please help choose lighting

michoumonsterJuly 9, 2013

Hi everyone,
I am facing a bit of decision fatigue as we approach the end of our build. I was wondering if you can help in choosing the light over our breakfast area? The pic is of the breakfast area and also the actual table we will be using. DH doesn't like the finish, so there is a possibility I will be refinishing it.

we have a few issues in that the table will not be centered with the outlet for the light. so whatever light we get has to be swagged towards the window. also, we need something bright because i feel like the kitchen is a little dark.
so here are some options. which do you think will work best? feel free to let me know if i totally missed the mark and all of them look bad..

option 1 brixton pendant: 18" diameter ribbed glass pendant. this one is very bright and i think an ok size to swag. but maybe too boring??

option 2 Rae chandelier: 29" diameter edison bulb chandelier. i really like the look of this, but not sure how bright it will be since the edison bulbs are very energy inefficient. also, think it might be too big at 29" to swag??

option 3 Lit-mesh pendant: 14" diameter drum pendant. this one can be bright at 100watts each bulb, though maybe it would require using edison bulbs to look good? the size seems right, or is it too small for swagging?

i would love alternate suggestions if you think something else might look good. thank you!!

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I like the first one, which is rather surprising since it's not the kind of fixture i usuallt like.

I would not choose to make myself dependent upon the continued availability of Edison bulbs. They're not overly well- known right now, and I could see them disappearing (or becoming unaffordable) in the future. Also, I don't go for the bare bulb look.

Off-topic: We are considering a configuration EXACTLY like yours. The windows, built in bench, and small cabinets to the side. I'd love to hear your dimensions, and I'd love to hear any advice you'd care to share since yours is already built. Was yours done custom?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:45PM
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Hi MrsPete,
thanks for your vote. i think the bare bulb look is quite popular so at least for now, it is not difficult to find them. the bulbs are pricey though, so going with a light that hides the bulb is definitely something i should consider. thanks!

we are doing a new build, so the banquette area was by design. we are not in our house yet, so i can't give you feedback on how it functions at the moment.
but rough dimensions are 9 feet in front of the windows and 40" on either side. my contractor custom built the storage drawers, but the cabinetry on either side is just standard order. it was more cost effective to go custom for the bench as the cabinet companies surprisingly charge a lot for those low drawer cabinets. i think a lot of people also have successfully hacked ikea cabinets to do a bank of bench drawers too. the bench seat depth is 24" deep, but about 4" of the depth is eaten up by the back, which i chose to angle slightly for comfort. the bench height is about 16" (I will add a 4" cushion).
one thing you should consider with the banquette area is making your windows higher up so that your back doesn't hit the window while seated. i plan to upholster the seat and back (after i choose fabric, which will most likely occur in another post soliciting help here.. lol).
one thing i insisted on adding to the bench drawers is a push to open feature. that way i don't need to do hardware on the drawers that might rub against legs while seated.
another thing to consider is how long a table you want. for our room, we felt that a 5.5 foot long table was the longest we could go because on either end of our table is walkway space. i tried to find an oval trestle table, but could not, but if you are using an oval or round table, i think you can go longer on the table because of the rounded ends.
hope that helps! feel free to ask any other questions on the banquette. i got a lot of help from previous banquette posts on GW (especially take a look at a2gemini's banquette posts).

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 5:17PM
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Great details. We're also looking at about 9' for the bench, but we were considering smaller china cabinets. More like 24". We will be buying a new table after we build.

About how much space do you have between the table and your kitchen cabinets?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 10:23PM
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Checked a2gemini's banquette. Super cute with the colorful pillows. Definitely gives me confidence that this is what I want to build!


    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 10:27PM
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I like the 3rd-or something very similar in[size],as well as the[ look]--but do 2 of them-each measured some inches from the sides of the 9foot distance... the sides will be the darker spots.....and the light will disperse enough into the middle.Can you avoid the swag treatment if you hang 2 ? I'm seeing that as a better look... [does a lighting expert need to help you on this?].....Tres chic-what is wrong with the finish of the table?don't like choice 2...regarding choice one-if it comes smaller-then proceed with the installation of 2 as well....I think I would go to a professional lighting store and sit with a trained person with your pic and blueprint and see what they recommend that you may not be aware of. I just don't think a swag there hits the mark at all. it is a nice looking spot . Maybe too late-but the returns of the cabs on either end could house sconces at a high position-along with something in the ceiling-very cozy and stylish with that approach too. I would really get all the options out there and look them over.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 10:47PM
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i like the style of choices..but i think they are too small for your space. i would like to see something longer.

what about something like this:

your kitchen looks beautiful!!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 11:02PM
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Swaging a light is usually the cheap/easy/quick solution in an old house. It will look like the space wasn't thought out too well. Why would you do this in a new home?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 12:54AM
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i wanted to explain further that we have sort of an odd situation in that our kitchen has 2 cove ceilings, one for the main kitchen area and another for the breakfast area. the outlet for the breakfast light is centered inside of the smaller cove. i am not sure if it would be weird to have the outlet be out of center with the cove. it is my fault because I realized recently that the table needs to be placed very close to the bench to be useable, so hence cannot be centered in the cove lights.

mrspete, the edge of table to the edge of my kitchen island is about 4 feet. my diagram is roughly to scale so it should give you a good representation of my space. editted to mention: i wish i had more than 4 feet from table edge to island (it was supposed to be 5 feet from table edge, but a mistake my contractor made with some island vent locations changed that).

herbflavor, thanks for all the ideas. i would love to do two pendants, but alas, we had so many issues with the electrician that we are loathe to have our GC call him back for any changes. i can install some undercabinet lighting on either side of the cabinets myself since we have some electrical outlets there that we can tap into, which might improve the brightness issues and distribute more light on the sides. i also like your idea of having sconces on the sides. i might be able to do that later myself also.

carp123, that is a gorgeous light! but golly, you have expensive taste ;-) i think a longer light would look great, but not sure if it is too large to swag.

chispa, i would like to avoid swagging the light if i can, but i am leaning towards the cheap, easy fix at the moment. partly because we don't want delays and are over budget, and partly 'cause (as I mentioned above), I HATE our GC's electrician. lol!

please keep all of your creative ideas coming! i would love to figure out the best way on how to deal with the light in the cove.

just building on herbflavor's two pendant idea, what do you think of this light?
option 4: centinela double or triple swag light. do you think moroccan lanterns might work?

This post was edited by michoumonster on Wed, Jul 10, 13 at 3:42

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 3:21AM
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I read your explanation and understand why you have to swag ... it would just bother me when I looked at it every single day! I would place the electrical box off center in the cove and centered over the table. I'm linking a site with pendants similar to those moroccan lanterns, but lots of options. I love their lights, but haven't found a spot for them in my house. Probably not budget friendly, but major eye candy!

Here is a link that might be useful: CX Design Lighting

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 3:47AM
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Michou I LOVE the last option with the three glass lanterns.
I like the staggered height. Just be careful of the max wattage for each fixture. Edison bulbs come in 60 Watt max I think and tend to be dimmer and more golden in light. I prefer halogen clear bulbs in at least 75 watt. They last longer and have nice bright light for over tables or islands.
You can always put the switch on a dimmer to settle the light down if needed but the wattage will be there when you need it.
Just make sure whatever you pick supports 75 watts per bulb.
Some fixtures are really skimpy on wattage with the new regulations, and in kitchen areas I think its important to not skip on light.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:33AM
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I love the last option with the three glass lanterns also. We are having a banquette built for our remodel. Ours will be an L shape. Can you tell me more about your table? I just love your table. We were figuring our table should over hang where we sit by about 4", does that sound correct?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 2:01PM
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thanks all! looks like the three glass pendants are a popular choice.
ppbenn, thanks for the tip on the halogen bulbs. I have to check the wattage on that triple swag light. I think they are only 60 watt though.

chispa, thank you for the link. eye candy indeed! i love that cristallo line especially, but no kidding on not being budget friendly.. ohh, i wish i hadn't seen those!

robin, we got our table at a local shop called The Wooden Duck. They make a lot of hand-made reclaimed wood furniture. So this table has paint marks, nail holes, wormholes, etc. My DH is more of a purist and likes things more tidy looking, so he doesn't care for the paint splotches, but i love the character it adds and that my toddlers cannot mess it up. lol! But DH is ok with using it for a while and if he still hates it, I can take a sander to it later. This was one of only a handful of tables that worked for us in terms of size and leg configuration. I wanted to get a table with trestle legs or a pedestal table so that it would be easier to get in and out from the bench. As for table placement, we did find that having the table be about 4 inches away from the edge of the bench felt comfortable. I think it might depend on the table style you get also and what amount of overhang the table top has in relation to the sides. An easy way to judge what feels right to you is just put a row of chairs up against the wall and see where the table feels right to make it easy to get in and out and also to be able to reach your food. If you have an L-shaped banquette, i would look at pedestal tables though since then nobody will get stuck hitting the legs getting in and out..

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:43PM
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The light over my dining room table has to be swagged so I can relate. My house is a post and beam, there are no real ceilings, no ceiling space within which to run wires. And, in the dining room the box is embedded in the side of one of the posts.
While I think the three moroccan style lanterns are cute, to me they are just that, cute. If cute, fun, slightly whimsical is what you want go for it. They wouldn't have an enduring quality for me.
I also feel like the three swags might be a bit too busy overhead. And, it is something I am toying with in my own space. One light works, two lights work, but three felt like too much. I would suggest you mock it up. Use ribbon and balloons inflated to the diameter of the fixtures and see what looks right.
Also, lights can be rewired. So, if you see a fixture you like and it isnt swag compatible, ie it is on a rod it can be changed.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 7:04AM
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i love the moroccan lanterns! where are they from please?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Hi localeater, thanks for your input. i love the moroccan styles and was thinking it would go well with our house since it is a mediterranean. but i see what you mean by maybe being too cute. i think with my kitchen table, which feels to me, more industrial, the lanterns might not work.
thanks for the tip on the balloons and about rewiring. i will do a few mockups and see. i am hesitant to have to do too much work on a new fixture, so am hoping to find something that will work out of the box, but if there is something I fall in love with that has a rod, i will definitely consider the rewiring approach. thanks!

illinigirl, the moroccan lanterns are on the lamps plus website. called centinela. they have 1-light, 2-, 3-, and even 4-light versions.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 2:11PM
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How about this one at Lowes? I have it. It gives off great light and comes with a long chain that you can use all or part of, so I would think a swag would be okay if it was secured properly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Allen and Roth 9 light chandelier

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 2:28PM
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I'm not going to be any help; I love all your lighting choices. The room looks great so far; I forget but have you posted what the kitchen looks like? What do you have over the island?

Moving a light can be very simple. DH has done this more than a couple of times (oh he is one in a million) so I actually know enough to at least talk through the process.

Did you take lots of pictures when everything was open? If so, find a picture of the ceiling bare to the studs, after the electrical was done but before the sheetrock. Figure out onto which stud you want to move the light. If the new location is a shorter wire run than the current one, or if there's enough wire to move the wire fixture, it's a question of cutting a new hole in the sheetrock, moving the light box, and repairing the old hole (this is my contribution and I've gotten pretty good at it, definitely not rocket science). If you hate your electrician (sorry), find another one (ask friends, solicit names in another post).

Another option is swag now, move the box later if you so wish.

chispa - I really enjoyed the CX Design lighting link, those are beautiful lights.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 7:46AM
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dilly, i do love your light. i actually have a very similar fixture by kichler in my current house, lol! my DH wanted to do something different this time around though, otherwise i would do that design again in a heartbeat!

oldbat, thanks for the advice! i think we will do the swag now, move later option. we just want to get all the contractors out of our house and don't want to present any new excuses for delays. i appreciate the walkthrough on how to move the outlet. i will probably need to refer to it later. i am not sure if we got pics of the ceilings before drywall. i will have to look through all the pics to see. the hard part to me seems like it will be the drywall patching though. especially doing it looking up (got vertigo once trying to paint my mom's ceiling, lol!). so we might hire someone for that after the contractors are gone.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 2:50PM
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