is the key to creating interest when lighting a kitchen.
The chandelier is the obvious centerpiece, and commands
a lot of attention, but like a lead singer in a great
band, it needs back-up. So we back up the chandelier
with other types of lighting fixtures that fill out the
ambiance, and provide light for all the tasks we need to
do in the kitchen. Plus, they enliven "dead" areas away
from the chandelier.
While you're looking for the perfect chandelier,
consider a few other lighting types that can work really
well with it in the kitchen.
Here are 7 light fixtures that will enhance the overall
effect of your kitchen lighting and build around the
impact of the chandelier:
1. Under the cabinet low-voltage or compact
down lights as task lighting. The obvious benefit
here is you can see what you are preparing far better.
And that makes for less tension at the end of a long day
at work, not having harsh shadow interfering with your
food prep. The less obvious benefit is that a series of
under-the-counter lights all around the kitchen can
visually expand the room, making it look wider.
2. Recessed downlights for general ambient light.
A kitchen is a working area, and therefore needs a good
level of general ambient lighting, like any workspace.
Small low-voltage halogen lights are a great choice,
aesthetically and environmentally. Track lighting will
give similar results and is more flexible than ceiling
mounted fixtures, but the tracks and the cans may clash
with the chandelier, especially with traditional or any
historical style lighting.
3. Pendant lights can illuminate a counter
extension or island without distracting too much from a
chandelier. Even a single pendant can create a nice pool
of light in an area where you want some secondary visual
4. Up-lights above the cabinets can wash the
ceiling and contribute to an overall luminous ambiance,
spreading soft light all around the kitchen. Any
recessed area such as the corners of the kitchen, above
the cabinets can be lit this way to enhance space, and
"float" the cabinets.
5. Rope Lights can accent long linear elements in
your kitchen. They are flexible and inexpensive, and are
used by architects to, for example, light underneath a
stair tread in a dark theater. You can conceal them
above or below cabinets, behind valances, etc.
6. Low-level lighting mounted just above the floor
in the toe-kick of a kitchen island is a stunning and
unexpected effect. It's similar to garden lighting, and
is often referred to as "step lighting". We
look down to see it, unlike much home lighting. And the
effect is magical.
7. A table lamp on the counter can add a
comfortable and intimate atmosphere, and be a good
antidote for a sterile feel in the kitchen.
You likely won't use all of these, of course. But using
some of these lights in addition to your showpiece
chandelier will achieve a beautiful "layering" of light.
This is home lighting at its most sophisticated, and is
the look that professional lighting designers create.
These lights are the ultimate compliment to your kitchen
See some actual examples of all of these light fixtures
combined in a photo gallery of kitchen chandeliers...
Tour our photo gallery of kitchen chandeliers >>
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