Kitchens are ground zero for delicious meals, family gatherings, and creative design opportunities, which means they definitely need to shine. Get into: kitchen lighting ideas, an essential prerequisite for cooking it. From ornate pendants to understated track lighting, the options for kitchen light fixtures are endless. Unsurprisingly, today’s top designers have led the way in illuminating different design possibilities, proving that sconces, sparkle sconces, and dimmers have a seat at the kitchen table.
Just like living rooms and bedrooms, the tried-and-true rules of layered lighting apply to the kitchen. By intentionally layering light, you can harness that power and create a well-lit and balanced kitchen interior. To start, use task lighting like sconces and fancy lamps over cooking hot spots for clarity. Then evenly dispersed ambient lighting can help create more balance. And of course, don’t discount a statement piece. Whether it’s a tole chandelier or a Murano glass fixture, statement lighting can also work in a kitchen.
If you’re currently cooking up a lighting scheme for your own kitchen, here are 35 kitchens that exemplify a thoughtful and purposeful approach to lighting. Get inspired by how these designers lit up these kitchens, whether you have a small layout or a space with low ceilings.
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For a sleek mid-century modern-inspired kitchen, Brian Watford suspended a trio of glass globe pendant lights above a marble-topped kitchen island.
In this farmhouse-inspired kitchen designed by Young Huh, mint green cabinets provide a striking backdrop for a trifecta of simple glass pendants.
Red pendants give the perfect amount of vibrancy to this coral kitchen designed by Elizabeth Drake.
Joy is on full display in this ultra-patterned kitchen designed by Bachman Brown.
The navy blue and gold-accented island takes center stage in this sun-filled kitchen designed by Creative Tonic, while a quintuplet of sconces provide direct light over the countertop.
In this sophisticated kitchen designed by Beth Webb, gold pendants pair perfectly with a mosaic backsplash and distressed wood island.
Antique hanging lanterns impose Victorian charm in this sunny and airy kitchen created by Dodson Interiors.
In this kitchen designed by Douglas C. Wright, a shaded pendant illuminates the kitchen’s wooden island, while a gold chandelier illuminates a sideboard lined with books.
Reminiscent of a French bakery, this ultra-chic kitchen designed by Summer Thornton is the ultimate case for a classic black and white color scheme.
Though the skylight and arched floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of light, industrial pendants and a massive orb chandelier seal the deal in this James Thomas-designed kitchen.
A Sputnik-inspired chandelier adds a touch of modernism to this country-inspired space designed by Christina Nielsen.
A brass chandelier is a perfect complement to this neutral kitchen designed by Suzanne Kasler.
A brave palette and playful pendants awaken this kitchen designed by Ayromloo Design.
Good things come in threes
Symmetry is the name of the game for this kitchen designed by Nate Berkus. Three opaline hanging globes perfectly balance the six island bar stools.
A pair of steel-clad globe pendant lights provide plenty of light in this cheery galley kitchen designed by Chandos Interiors.
For a kitchen with a homey vibe, designer David Scott used a pair of crimson four-leaf clover pendant lights to bring the outdoors in.
Stainless steel pendants are the perfect complement to this chef’s kitchen designed by J. Hirsch Interiors.
Are you afraid of cluttering your kitchen with accessories? Take a cue from designer Sarah Montgomery and opt for a single dangling pendant.
Not to compete with the vibrant color palette (and dramatic ceiling!) featured in this welcoming kitchen, White Webb Interior Design selected a pair of simple milky glass pendants to provide illumination.
Industrial black pendants paired with slate blue cabinets make this kitchen designed by KitchenLab Interiors feel sleek and stylish.
Practice restraint and follow CAK studio’s lead of installing simple black track lights to make a kitchen feel unexpectedly minimalist.
A modern geometric ceiling fixture gives this Jamie Bush + Co.-designed kitchen a futuristic feel.
Two tapered canvas drum hangers bring a unique industrial touch to this kitchen designed by M. Elle Design.
A pair of neoclassical hanging lanterns bring an Old World touch to this fresh and contemporary kitchen designed by Rinfret Limited.
A gold pendant dome shines against the backdrop of heavy navy-gray cabinets in this kitchen designed by Laurie Blumenfeld.
In this serene, crisp kitchen designed by Lisa Berman, opaque recessed mounts and a lightbulb-style chandelier are reminiscent of raindrops falling from the sky.
Prism-shaped light fixtures steal the show in this kitchen-slash-diner designed by Kati Curtis.
Crisp pendant lights allow the bamboo-adorned island and striking blue backsplash to take center stage in this modern kitchen designed by Los Angeles-based firm Murphy Design.
A matte black drum pendant adds a haunting mystery to this fresh, contemporary kitchen produced by designer Lori Gilder.
In this quiet bungalow kitchen, design firm Park and Oak installed a small wall sconce for some much-needed task lighting.
To illuminate this versatile open kitchen, KitchenLab Interiors installed a Sputnik chandelier and multi-pronged globe pendants.
To brighten up this moody blue kitchen, designer Nadia Palacios employed a pair of cylindrical brass lights.
As a testament to the power of green and gold, designer Crystal Blackshaw selected an amber sputnik globe chandelier for this inviting kitchen.
A trellis drum pendant and wicker dining chairs imbue texture in this charming space designed by Kress Jack at Home.
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