A central island is, without a doubt, the heart of any kitchen. Whether you use it for eating, cooking or washing up, its function and style has a fundamental effect on the overall look and feel of the room, so lighting this star act needs careful planning and consideration.
Pendant lights offer a striking and functional option above an island as they provide practical task lighting, ambient evening lighting and can create visual appeal that will bring the focus to the heart of the space. The size of your kitchen and the island itself will play a key role in the positioning of the lights and how many to choose. You’ll also need to consider the style, size, material and colour that will complement your kitchen design and define your look. Get some useful inspiration from this guide and you’ll be enjoying the atmospheric glow from your new pendants in no time.
Warm and inviting
Metallic copper pendant lights continue to make headlines in homes, and no more so than above kitchen islands where they grab attention and bounce light around.
With an appealing rosy sheen that exudes warmth and sophistication, copper pendants are the perfect accompaniment to contemporary kitchens as they will soften the look of hard edges and add a homely feel.
Natural rustic accents
Being in such a prime position in the centre of the kitchen, pendant lights can be used to show off your quirky design style. Try turning unusual objects into light shades, such as these rooster catchers, and you’ll create an instant talking point.
It’s all in the details
Pendants that mirror another design feature in the room, such as the bar stools around the island, will bring an orderly and considered feel to the space. This balanced look works well in open-plan spaces to clearly define the eating area and separate it from the living zone.
A measured display
A sense of balance can also be achieved when the lights are spaced out at the same distance as the seating, giving each person a dedicated task light. This look will appeal to those who want a neat and streamlined kitchen diner.
To make pendant lights jump out and create a loud statement, choose colours and materials that contrast with the kitchen units. If you have wooden units, high-shine black or chrome pendants will stand out, or if your units are glossy white you could try brightly coloured glass pendants for a bold, confident look.
In pared-back kitchens with minimal design features, colours or textures, you have free reign with lighting and can play around with an assortment of shapes and sizes. Hanging them in a cluster creates impact, as does adjusting their heights. Stick to odd numbers, such as three or five, for more visual appeal.
A party pad
Illuminating the entire length of the island with a large overhead light brings immediate focus to the central space and transforms it into a hub of action. If you are throwing a party, this area becomes the perfect drinks station, particularly if you have space to store glasses on top of the overhead light. Genius!
In the shadows
As most kitchen islands are oblong, pendant lights tend to be hung in a row of two or more to illuminate the length of the benchtop. However, if you have your heart set on a dramatic design that will make a stand-alone statement, don’t be afraid to hang it by itself – it will have just as much impact, particularly if it’s hung off-centre.
A new kitchen can be a huge investment and one that you hope will last many years. So if you’ve chosen a simple kitchen design for its timeless appeal, you can still channel big trends by using accessories to bring in colour and character. Brightly coloured pendant lights are a great way to bring interest to neutral spaces, and the colour can be continued around the room in the bar stools, fruit bowls or storage containers for added effect.
In the clear
The delicate beauty of glass globe pendants will add instant grace and charm to any style of kitchen. The translucent design doesn’t interrupt the flow of light through the room, creating a sense of space that’s ideal for kitchens on the small side.
Size isn’t everything
Even the smallest of islands or peninsular units can have a pendant light or two hung above; the key is finding the right style that’s in proportion to the rest of the space. Stay away from large, oversized lights that will dominate and make the room feel smaller.
With more styles and choices available than ever before, picking the right lighting can feel like a mammoth task. If you want a bang-on-trend look, keep an eye out for lights incorporating materials such as concrete and timber and you’ll add some industrial chic to your kitchen.
Vintage-style glass pendants have an elegant touch that will soften the hard lines and cool surfaces of a modern kitchen. When hung in a large arrangement of differing shapes and heights, the look is brave yet homey and makes the kitchen island even more welcoming to guests.
Out of this world
These playful globe pendant lights take on other-worldly characteristics, with their ghostly glow and liquescent shape, bringing a magical tone to an otherwise plain and simple space. The asymmetrical arrangement also adds to their unique feel and lifts the kitchen’s design status.
Country-style or farmhouse kitchens have a rustic, utilitarian feel, so stick to old-world, industrial looking pendants that will channel the working kitchen vibe and offer plenty of task lighting across the island. Look out for tin, chrome or copper pendants for an authentic touch.
Writer: Louise O’Bryan – Houzz Australia Contributor
Published: 19 June 2016
@Jurds Real Estate – Cessnock and Hunter Valley Wine Country Property Experts – the place to buy, sell and lease property in Cessnock and the Hunter Region.