Yep, I'm quoting Anchorman, but seriously I do love lamps. Lamps are so multi-functional - not only do they provide a room with light, but they tend to add a sense of warmth and coziness to a space. Today, lamps are not only being utilized beside a bed or couch, interestingly, they have made their way into the kitchen.
Lighting is so important in any room but especially the kitchen. A lot goes on in a kitchen - you need good task lighting for working and of course good ambient lighting for atmosphere. For some time pendant lights have been the "go to" for decorative kitchen lighting. Typically pendants are seen hung over the island and provide ambient lighting in a fashionable way. Because pendants come in a slew of different shapes, sizes and finishes and they can be used in varying quantities, they are a popular choice. I love a beautiful pendant and believe they can really add style and flare to a space, however as of late, I've noticed a shift in kitchen designs where it seems that pendant lights may not always be the lighting answer...
Most kitchens have at least one focal wall, in some cases this wall has a decorative hood, while other times a window is on display. Depending on the orientation of the island, the pendant lighting can hang down and block or interfere with the view of the focal wall. This has actually been a topic I have dealt with in two of my recent kitchen designs. In both kitchens a beautiful focal wall was created around the hood. Each kitchen's island was oriented differently but the idea of hanging pendants over the island was kind of ho hum because we knew any pendant we chose would be semi-blocking the view of the focal wall. In both cases, the solution was to sit lamps on either side of the island as opposed to hanging the lighting from the ceiling.
Like pendants, lamps come in a variety of different styles, finishes and sizes making them an easy choice for kitchen lighting. Of course lamps will not be the answer for all kitchens - some islands are not big enough to support the lamp idea. If the addition of lamps will decrease valuable working space, then skip the lamps and stay with ceiling fixtures.
Below are some examples of kitchens that went the lamp route, each choosing to utilize this trend in different ways.
In this kitchen the island is centered on the hood which appears to be the focal wall. I love how these lamps really add some flare to the space without taking away from the beauty and balance of the focal wall.
I'm drawn to the fun pop of color these green glass lamp bases bring to this kitchen. The furniture style island + the lamps make for a cozy feel.
These lamps add an unexpected pop to this kitchen. The focal wall in this space is the large window and these lamps just feel right in the space. Not only would pendant lighting be blocking the view of the window but pendants in addition to the flanking columns would have made the space feel crowded.
One common question people have about the lamps is, "where do you hide the cords?" Easy - you just have your countertop fabricator core a small hole in the countertop for the cord to go down into. The lamp can cover up the hole and you're left with a seamless look. Regardless of the type of lighting you choose to use, lighting in general provides an opportunity to add a layer of personality to a space. So, take advantage and do your research to figure out what lighting style best suits you and your space.
Photos are from Houzz & Pinterest.