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Blue Wren

@Kaaren Baumgartner - I'm not sick of subway tiles, I love them. What ruins it for me is contrasting grout. Light tiles with dark grout reminds me of public toilets. It's awful and really doesn't enhance anything.

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Thanks to Laura for this contribution on pairing pendants and counter stools, both of which are relatively recent elements in a kitchen redesign and are now considered critical to the look of a new kitchen - neither had much place before the trend to open-plan kitchens.

I agree with some readers that some choices seem more for appearance than practicality. However, pendant lights over an island or peninsula play an important role in visually separating the kitchen from adjacent spaces, as well as providing lighting options to suit different uses of spaces open to each other. (Turning off overhead lighting and dimming pendants can really change the look of a kitchen).

And the same goes for stools - even if you don't plan to eat meals at a kitchen counter, one or more stools suggest a multi-use space and can offer options to integrate the kitchen with adjacent spaces. (For example, stools that complement a dining setting might work well for a place to serve drinks.)

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Kaaren Baumgartner
Pendants defining space, yes.
But do remember lighting can be zoned in a kitchen, and that recessed overhead lighting can also be dimmed.
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