Traditionally, dining areas are full of big, beautiful lighting fixtures – dining rooms often include a chandelier centered over the table, and even breakfast nooks or big standalone tables often have their own dedicated lighting fixtures. But if you happen to have a kitchen that’s on the smaller side (or a ceiling that’s on the lower side) a three tier chandelier probably isn’t in the cards. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for pure utility, either. Modern pendant lights offer a more contemporary style in a slightly more compact package that can really make your kitchen shine.
A Better Option For A Contemporary Kitchen
It seems like there are fewer and fewer circumstances where a genuine antique style chandelier is an appropriate decor choice. Sure, they exist – especially for big, old houses (or elegant bathrooms), but if you have an average contemporary kitchen, a crystal chandelier probably doesn’t fit the vibe. Instead, look for a smaller, more modest modern pendant light like this Tribeca Pendant from ELK Lighting. It’s elegant and eye catching, but won’t totally dominate your dining space, and adds a more contemporary sense of sophistication.
Shop Pendants by Elk Lighting:
Pendants Show Personality
Even better, contemporary lighting fixtures – especially pendant lights – don’t always adhere to the same strict style guidelines that more traditional chandeliers do. That means you don’t have to have a candle flame and tiers of cast brass arms. In fact, modern pendant lights give you a whole lot of room to find a stylish design that fits your own personality. This Dione Pendant is simple but unconventional, with a slightly feminine style that will soften the edges of your design. Far from just producing light, fixtures like this one are a great way to show off your own personal style.
Twist On A Classic Style
Of course, getting a more contemporary style doesn’t necessarily mean you have to dismiss the classic chandelier form entirely. In fact, many modern pendant lights and compact chandeliers take on the classic multi-armed chandelier style, but with a little bit of a modern twist. I particularly like this minimalist Richmond Light from Landmark Lighting, with its thin, elegant arms, simple cloth shades, and an unostentatious design – a perfect combination of traditional sophistication and sleek contemporary design.
Shop Pendants by Landmark Lighting:
Works Great In A Small Space
As I mentioned before, dining spaces are moving from formal, separate dining rooms and becoming a part of the kitchen. And that’s for people with big kitchens. If you don’t happen to have either a dining room or a big dream kitchen, though, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful lighting fixture. In fact, for a smaller space I think it’s even more important. This FabriquePendant gives this small dining nook a cafe-style charm without closing off any head room or overwhelming the petite breakfast table.
Keep It Coordinated
Building layered lighting into your kitchen is important no matter how big or small yours happens to be. In a big kitchen (or one with a table, nook, and/or kitchen island) that might mean a larger chandelier plus a pendant or two. But even a smaller space like the one above can use multiple decorative lights, both for looks and to ensure that all corners of your kitchen get full, even lighting. To get a consistent look throughout your space, look for lights that come in larger collections so you can keep a consistent design throughout your entire kitchen space. I like the natural look of this Organics bamboo Pendant and Sconce, which is great for an eco friendly kitchen, but many manufacturers offer designs that span multiple types and sizes of lighting fixtures.
Big Lighting Fixtures Are A (Decor) Commitment
Maybe the most important thing you want to keep in mind before you install a permanent lighting fixture that will hang more than 6 or so inches down from your ceiling is that once you put it there, it’s got to stay. Even a small pendant light will probably be right at head-smacking level once it’s installed, so you want to be sure you run your wiring to the center of your dining table… and put it where that dining table is going to stay. In a smaller dining area, this might not be a problem, but for a larger space like this one, you want to be very sure that you put your table (and your Barringer Pendant light) where you want them to stay.
No matter what size your kitchen, adding a piece of decorative lighting is a great way to add polish and personality – you just want to make sure the size suits your decor! What size kitchen are you looking to light? Do you like the look of these contemporary pendant lights, or do you prefer a more traditional chandelier? Let me know in the comments!
Shop All Pendant Lighting: