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Five Signs Your Kitchen Lighting is All Wrong


Bright natural skylight white kitchen

Ah, lighting. Chances are, the current lighting in your kitchen isn’t doing anyone any favors.

Great lighting is one of the most elusive, yet rewarding goals of home design. Natural light is my favorite (hello, skylight!), but every space also needs a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to fully come together. In fact, a single space can actually require anywhere from six to fifteen sources of light.

Here are five common mistakes of kitchen lighting and some inspiration to turn them around:

1. Insufficient above-sink lighting

Above sink lighting kitchen design with metallic backsplashDoing the dishes is dirty work; you need excellent lighting to catch all the grease stuck on pots, pans, and plates. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a big window by your sink, you’ll need plenty of task lighting for after-dinner cleanup when the sun goes down. We love how the industrial pendants above are all hung at slightly different heights for an imperfect yet stylish and practical lighting solution. And that gorgeous metallic tile backsplash, though. Swoon.

2. Above-island lighting hung too high/low

White kitchen and copper above island pendant lighting
Pendant lighting is a great way to accentuate your kitchen island as the centerpoint of the room. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of hanging lighting at the wrong height. I like mine 33″-34″ inches above the countertop which is high enough not to bump your head but close enough that the light is still focused and not dispersed. Above, the surrounding monochromatic white cabinets and countertops provide a crisp backdrop to the stunning wood island and bright copper light fixtures.

3. Forgetting to light your dining table

Statement hanging globe dining table pendant in industrial kitchen with wood accents
Just because you have an eat-in kitchen doesn’t mean that the table doesn’t deserve dedicated lighting. Besides being functional, lighting fixtures serve to break up one large room into different purposes. Choosing a beautiful conversation piece such as the beautiful globe chandelier above provides soft ambient light while drawing the eye to the gathering place of the room.

4. The absence of accent lighting

Under cabinet display accent lighting with coffee bar kitchen
Imagine your kitchen as a museum. Your fruit bowl display is like a still life painting that needs a spotlight; your custom marble countertop deserves to shine. Warm, recessed under-cabinet lighting does the trick. If we had that super cute at-home coffee bar, we’d want to draw attention to it too.

5. Blue-ish, fluorescent lighting

Warm toned industrial over counter pendant lights in grey blue kitchen with brass fixtures and herringbone flooring
With all the stainless steel appliances in most kitchens, blue or fluorescent lighting can make the space look even colder and uninviting. In the photo above, the soft glow of these directional lamps offsets the cool blue tones of the cabinets and flooring. Choose a warm-hued bulb installed on a dimmer switch so you can always adjust the atmosphere of your space according to activity.

We’re curious to hear your thoughts…are you making the most of your kitchen with proper lighting?

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