Saturday, January 31, 2009

Light in the kitchen.

*******Before you comment, read the post, already. A number of people have commented on the ugly second fixture. If you read the post, you will see that I am posting it as an example of what I don't want. - xoxo, The Management***





We touched on this before, but how much light do I really need?

You can see from earlier photos this kitchen is smaller than some suburban bedrooms, so consider the size if you will.

We already have one light over the stove, one over the sink, and then one in the nook area near the window. It always seems like enough (but then again, it's all the we had). I will tell you that I always turned on all 3 because 2 lights was inadequate.

So in addition to this, contractor Gary put in a box for a light in the center of the kitchen so I can hang a pendant or something. Fine. Here's the deal, though, I think I can just get any ol' single-bulb lighting fixture since in my mind, the addition of this new light and some undercounter task lights will be all the light I need. Gary thinks I need a fixture with at least 3 bulbs in it. I think this will be a monstrosity because (a) the size alone will be weird [too big] and (b) it's going to limit what I can buy and I will end up with an ugly-ass fixture. Like this:




Any thoughts would help. Also, I adore the Clemsen light from Restoration Hardware (photo at top of post), but it's the kind of light that i/you/we keep seeing everywhere. I am having a tough time finding something I like that is a bit more unique, but also not overly clever or loud. I may end up going with this light, but there is a part of me that thinks "This is the polite, safe choice you make when you have no time or patience to find something better." Oy.

Help. And please send links to great options if you have ideas.

68 comments:

Little Lantern said...

My two favorite sources for fixtures are Rejuvenation http://www.rejuvenation.com/ and School House Electric http://www.schoolhouseelectric.com/.

I think picking a super cute hanging fixture is very important for the overall fabulousness of your kitchen, but you didn't mention any task lighting. From a practical standpoint, I think this is the most important. These are the little lights that go directly under your cabinets (and hopefully disappear behind some trim) and light up the counter when you're working. I just want to make sure you have them! Believe me, we have no light in our kitchen right now and I have dreams about our task lighting...

*moggit girls said...

(We hate the second one too!) We do like these:

http://www.coastalliving.com/homes/decorating/our-favorite-modern-interiors-00400000034041/page3.html

http://decorati.com/product/23851/helena-pendant

http://decorati.com/product/2577/soleil-salon-pendant

Decorati has TONS to choose from...

Joy and Janet

Anonymous said...

I second the Rejuvenation suggestion!

Emily said...

that second light looks like a boob. Do not put it in your kitchen, please.

I second the schoolhouseelectric.com source.

For kitchen work, I'm not sure how much you cook, but with the task lights and a light over the stove so you don't inadvertently burn dinner and then one so you don't bump into each other because you can't see should be good. Three low-watt bulbs wouldn't be bad, but three hundred light bulbs is steering you towards autopsy table lighting which is to be avoided at all costs. Unless your job is giving autopsies...and even then, it has no place in the kitchen.

Decorno said...

Yep. We will have task lighting. That plus the new ceiling pendant of some kind are all that we are adding.

That's why I am asking if we need the 3-bulb monstrosity. Seems like we are adding enough lighting, right?

Little Lantern said...

I don't think you need the 3-bulb monster if you have task lighting. I think that overhead fixture is more for show than use.

Decs said...

Perfect. That's what I needed to hear.

Jill said...

I have no idea what your nook looks like, but can you put some wall sconces there on dimmers?

No three bulb monsters or ceiling boobs in the kitchen.

Jennifer said...

I have that Resto light fixture in my kitchen. My kitchen is probably twice the size of your kitchen and the single pendant illuminates the whole damn thing. We have other lighting in the kitchen as well, but we never use it.

Anonymous said...

You're getting the marble countertops and the dark wood floors, so you're going to end up with "That Kitchen"--you might as well get "That Lighting Fixture" to go with it all.

Ivy Lane said...

Do you have a window in there? ... and I agree with Anon..go with "The Light Fixture".. Do it right the first time and you'll be so much happier in the end! You've put so much thought to this process, it would be bad if you were disappointed with something in the end... go with your gut!!

wndl said...

i hardly ever turn on my central, overhead light in the kitchen, as my task lighting is sufficient for most tasks, but it's nice to have when i just need quick illumination of the entire space. I feel the same way about overhead lights in bedrooms and living rooms.

i saw on grass roots modern
a similar shaped lamp from the new batch of ikea items.

S. said...

I, personally, love "that light fixture," and quite frankly I loved it the first time I saw it, and it just keeps growing on me. Despite my overwhelming love for design blogs, the first time I saw it (or noticed it, without the context of a room), I totally fell in love with it.

If you love it, that's what counts. And I promise, most people who enter your house aren't design blog junkies. Most of my guests love my ubiquitous, trendy "Keep Calm" poster. Have they read AT or Designsponge or Domino? No. Will I continue to hang my "keep calm" poster in my home for years? Yes, because I think it's fabulous.

Task lighting is a MUST. It's much more important, I think, than overhead lighting when cooking. My parents' kitchen was renovated a few years ago and they put in recessed lighting on a dimmer as well as great task lighting, with halogen lights built into the fan that goes over the cooktop. The set-up is nice.

Does your kitchen get a lot of natural light as well? Keep that in mind, perhaps? Will you need the lighting mostly at night, or do you need a light on during the day as well?

Kimbydee said...

I agree with Little Lantern, Rejuvenation is the best, I've ordered from them and have loved everything. Well made and not too badly priced. So many styles to choose from, let alone finishes. You can create your own unique look! Maybe a two bulb fixture would be a nice compromise, with a dimmer. I figure you can always lower the lighting but you can't add to it. I made this mistake with my last kitchen remodel and it drove me crazy!

Charles said...

What ever you chose for overhead light, I assume you'll have it on a dimmer, you'll be forever grateful. And I would suggest if you like the first Restoration fixture and you have the time, take a look around Seattle for a salvaged/industrial light that will have similar look but will the original, rather than Restoration's restyled version. You will have the added benefit of the character that comes from the aged original.

Henrietta said...

The Clemson fixture is badly made--don't buy it.

I agree with all the people who advised you to get something from Rejuvenation. Their stuff is well made and looks great.

Anonymous said...

I finally figured out that you started this blog for free decorating advice. Ha!

Decorno said...

Anon 12:00 - Yes, I did. :)

Ann Kennedy said...

http://www.julieneill.com/chandeliers4/artemis_gems.html

This chandelier set on a dimmer switch. Would make for an unbelievable atmospheric mood. Nobody in Seattle could outlight you. Large, yes, but your kitchen would be elevated into elegant living stratosphere.

Ann Kennedy said...

Ar·te·mis (är'tə-mĭs) Pronunciation Key
n. Greek Mythology
The virgin goddess of the hunt and the moon and twin sister of Apollo.


Yes, this lamp is the one you should get by Julie Neil Designs in New Orleans. The Artemis with gems is the name of it.

Maison Luxe said...

www.circalighting.com

happy saturday! kelie

jean said...

Overhead lighting in the kitchen just throws shadows on your work. Task lighting, yes. Hate to suggest it, but what about Lowes or something like that? Save some money. I mean, who walks into a kitchen and goes, ick, look at those lights from Lowes? People notice how they look, not where they're from, with the exception of stuff like Restoration Hardware, cause don't we all look at their catalogs.

tartanscot said...

Couple of ideas :

yes, on the first light fixture. it's a classic that will be a classic for years to come.

no, on the second fixture. it's dated and will remain dated for years to come.

or, try Williams Sonoma Home, they've got some good pendent fixtures. or maybe Thomas O'Brien for Visual Comfort (great style, good prices!)

can't wait to see how it all turns out !

Kwana said...

You know me, Decorno. I always say go for what you love. Other opinions don't really matter. These people won't ever be at your house more than you anyway.

I agree with the commenter that said do it right the first time. While you have the contractor there do it all up now. My biggest regrets in life are when I skimped or said I'll go back and do it later. I never do.

I really like the first light BTW.

Anonymous said...

this is what i want . . . circalighting, hicks pendant
http://www.circalighting.com/search_results.aspx?q=hicks

AB said...

Also, barnlightelectric.com. I'm especially in love with several of their food warmer lights. If they could be used as regular lights, I'd be all over this one:

http://www.barnlightelectric.com/restaurant-lighting/food-warmer-lights/food-warming-jalapeno-restaurant-10-250w-pendant.html

Silver Fox said...

Here is the best of both worlds.... not over the top contemporary but shows you put some thought into it.
go to www.ylighting.com
search: romeo soft s2

This fixture is modern but not too, on sale, free shipping and ecofriendly (whatever that is) Daayam girl!!!...What more could you want?

Decorno said...

Tartanscot - read the sentence just before the photo of the second photo.

kimbydee said...

I thought the second light fixture was put in as a joke, right?!
I have definitely walked into a home (usually a model home or open house) and thought Lowes! or Home Depot! usually not in a good way. I was looking at homes and found one going for 400k. It had been lovingly restored except for the bathrooms that screamed "I bought the cheapest fixtures from my local package store because I ran out of money, time, (insert your own reason here)and had to finish with a whimper". I'd rather they went to a salvage place and picked up something. It does matter...

kimbydee said...

LOL thanks for putting my mind at ease...

Decorno said...

The Hicks pendant.... LOVE.

Thank you for the link and the Circa recommendation.

Decorno said...

About Lowe's etc. Hey, I like a bargain as anyone else would and have no shame buying stuff from either place. But their selection is not good. They just don't have a lot of interesting and polished products. I wish they carried more and better.

Henrietta said...

I've always loved those Romeo lights Silver Fox linked to.

A bit pricey, tho.

kimbydee said...

Love the Hicks fixture too!
want to let you know about the 400k house, I can't even afford one half that but I can dream. I also buy things at Lowes/Home Depot but try to steer clear of the cheapest offerings. Loved Home Depot Expo but alas, here in SW Florida the only one is closing soon due to the economy. It's scary.

cats said...

I put the Clemson light in my kitchen and I love it. The reason it's everywhere is that it's awesome! We didn't need it for the light, but it makes the room feel so much cozier. One warning though: restoration hardware is IMPOSSIBLE to deal with! I bought the lamp in September, and I'm STILL trying to get them to send me the pins that attach the bottom cover to the main unit. There literally is one person in the sales department who's supposed to be the "product specialist" but even she had never seen the lamp in person to know what hardware they're supposed to send me! Crazy.

Angelique said...

Something I would want in my dream kitchen would be a skylight. It is a bold suggestion but I find that a good sized skylight eliminates the need for an overhead fixture when you have task lighting at the countertop. Your contractor would probably laugh at the mention of it at this point. Another alternative (if you have the plenum space) would be to do the feel of a skylight by building a cove.
If you have to stick with a fixture I bet you'd be okay with no more than 2 bulbs. 3 is probably overkill. First option you show is beautiful!

Tara.Fields said...

Didn't read all the posts, but I did see Rejuvenation brought up a few times. As a native Portlander, I'm sure you're familiar with them and the way the rape your ass with the prices on their beautiful things. Luckily they're having a 50% off sale right now. Haven't seen what all is on sale, but my man's bro-in-law's sister works there and he passed on the news the other night.

Also want to add that installing a light fixture when the wiring is already done is super effin easy so long as you flip the correct circuit breaker and follow the directions. I've replaced/installed several and the hardest part is holding it all while on the ladder which is easily solved by not being impatient and letting someone help you (with a second ladder). I'm the type of gal who gets a notion to do it and does it NOW even if it's 10:30p.

tartanscot said...

Eeeeeeeeek !

I have been a very bad blogger for not reading the entire post before commenting.

*prepares for spanking*

Decorno said...

Don't worry Tartanscot. I am pretty sure most people skim the posts. I'm a windbag.

tartanscot said...

LOL . . . hang in there. remodeling is not for the faint of heart.

oh, and sorry to hear about the poop in the basement.

seriously, really sorry.

*cyber hug*

Tara.Fields said...

If I'd've known there were spankings, I'd've been a negligent commenter long before now!

I didn't want to be an ass, but I met a friend of a friend who had worked at Rejuvenation for a squillion years, but left when the kids of the owners (founders?) took over. They changed the focus of the business and he refused to work for them. I'm not at all surprised to hear that customer service for getting an actual part is shitty, it seems their mission no longer has anything to do with customer service or being a resource for restoration like it had been before. However, if Decorno fell in love with one of their pieces she could buy direct from the store if she visited her mom and check to make sure it was all there before she left the premises.

The only thing I've bought there were picture rail hooks. When I was asking about the picture rail cord, they were kind of asses about it AND they didn't have black. Perhaps their color choices were historically accurate, but they were gauche.

tartanscot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara.Fields said...

Oh! I read the whole post, just not all the comments.

Henrietta said...

Um, Tara Fields, the customer service complaint had to do with Restoration Hardware, not Rejuvenation.

I've called customer service at Rejuvenation before, and they were quite helpful.

Tara.Fields said...

That'll teach me to reply post cocktail. My apologies regarding my mistake. I'm glad things are going well over there at Rejuvenation for some customers. They have lovely things and if ever I can spend over a grand on a light fixture, there's where I'm going.

Lolo said...

The Hicks light is gorgeous and I second the "get what you love" sentiment. It does sound like you've plenty of ambient light sources for a small kitchen but if you do decide on undercabinet task lights
http://www.factorydirectlighting.net/Radionic_Hi-Tech_RX513_LED_Und_P422C42.cfm
I'm loving these. The light is very "true", the bars are low profile and tuck away perfectly, they're incredibly easy to install aaaaand the price is good that we bought some expensive booze to celebrate.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Decorno....anything on display is important, but when you're doing a reno, price is ultimately important, too. I am a long time admirer of your blog, and my sister is going through an addition (to get a mudroom, laundry room and brand spanking new kitchen/living area). Not that it makes me an expert with any of your readers, but she asked my opinion for schoolhouse lighting fixtures over the kitchen island - - my answer? Well, you see them everywhere, and why go high end with them....she found the perfect Martha Stewart ones for $40 a piece at Sam's Club!!! She'll take two.
Can anyone say shag carpet and flocked wallpaper??? However, the builder is putting in the junction box, so why not for now? When she's finally done paying the bill for the construction (and hardwoods, marble, windows, high-end appliances, etc.) she can switch out her $80 investment without regret and get the handblown glass ones that NO ONE ELSE HAS for whatever price she wants.

Good bones (and existing wiring) - - GOOD THINGS!!

Love your blog, Decorno! Some day I'll send photos of my lovely (NOT YET) abode!

Amy said...

I mentioned this on an earlier post but you should really check out Mary Davis Lighting in La Conner. You can find her online and if you called her tomorrow I bet you could ask her to email you some photos of things that might work. Her vintage lighting is really great. And no one else will have it! (She often comes down to Seattle on Mondays and Tuesdays and could probably bring over some options).

I have one schoolhouse style light in the center of our kitchen (100 watts--1 bulb) and it puts out plenty of light, plus it is on a dimmer. But I also have a sconce on one wall (love this for that cozy feeling when it is the only light on at the end of the day), and hanging pendants over my sink. Is your sink at your window? I would definately consider putting a cool light over your sink in addition to the one in the center of the room.

If it were me, I wouldn't feel the pressure to find the perfect light "this week". As long as the location is wired, they can install them anytime.

And finally, use dimmers on everything!!

holly said...

I think just about ANYTHING is better than that second fixture. Even if that first one is common, restoration hardware, etc- it certainly is better looking!

Sacheverelle said...

I like the Clemson alot but the second one is kind of Home Depot-ish. Are you definitely doing a pendant or is semi-flush an option?
How high are the ceilings?
I like these plainer ones that look easy to clean.
http://www.rejuvenation.com/fixshowC848templates/selection.phtml

Sacheverelle said...

www.rejuvenation.com/
fixshowC848/templates/
selection.phtml

caroline said...

decorno... i first advised you to put painted wood flooring in the kitchen and forget the tile (too bathroom-y). admit it... that was good advice! now here is my second tip for you... put in a GORGEOUS light in the kitchen. everyone under estimates the power of a beautiful light, esp overhanging ones. a small kitchen can have a grand light... it's called presence and drama! i love circalighting.com and highly recommend:
1. http://www.circalighting.com/details.aspx?pid=697&cid=4 (if you want something small but still "wow")
2. http://www.circalighting.com/details.aspx?pid=358&cid=4 (another small option. great b/c you'd never expect to find this style in this size)
3. http://www.circalighting.com/details.aspx?pid=1514&cid=4 (my absolute favorite. guaranteed to look stunning but $$$)
4. http://www.circalighting.com/details.aspx?pid=1724&cid=4 (love this too)
5. http://www.circalighting.com/details.aspx?pid=1161&cid=4 (my second favorite and also best value)
Trust me on this... have I let you down yet?

Decs said...

Caroline - you were right on the tile. So props on that.

But except for the Hicks light, your lighting choices are insane! Seriously. Did you have a dinner of uppers, downers, and Pop Rocks? I think you are messing with me.

But I still love you because you were right about the hex tile. But your lighting choices are bananas.

rerun said...

yes, is the long and short of my comment-you want one more. you've got 53+ comments now...so i won't bore you, but one day, you'll be glad you did.

The Elegant Thrifter said...

I've just started following your blog and it sounds to me like you have enough task lighting in your kitchen. I agree with Emily about avoiding the harshness of a strong overhead, and it sounds like you have enough light to work well in your kitchen.

I like the idea of a decorative pendant or lustre, one that has been wired to hold a bulb that emits an appealing glow. Right now is a great time to find these at flea markets and vintage shops, since as with everything today, people are trying hard to move merchandise.

hello gorgeous said...

Personally, I like the first light for lighting over an island or something, not as a stand-alone.

I love a chandy in the kitchen. I posted today on a kitchen with a gorgeous chandelier that's not over-the-top for the kitchen.

You should just have him cap the box until you find what you want. Don't rush just to get something in now. It's such a quick add as long as the box is already there.

Decorina said...

What HG said - and then go to Hippo Hardware in Portland and find something that no one else has...

Anonymous said...

i love vandm.com for resources and nichemodern.com. ilove the binary at nichemodern. instead of recessed lighting in your kitchen three of these could look very cool where you have your lighting already mapped out. good luck. sydney

Sacheverelle said...

I read your post but skimmed the comments.

Leah said...

I 2nd AB's recommendation of http://www.barnlightelectric.com

Sacheverelle said...

There are some wacky lights out there..
What is the idea behind this thing?
http://store.archhero.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=001&Product_Code=609AB&Category_Code=1LITE

Sacheverelle said...

This is a nice industrial style light.
www.lighttrends.com/
ProductDetails.asp?
ProductCode=CHC5133

Anonymous said...

I ageee - Caroline's recommendations are bananas. Number one is atrocious.

Annmarie said...

circalighting.com - Thomas O'Brien and MANY others. You will find a perfect, classic here!!

China Grrl said...

Patience, my young padowan.

Jennifer said...

jumping in late here, but i like my pendant from marston & langiner

http://www.marstonstore.com/marslang/ProductDetails.aspx?categoryid=2&subcategoryid=51&selection=0&itemno=LI051

it has a similar look to the pb light but not the same light you see everywhere and a bit 'lighter' in feel

Crusty said...

I'm a bit late in the game, but how about mercury glass pendants? Here's a link:

http://www.shadesoflight.com/mercury-glass-pendant.html

http://www.shadesoflight.com/martha-stewart-textured-mercury-glass-pendant-large.html

Ballard Designs also has a large and small size in a similar shape, with white cloth cords.

Our kitchens will be very similar: white inset cabs, polished finishes, dark floors. What did you do for appliances?

Jessica said...

Okay...I'm a year behind on this post but I'm just where you were (are?) then and freaking out over lighting. What did you finally end up with? I've looked at Restoration, Rejuvination, School House, Circa, Barnlight etc..there's a lot I like and don't know how to put it all together. Kitchen will need two pendants over bar and a single fixture in center of room. It's also open to the dining room and living room....love to know what you picked out...my kitchen will be very similar to yours in style.