The Right Light: Good lighting is crucial in kitchen design

The importance of lighting can’t be overstated. It can make or break the overall look of any room.

A thoughtful lighting plan is important in every room, but it’s an absolute must with kitchen design. Rely on only ceiling lights in your living room or bedroom and you may have sufficient illumination, but the space will feel cold and uninviting. Make a mistake with the lighting in your kitchen and, not only will it not look its best, you’ll have difficulty preparing meals.

While a lighting conundrum in the living room can often be corrected by simply adding table lamps, kitchens rely on more permanent light fixtures such as pendants, sconces and under-cabinet lighting. If not considered from the beginning of the design phase, you could be faced with costly retro-fitting and, even then, the end result may still be lighting that is never quite right.

The ABCs of Kitchen Lighting

In addition to inset canister lights, which are flush mounted into a ceiling, there several other options that can be used in a kitchen.

kitchen lighting ideas

Because they typically illuminate countertops, under-cabinet lights (left) offer great task lighting. Pendant lights (right) are often hung over a center island, where they provide additional task lighting for meal preparation and add warmth to the area. So important for dining!

kitchen lighting

Other choices include lighting in display cabinets (left), which work beautifully to highlight dishware, stemware and accessories, and sconces (right), which are such an unexpected option in kitchens!

The Layered Look

kitchen design ideas

No, not the layered look as is a jacket over a sweater over a shirt; layered as in lighting placed at multiple levels throughout the kitchen. In the kitchen above, our designer nails layered lighting, which is placed at multiple levels throughout the room.

Inset ceiling lights evenly illuminate the entire space. Pendants cast a warm glow over the center island. Under-cabinet LED lighting sheds light on the countertop and highlights the tiled backsplash. The overall look is bright yet warm, and the space is evenly lit.

The Style File

In addition to its utilitarian function, lighting choices in the kitchen work to strengthen the room’s overall design.

Check out what our designers did in these kitchens!

kitchen lighting

A pair of glass chandeliers with touches of lavender add glamour to this space.

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A quintet of pendants complement the contemporary appeal of this kitchen.

Keep It Cozy

kitchen design ideas

The kitchen is where we dine as a family and congregate with friends. Be sure to amp up the cozy factor by adding dimmer switches…to everything!

Design Director Judy Whalen 
Senior Designer Julie Lyons

Photographers: Dan Cutrona, Shelley Harrison and Matt Baldelli