design dilemma: pendant lights in the kitchen

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Today I’m back with another reader design dilemma (check out the first installment of this series here).  This one’s from Katie, from the blog Isn’t That Grand, who recently bought her first home and is working her way through renovating each room.  She’s currently working on updating her kitchen and has hit a road block called indecision.  When it comes to renovating, design and decorating I’d say we’ve all been struck by the indecision bug a time or two, right?  What’s troubling Katie?  Kitchen lighting issues.  #thestruggleisreal #firstworldproblems

Reader Design Dilemma - Pendant Lights over the Kitchen Island
Katie has already started with her kitchen reno by painting most of the cabinets a really pretty dark grey.  You’ll have to head over to her blog to see the full before in order to truly appreciate the full on awesome power of paint in here.  This grey looks fantastic, and Katie has fun plans for her kitchen island.  She also plans to remove the decorative wood valance above the sink.  But first she wants to nail down her lighting plan because her current kitchen has zero overhead lighting!  Crazy right?  Did the people who lived here before her cook in the dark?  Or maybe they gave new meaning to the ol’ early bird special and only ate dinner before sunset?  I just can’t imagine cooking in a kitchen with no overhead lighting, but I digress.  
Katie’s main question is about whether or not to add pendant lights over the island.  She plans to add recessed can lights throughout the kitchen and is waffling over adding cans or pendants over the island. Her main concern is that pendants will block the kitchen from the attached dining area creating a closed in look when what she’s aiming for is an open kitchen and dining space.  
I say, go for the pendants!  I’d bring in two over this island.  I think adding pendants over the island will really bring home that updated look Katie is wanting in her kithcen.  Lighting really is everything, and is a relatively simple and inexpensive way to update a space.  Plus, I think with the right pendants her concern of closing things off will not be an issue at all.   I can understand the concern she has; but going with an all glass or low profile style pendant will create interest, update the overall look and feel of the kitchen, without being a visual barrier to the sightline of the dining area.  Here are a few of the options I pulled knowing that Katie likes that industrial farmhouse look. 
lighting options for pendants over a kitchen island
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
Okay so admittedly number 5 probably won’t work in Katie’s kitchen.  I don’t have her island measurements, but I’m thinking two of those over her island might be overkill.  However, I just had to include them because I think they’re so cool, and I’m sure there’s a modern industrial farmhouse kitchen out there that needs these stat.  If Katie’s wanting to go for a bit more of a modern farmhouse feel, I really like option 3.  
white enamel pendant light
I think the white enamel paired with a hint of copper is such a great look and will pair nicely with the grey cabinets.  Plus the low profile will be understated yet interesting.  Options 1, 2, 4, or 6 I don’t think you could go wrong with, although I’d say number 2 will make the biggest statement.  I know 1 and 6 are really similar, but 6 has a more modern feel being that it doesn’t have a chain.  All of those options will look great and being that they’re all glass that open feeling Katie likes will still be there.   Best part is every option I pulled is less than $100!  
This is a terrible mock-up, you’ll have to forgive my lack of photo editing skills, but this gives you an idea of what option 3 would look like. 
reader design dilemma - pendant lights over the kitchen island
They would add just enough interest without taking over the space.  And I don’t know all of Katie’s plans for her kitchen, but these particular pendants would look amazing with a white subway tile backsplash and dark grey grout.   
SO what do you all think?  Should Katie opt for pendants or can lights over her island?  And which pendant style light do you prefer?    
If you’ve got a design dilemma weighing on your mind and would like a fresh set of eyes to help you flush out ideas, submit it here —->  Carmel@ourfifthhouse.com.  I would love to help you brainstorm!  
Thanks very much to Katie for submitting her design dilemma.  Good luck with your new home!  Can’t wait to see what you decide! 
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