Island Lighting For My Yellow Kitchen.. Update Needed

2LittleFishiesAugust 2, 2012

Hi All,

Many of you are familiar with my kitchen. Here's the inspiration pics:

perimeter counters:

White island with walnut butcher block:


All along I've planned to use this drum pendant & change the fabric to my little bird fabric. However, I've found a few people who can change the fabric but say my 44" wide fabric is too short for an 18" pendant. (that 13" would be the largest I could do with my bird fabric)

I like these pendants (above) b/c I like that they are inverted and tapered. I'm not so much for the straight up and down shades. Anyway, they are from Lamps Plus and you can choose several giclee patterns and even change the coloring which is pretty cool...

So, I was thinking of using the Bird Fabric for the kitchen WINDOW if I can't use it on the pendants. Do you think these might go with it? I'm doing a fancy cottage kitchen so also want the right print and don't want it to fight with the bird fabric.

These first 2 would be done in the tapered shape I like:

Or I might be able to use this fabric:

I can tweak this color:

Or maybe the original one would still be okay- leaving the print as is:

fabric again:

If I forego the drum pendants all together I really like these as well:

Love this beehive pendant! (available in 2 finishes)

I don't know if this "fits"

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Debbi Branka

Where did you find the pineapple pendant?? My mom would love it!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 1:05PM
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I like that pineapple too but also suspect it wouldn't contribute to a synergy as well as others.

You know, 2LittleFishies, I do like the original fabric with your bird fabric. I like that the negative ground is yellow on one and white on the other, that the original seems to have more "depth" than some of the flatter patterns, and that it doesn't seem to match perfectly. Of course, I haven't "seen" it in context; you wouldn't want attention grabbed the wrong direction, i.e., away from the stars to a supporting actor. If this yellow behaved, though, I suspect another pattern in small amount would be a plus.

The stripes could be a fun element instead, adding a liveliness that might be really nice. They'd also continue the move from across the waters to more midcentury American.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 1:35PM
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I"m all for the behive ones. Of course I am. But I do really like them.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 2:09PM
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Oooh, that last fabric one you posted, before the original choice...the white background and gold swirls...that's pretty! The gold background and white swirls is nice, too. If you use the bird fabric for the valance, which looks better, in front of it?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 3:21PM
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Of the first 3 I definitely prefer the arabesque--the ovals introduce a different kind of motif. I'll come back to look at the other options after a gripping conference call.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 3:49PM
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hi all!
Thanks- I do like the original one and the one you like lavender! I also thought the stripes might be a good secondary pattern to the birds.
Lavender- they are not fabrics, but giclee prints that they put on the shade. I chose that pattern and played with the colors but it's hard to know how it would look in person! Being they are custom you can't return them either. I might be able to find out the color used on my original choice as that is one they did... b/c I know the color was nice.

Here are the ones they already offer:

But you can do a custom one as well which is what I did for the ones above (mostly)

original shade in person before I returned it: (ignore these fabrics/plate)
It's a textured canvas/board for lack of a better word that is printed and wrapped around the fixture...

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 3:49PM
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Thanks, Marcolo

Leaning towards this

with this:


    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 10:06PM
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Could work, but there's something about that pattern that's cheezy '90s transitional that might bug me IRL. Or not.

Hugely helpful, I know.

BTW what are the return policies of the companies you're ordering from? Now that I realize all online pictures=lying I'd be tempted to order large quantities and just return the ones I want. You know, the way you women buy clothes--buy 10 outfits, return 9. And then later wonder why women's clothes are so expensive. ;-)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 12:13AM
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Marcolo- LOL! Not all women shop that way. I'd be more likely to buy cheap jeans and a few tops...then go to Lowe's and buy roses and other plants for the garden :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Farm girls don't count, LL.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 12:40AM
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I do shop that way online marcolo bc it's hard to find clothes that fit me well. So I order a few sizes if there are free returns : )

Anyway you can return whatever at lamps plus BUT the custom ones like most above are not returnable.

Which would u lean towards? What about my original one? Or maybe the one below the dandelions? Or the stripes???

I still like the beehives too : )

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 6:20AM
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Kinda like the beehives, too. They're really beautiful on their own and also because they just leave your pretty bird fabric to be the star and don't compete with it.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 6:56AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I like the spark and glint that comes with glass shade vs fabric

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:54AM
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I have been following your sage little fishes! Love all your choices! Here is my .02!

I love your bird fabric, brings in a hint of blue--to that end, I think I like your original lamp with it, doesn't seem to compete too much. I'm not nuts about the swirls either--not quite the right look for the more traditional type bird fabric. that being said--the dandelions actually might work, do they maybe mimic the little flower in the bird fabric? could you use that on the drum shade?
Other than that I like the first 2 lamps that you show below the dandelion fabric. The second actually gives you a broader color palette and might work--might not? You may not know until your beautiful yellow cabs are in. As for the rest of the drum shades--I am not a fan--they don't do anything for your whole space.

I would stick with the drum shade pendents, It was your first choice all along, not sure in the long run if you'd be happy with the beehives? best of luck, can't wait to see your finished space!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:00AM
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Love the beehive ones. I think that the fabric options on the light will compete too much with your other fabric. The beehives bring some whimsy without being too cutesy.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:03AM
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OK, I don't like the original that much. I think the mood of the damask fights.

I like the arabesque, the bold blue stripe (taking care it doesn't come out too school-house-y), and the transitional one you picked is OK if you really like it but might be too fiddly.

Your glass fixtures are cute, but going clear glass kind of reeks of "Let the ____ be the star!" thinking. That said, I think glass vs. drum shade is really going to depend on dimension and scale. The room may need a presence there, or it may need just a discreet accent. Hard to judge now.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:43AM
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Marcolo, what do you think of these seeded glass lights for fish?

This one looks like an upside down Trifle desert bowl but I like it.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:41AM
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Here's my kitchen.... not sure where yellow will/won't be... : )
Also island is slightly smaller now and more room in left aisle.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:45AM
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I've been following your design as well. I just finished a new build and my suggestion would be to wait until the cabinets, countertops, and backsplash are installed before making a decision on lighting. Just like Marcolo said, it will be hard to determine whether you need a statement above the island with fabric pendants, or a discreet glass pendant that doesn't fight with everything, until the end.

Good luck! It's going to be beautiful!!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:19AM
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Doesn't the electrician have to know where/how many lights there will be beforehand? I assume the size/number would make a difference for placement.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Regarding waiting for more of the kitchen to be "together" before making a final decision.....
How can I do that when the GC wants to know my lighting decisions in the next couple of weeks and the project won't be done until around the end of October?

I assume if I make the decision that I will have two (vs. 3) pendants over our 9'x4' island that it will be sufficient enough to have the electrician wire for pendants and 3' and 6' so they are evenly spaced over the island top???

Same for the dining area, I guess it's more about placement than the actual light itself??? Can lights be "shifted" after the fact for whatever reason?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 12:44AM
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I'm sure it is all about placement. Lights can most likely be shifted later but that would mean drywall repair would need to be done on your ceiling. And there could possibly be a joist in the exact place you have to want the electric box moved to. I actually decided where I wanted my pendants to be before my island was even installed. I did have a full size template of the island countertop that our fabricator had made and made my placement decision based on that. Not usually done this way but my pendants were hung first and cabinet installer placed the island cabinetry according to the pendants.
I think you just need to make a decision on whether it will be 2 or 3 pendants. Deciding on that may affect your eventual choice of the pendant itself but you have so many beautiful options that you are considering that you will be able to find a great choice whether it be for 2 or 3.
Can't wait to see which lights you choose and to see your finished kitchen. It's going to be fabulous.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 8:05AM
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2Fishies - Wow! That is quite the kitchen!!
I know the feeling - I always felt one step behind the GC - oh, you want a paint color now... Did you order the lights yet....(question from GC to me), Etc

As far as lighting - I made templates from cardboard and placed them where I thought I wanted the lights. Then GC addes the lights and I tweaked a few before closing up the ceiling. Some lights can be moved - but the ceiling structure will limit the movement. For example, our light in the cathedral ceiling was moved about 6 inches - we didn't modify the ceiling in this part as part of the project. Other lights might be hard to tweek downstream. Talk to your GC as he will know what can be moved or not.

You might even want to draw out your island and then feel out the size of the lights.

Stay with your drums but I do like the trifle and beehive lights also.

I am so excited to be watching your progress!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 8:14AM
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What's the length and width of the island and what's the width of the drum shade? I would probably plan for two pendants, just based on the drawing.
Also, what are the dimensions of the beehive? Would that work over the sink?
I'd also love to know where the pineapple light comes from!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Wow...lovely space.

Yes you need a general idea of lighting. As in our case, we originally planned on 2 fixtures over the island but went with 3...not a big deal, once the wiring is already in place and the switch is wired.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 8:59AM
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Well, the GC also needs to know if a transformer is going up there, but none of your fixtures qualify.

Get the specs for each of your finalists (shade colors don't matter) and show them to the GC.

Remember that you can't wait til the very, very end to order; it can take a while for the fixtures to arrive. Start with the one that's easiest to return and check it out first.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Yes, if I do the drums I think two is plenty. The island top is 9'x4'. The pendants are 18". I'm thinking being the island is 9 feet to have one at 3' and 6'.

The beehive SHADE is 11.5" high and 10.75" wide. The fixture height is 14".
I think if I did the beehive I'd need 3, no?

The pineapple shade (I won't be using) is from It's called the Plantation Mini Pendant.

I always liked the Lantern Pendant... It comes in a few sizes. Anyone??? lol

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Again, I agree with Marcolo. Narrow it down to your favorite fabric shade pendant and non shade pendant and give your specs to the GC.

I also want to add that I have something similar to the lantern in my laundry room. I do think it's very pretty BUT it always looks dusty and dirty. Our ceilings are 10' and it is a real pain to get up there to clean it. I almost put clear glass pendants in my kitchen and now I'm so thankful I didn't. I imagine the upkeep on them would have been at least three times that of what it is in the laundry room! Just something to think about when making your decision.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:26AM
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2little fishes--this is the first time I've really studied your plans for your kitchen and it looks like it will be amazing.

The fabric pendants are wonderful, but can they be cleaned?

I like all of the glass choices, except the pineapple.

Your kitchen is amazing. Is this a remodel or new construction?

Have you considered a making your island look more like a table? Perhaps your cabinets are already settled. If so, ignore my suggestion as your cabinets plan looks great.

Love the yellow...very pretty.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 1:22PM
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I love the beehive! What a beautiful space you will have, always enjoy seeing your ideas. You have put so much planning into this. I am so looking forward to seeing your progress pictures.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 1:45PM
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The beehives are really nice, but the lights point upwards and are probably not the best for task lighting on the island. I love the pineapple, but you don't have a tropical vibe (though you could, with a few small tweaks :))

I would not go with the yellow glass as it might be the wrong yellow. I rule out the last hurricane lamp because its upward light. And I rule out the custom fabric because it would be hard to keep clean and over time might look dingy.

So, my pick is #6, the schoolhouseish pendant.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Thanks, Everyone! Im very excited and a nervous wreck as well!

The fabric pendants are not really fabric. They are custom printed. a very heavy cardboard that is textured. I believe they would easily be wiped down. Of course, if I put my bird fabric on them that would be different but I found out it won't work anyway b/c the fabric isn't wide enough for an 18" shade.

red-lover, thanks for your kind words as well. It is a renovation. We are doing an addition, removing some walls, etc. : ) It all started ago last August! (meaning the planning)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 2:08PM
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How about these patterns/colors with my fabric?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 5:36PM
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    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:15PM
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I may just buy my original one so I can size it up with electrician next week. I have 60 days to return. If I buy a custom one they are not returnable.

Btw anyone like the last 2 drums I posted?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 4:48PM
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OK, I don't know if anyone is still listening to me, but....

I've been going crazy trying to find a 13.5" or smaller drum shade so I can use my bird fabric. Most smaller drum shades & their hardware are very contemporary looking and the shades are straight up and down and just aren't the right look.

With these smaller shades (12-13") I think I'd do 3 over island being it is 9'x4'.

This one would work (12") but I don't love the style of the pole, etc. Thoughts?

So, 2 other options I'm thinking is a pendant kit that you can attach any shade to...& have the girl I've been dealing with make the shade from scratch?
They show a video at

Or, I do like the hardware/chain on this one by Laura Ashley. It's the Gibson Pendant and is sold either with a shade or without. Home Depot sells it without the shade. (The shade 16", but again I thought I could have the shade made)

So, there it is. I'd love to use my original 18" drum shade b/c I love the style and shape, but with the bird fabric there would have to be a seam. Maybe if the seams (I think two) were covered in a coordinating fabric/ribbon that would work...

*The electrician is coming Thursday and Friday and I really need to at least know if I'll be having 2 or 3 lights over the island! ughhh

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:20AM
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All shades have seams unless they're made of glass or plastic. It won't look odd.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Thanks- My original is an opaque plastic but to re-cover they would have to use their own shade backing which isn't so she said being it's not a lamp where you can put the seam in the back it might not be optimal.

Scrolling through this thread again do you think my originals with the bird fabric would be the best option as of now? I also kind of preferred 2 larger pendants in fabric than 3 small ones in fabric but maybe either is fine.

I'm going to tape out my island today now that the kitchen is the new size now! : )

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:36AM
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I like the original drum shade with the print as is. It appears that 2 of them would work nicely over the island. Your other options are nice too so I don't think you can go wrong.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 2:19PM
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The last two fabric shades you posted remind me of European fixtures. They have shades like that in the stores all the time.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 3:26PM
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Our window is a counter height that will be bumped out... If I don't use bird fabric on lights I'd want to put it at window as a valance but I am worried there isn't a lot of room there and with the bumpout it may not work as well. I guess I'd put it on the inside of the bumpout (meaning on the kitchen wall)

Also our window is tight with the cabs due to a major beam we had to move over 6 inches.

Here's an example of bumped out counter height... Note our ceiling is 8' and top of window is at 7' so not much room there. I also don't want to cover too much of the window. A wood valance is also an option.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 3:52PM
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I love the bell shade you posted on Friday at 22:15.

A lot of the drum shades you posted seem way too bright to me for your space (the striped ones, especially). Not that I don't like them, just that the other yellows you are using are more muted and they seem out of place. The first damask one seems okay, but I don't think that 2 seams with the bird fabric instead of one is a big deal either.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 4:10PM
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How do your windows line up with your island and the lights that will go in there? And the cabinets across the way? Is there a clue there to help decide 2 or 3? Anything to work with or avoid fighting?

Also, have you tried walking around a 3D projection with lights up to see what they look like as you look in from right and left of the island? They won't be in a line anywhere but stationary straight on, of course. They'd all look nice, but it might help tilt you one way or the other.

My 2 cents:
1. I like the bird fabric at the window (you'll find a nice way) and for added interest a different fabric with the positive-negative space colors reversed for the lights--not the bird fabric.
2. If you decided you wanted to downplay the lights--your August 10 22:15 glass shade. Cute, nice with the bird fabric, and continues the yellow-white scheme, so it's a stronger choice than clear glass, which is seeming excessively neutral in comparison.
3. Maybe look to your original inspiration photo for clues to pulling your choices together? Since you like it a lot?
4. It's going be really nice.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 4:36PM
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Thanks so much for the helpful comments!

Today was the first day I could lay out the island. It may be off an inch or so but is about right. The kitchen guy is going to tape everything out this week.

Here it is with the 2 18" pendants:

and 3 12" ones

So, as I'm staring into the new space I was thinking how the kitchen and dr are really one room only separated by a ceiling beam but no walls.... and the fact that you can see both windows so clearly. (They are plastic right now and dr is somewhat covered in photo) I planned on the bird fabric for the DR window so am thinking I SHOULD use for the kitchen window or it may look "off"? In which case bird fabric on both windows and lights is definite overkill.

UNLESS, I could use the pom pom curtain for the kitchen, and the bird on the kitchen pendants and dining room window. That may work well and carry over nicely : ) Other thoughts?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 6:35PM
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Went to Capitol Lighting. Huge store and not one thing that interested me. There must be something wrong.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 5:09PM
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OK, electrician wires tomorrow and I'n having a panic attack over the island lights. I am thinking my drums, but with 8' ceilings and 18" opaque pendants will it be too much of a "blockage"???

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:54PM
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What do you think?


    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:20PM
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I keep going back to that one you posted on Friday 8/10...

Are you going to do two or three lights over the island? If three, I think a glass or more neutral pendant is best.

If you go with the fabric shades can you buy them in white and then have a lighting store cover them for you after the kitchen is complete? This would allow you to make the decision later when you're working in a finished space and have time to play with, and see, your options all together.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 10:35AM
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Stick to original?

Found these too...

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:46AM
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Step away from the schoolhouse lights.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:49AM
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Ha! Funny bc i got 2 emails one from u and one from decorator. She said schoolhouse is more timeless and classic and I may tire from drums and that shed do schoolhouse Although drums aren't expensive so i can always change.

Then--- your message. Lol

Even though I'm not doing a period kitchen can't you mix n match?

My flush Inset cabs, marble, and walnut wouldn't work with those? Btw I usually don't like schoolhouse lights much but I thought those were pretty.

Not saying ur wrong- just curious of ur thoughts.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 9:18AM
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This from RH??

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 10:32AM
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I like one of your early fabrics

as to me the yellow swirls on white background echo the yellow branches on white background of your bird fabric.

I also like the most recent yellow glass one you posted (the bottom one).

Looking at your island layout though, will the two 18" lights give enough overlap light at the ends of your island??


    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 10:37AM
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mtnfever- The RH (resoration hardware) one I posted this morning?

I also love these for over the dining table...

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:04AM
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I love the beehive pendant!

I echo what Red-lover said,
"Have you considered a making your island look more like a table?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:08AM
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rtwilliams- I don't see redlover's post.

Like a table in what way?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:10AM
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2littlefishies, I think we cross posted. This is the yellow glass light I meant

but I adore the RH light you posted this morning, Clemson I believe? Though I'm a sucker for industrial-type pendants so perhaps I'm not a good judge for its appropriateness in your kitchen. The Clemson with ribbed glass might be a good alternative to the clear glass if you're still concerned about the fabric shades in your 8' kitchen.

Love seeing your ideas!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:51AM
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