple
    With this decision too

  • Aaron Levey
    9 months ago

    @Boxerpal


    I posted them in my message above.

  • Boxerpal
    9 months ago

    oh silly me. Aaron you did... I love your island and that countertop is divine.

  • Michele Lieb
    7 months ago

    Hi everyone ! Love this thread. We have 8’ ceilings, 108” island. Wondering .. pendants or no? If yes, I’d only want 2 but not sure my diameter. TIA

  • Alma Vaughan
    6 months ago

    I'm so glad I'm not alone in this. We are remodeling a house we just brought in the country. and I opted out of pendants. Most pictures you see have them. But I just felt they would be in the way. Our house in the city had tall ceiling so yeah I can use them. But this house doesn't have TALL ceiling and I would just find them annoying. I mean sure they are pretty but this is not the kitchen for it.

  • Melanie Schlachter
    last month

    I am just joining this thread. We are working on a new build. I am also leaning no pendants, since it throws off the symmetry (sink is slightly off-center in island). Rather, plenty of recessed can lights in the ceiling, sconces over windows, and under cabinet lighting. We will have a statement chandelier in the adjacent dining space.


  • Jennifer C
    last month

    Wow, Melanie Schlachter, I really love your kitchen design. I have a similar kitchen but will be doing open shelving and sconces on either side of the hood as I don’t have windows. I would stick with no pendants as it would throw the symmetry around the hood/sink off. I plan to do the same. Beautiful!

  • hellonasty
    24 days ago

    Same boat as Melanie. New build. Planning for no pendants over island. Island is off center to Range/Hood in open concept that will have other chandeliers and pendant light nearby (dining room and kitchen nook tables). Don't want more pendants in the way cluttering the space up, and framing out the asymmetrical kitchen layout. Would like a sconce over window and will have one if there is room above the transom.

  • Jess
    17 days ago

    We just wrote a blog post ALL about our decision like this, along with photos of how it looks with no pendants! Felt so rebellious! :)


    https://www.thebrainandthebrawn.com/kitchen-island-without-pendant-lighting/


    Hope it helps! :)

    Jess


  • hellonasty
    6 days ago

    Jess, Love it! I think you definitely made the right choice to omit the island pendants! We are still leaning toward no island pendants as well. I already said this above, but, there will be a breakfast nook at the end of the island and a dining table along the front side... and I want a big George Nelson bubble saucer light probably over the dining table and something else hanging above the nook table. I think that'll be enough hanging lights in that open room! I also don't want to take away from the view out the windows in the nook. Who knows, we may change our minds, but my husband says he will support my "No island pendants" choice if that is what I want. I will come back and post a pic of what we finally end up going with!



  • Chessie
    6 days ago

    Glad to see this post. I have never really loved the whole pendants over the island craze. To me they were distracting and just made the space look cluttered somehow.

  • dmac1108
    6 days ago

    I am so glad that this post is still circulating around here! I have an odd shaped island due to having one kitchen wall that is on an angle. I’ve been struggling with the size/shape/number/placement of pendants over my island - now I’m thinking that maybe I shouldn’t do any pendants at all. Definitely makes my dilemma easier to solve (and less expensive!)


    @Boxerpal - I absolutely love your kitchen! Your marble is gorgeous!


    There are so many beautiful kitchens on here - I can’t wait to get started on my renovation. I just need to get my two bathrooms finished!

  • Angie Gardener
    6 days ago

    I don't have pendants in my kitchen because I don't want to have to clean them lol! Every time I see these glass pendants hanging in kitchens I think of the grime :D