Maybe more than any other room in the home, the kitchen is one space that often winds up reflecting the personalities of the people that use it. Big, luxury kitchen remodels have become hugely popular in home design, and more often than not they come with a few custom touches – whether it’s specialty kitchen cabinets or a custom counter top or backsplash. But one of the best ways to personalize any type of kitchen is with decorative lighting fixtures. Whether you’re going for a look that’s highly modern or very traditional, installing a prominent light with an assertive style is a great way to establish a particular look.
Farmhouse style kitchens are one of the most popular new trends right now, and with them, farmhouse style lighting has made a big comeback. Farmhouse lights come in several different forms, but one of my personal favorites are barn lights. These have metal shades that look a little like the tops of old fashioned milk cans, and are modeled after fixtures used on the working parts of farms around the turn of the century. These add a great, traditional vibe to the space, and come in a wide variety of metal finishes to easily coordinate with the rest of your decor.
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In fact, turn of the century industrial style lights in general have become quite popular for adding a slightly more urban vibe to a farmhouse style kitchen. Pulley lights and other lighting fixtures inspired by those used in turn of the century factories and warehouses are equal parts gritty and whimsical, with designs that seem positively fanciful, but are made of practical, sturdy materials. These offer a nice way to add a professional, industrial air to a more traditional kitchen, and make a nice counter point to the very modern commercial style kitchens that have become so popular in recent years.
Lantern lights are another very popular option right now, and not just in traditional farmhouse style kitchens. I’ve written a longer post about using the different types of lantern lights to get a custom look out of this traditional fixture, and many of these regionally and historically different designs are a perfect way to set the tone for a very specific type of kitchen decor. Traditional lantern lights will work with just about any turn of the century inspired style, but something like this Chapman lantern – inspired by railroad style hurricane lanterns from the late 1800s – are perfect for creating a more rustic log cabin or ranch style kitchen.
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For a more modern look, keep an eye out for something simpler, sleeker, and more geometric. Most decorative lighting fixtures would look out of place in a very modern, minimalist kitchen, so focus on models that use simple, bold lines and obvious shapes. This Chainlink island light has a nice urban feel to it, with a repeating “fence” pattern done in a bold black on white contrast that produces a highly modern look.
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For a more ornate modern decor, look for lights that break out of the mold. That is, if a traditional kitchen island light is a three-light fixture with bulbs and shades attached to a central arm, look for lights that include absolutely none of those things. This Trofarello light is simple: a round cracked glass shade framed by concentric metal rings, but has enough different textures to make it visually interesting. The gyroscope/mobile-like design is both highly modern and unorthodox, which will easily make it the focal point of the space.
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Since kitchens have become a luxurious rather than a purely utilitarian part of the home – and as floorplans have become more open and integrated – even decorative chandeliers have become more popular in kitchen design. These can be placed over an in-kitchen dining table or kitchen island and add an undeniable touch of elegance and sophistication to your space. In a large kitchen that’s central and visible in the home, even a petite chandelier can do a nice job to visually unify your space, drawing the living space into the eating area.
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What are some of your favorite types of lighting fixtures, and what style kitchen are you looking to design? Let me know in the comments!