Having Trouble Picking the Perfect Kitchen Pendant? Here’s a Few Tips and Tricks

So you’ve finished the plans for your whole kitchen: the layout, cabinet finishes, countertops, and even the counter stools, but you’re still debating on which pendant to go with for your island. Do you choose a set of 3 smaller sized pendants or two larger pendants? Should you go for the fixture with the white finish or the gold finish? How would a round pendant look versus a cone shape?

These are questions that everyone ponders when choosing what fixture(s) would look best for their kitchen island. Sometimes it can be tricky to decide, but overall it’s up to personal preference. Some people prefer the smaller, more subtle fixtures, whereas some love huge statement fixtures. Don’t want any pendant at all? Not a problem. Other adequate ambient light sources like your recessed downlights work just as well. It’s all up to what you think looks best in your individual space. If you are still looking for further help, here are some general rules that can guide you to finding the absolute perfect kitchen island pendant(s).

First, it’s a great idea to judge how much space you have to work with. Measure the length and width of your island and keep in mind the ceiling height in the room. If your island is very large (over 8ft long) and you have a lot of ceiling space to work with, one option to consider is having two or three large pendant fixtures like in the image below.

This island has an ample amount of counter space to use. There seems to be a lot of room to work with, length wise and ceiling height wise. The pendants that were chosen for this space fill up the upper half of the room perfectly and prevent it from feeling cavernous. Looking at the material and shape of the lights, these fixtures give the room a bit of softness and warmth. If the fixtures were a different shape or material, the look of the whole kitchen would most likely drastically change.

On the other hand, if you have a smaller amount of island space to work with (6.5ft or below), smaller fixtures would be appropriate as seen in the image below.

Here, the size of the lights works just right with the amount of space.

Another thing to consider is the aesthetic of your kitchen. In the above image, the choice in fixture matches the sleek and modern look of the rest of the kitchen. The pendants here are designed more to blend in rather than create a statement. However, another way to go about it could have been to select a more playful shape with a bright pop of color to offset them from the rest of the monochrome finishes. That decision is purely up to personal preference!

One last tip is to make sure that your pendant is visually adding to the space versus visually crowding it. Sometimes having too many smaller pendants can quickly visually crowd a kitchen, which is why having two large pendants is being done more and more often. But keep in mind: it is best to always ensure you pay attention to the amount of light already coming into the space. With larger pendants comes more light, so when choosing fixtures, make sure to not overpower the space with light. That stands when selecting a larger number of smaller pendants as well. One way to get around that challenge could be to install dimmers for your island pendants.

All in all, don’t be afraid to be creative when selecting your pendants. There isn’t one right or wrong answer. A wide range of styles and sizes could all look amazing. The last couple pictures are just a few more examples of different kitchen island pendants that look beautiful with their respective spaces. (All images are taken from Unsplash.com)

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We are blessed to employee some of the best up and coming interior designers in training!  This blog was written by Aimee Wallner, Jr. at ISU Interior Design Program and edited by Jodi Peterman.  Fantastic job Aimee!