Picking pendant lights

Kristen HallockSeptember 11, 2013

Ugh. I think DH and I finally decided on a light over our kitchen table. We used to have a Hubbardton Forge chandelier but we moved that to the dining room (it was a bronze finish and the kitchen is going to be satin nickel) and we are getting this light for over the table.

But now we cant decide on pendant lights. Everything I like, he hates, or they are just more $$ than we wanted to spend. I loved the Hudson Valley Canton pendant. He hates it. I like a simple pendant with white glass that curves inward. he thinks that looks stupid and having it curve inward will not distribute the light. I like a shape like this

he does like the Hudson Valley Pelham pendants, and I do too, but I am worried that is too much metal since my 36" range is stainless steel and the hood is stainless steel and the fridge is stainless, and the dishwasher, etc...

I also sort of like the Hudson Valley altamont pendant with the white shade. Or the Exeter pendant with a white glass shade, or the Darien. But the Exeter is rather small and I am still unsure of what size pendants I should be shooting for over my island.

Our island is 51" x 69" (with countertop overhang) and we are only putting 2 pendants in. I know most people like 3, but 3 felt like too much and we've already had the electrical installed for 2 pendant lights. The perimeter is lit by those CREE Home Depot recessed lights, and we have LED undercabinet lighting.

Any ideas? I could spend more if its the perfect pendant. But I'd like to stick around $200 if possible, I dont like bell-shaped shades - too traditional for me. Here is a picture of the kitchen (not finished yet), Its not usually this yellow looking. I just took the picture in bad light I think. You can just see the edge of the kitchen table/chairs on the far right of the picture. The table is rectangular with 6 chairs.

How wide should my lights be? There is no seating on the island. There will be a prep sink by the range end.

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I struggled with this, too. And finally ordered Hudson Valley Haverhill medium. Not entirely sure I made the right decision, and they aren't up yet. But here is what helped:

Blow up balloons (I used orange I had on hand, better to go and get white or clear ones) and hang them to get a feel for scale and placement. I decided the mediums were good but might have been tricked by the fact that orange balloons have a much bigger presence than satin nickel and glass.

Check out progress lighting, seagull, home depot and Lowes for styles similar to what you like at a lower price point. Amazon can give you suggestions. I coulda and maybe shoulda bought very similar progress pendants that were about half the price. Some Lowe's stores have better selection than others, call and ask which one near you has the most and see them in person.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Love the kitchen. Very nice. IMO I think the direction you've selected for the lighting doesn't really compare to the quality of the kitchen. These selections have a kind of 'Big Box Store' quality to them.

Many of the fixtures from Hudson Valley Lighting would be applicable, but they aren't inexpensive. I wouldn't be concerned about the amount of metal. I think what's missing in your current selection is texture and details on the light fixtures that complement the quality of your cabinet details. The lights are pretty 'smooth' overall, & not in a good way. Actually, I'd consider NOT matching the satin nickel. You can mix metals if you're careful. I would consider fixtures in perhaps a dark grey/charcoal finish to bring some contrast and more texture to the room.

For lights over tables I prefer a fixture that ends up about 30"+ over the table, not an uplight hanging close to the ceiling, but that's just my opinion. I like my table to have a bit of sparkle. The fixture you selection will just be ambient light around the table.

The light below is not what I'd recommend for your kitchen. I only post it as a comparison in price and style so you see you can stretch you dollars. But this is only my opinion. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 11:33AM
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You might want to try out some fixtures from Lowes to see what size and finish works in your space. If they don't work out, you can just return them to the store.

Just going through their selection, I was surprised at how many attractive fixtures they offered.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Kristen Hallock

So I used to have a chandelier over my kitchen table. Like this

But if you stand in the kitchen at the table and look down into the family room (sunken) you stare at the fireplace and the mirror over the fireplace. I thought that having a light that wasnt hanging down would give a better view of the kitchen and a more "open" feeling.

Plus I am contending with my DH who has strong feelings about everything decorative and he doesnt want a chandelier! Which is why I found the semi-flush mount. It holds 3 100-watt bulbs which seems like it would be enough light for the kitchen table?

Back to the pendants - I doubt I will miz metals except if I found something from hubbardton forge since they only make steel finishes. The last 2 pendants I posted are Hudson Valley Lights. So not exactly a big box store light. I do like the Pelham Pendant, I just need to get past the metal shade.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 12:58PM
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Khallock, the space is quite large. How about a simple drum shade fixture? It's possible that your DH might not really consider a drum shade a 'chandelier'.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 1:47PM
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I am agreeing with Beverly on this. I think a simple drumshade is classic and adds texture and interest for over the table. I don't necessarily mind the one you picked, but think that the breakfast nook could have more "interest".

Regarding the pendants, I have experienced that while we are fixated on every detail now, for the most part, pendant lights will fade from our focus after a while. We generally don't "see" them--they are an accent usually, not the star. Sort of like a good belt, they can compliment the whole outfit. Your decision to keep two instead of three pendants seems right. If I had to pick, I like the very last one in line (the larger white one) for over the island.

Some other websites to look at:
Rejuvenation, Lamps Plus, Arteriors (pricier but good for looking at other possible styles)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 3:34PM
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What about a drum light that has some metal? There are bunches of them on pics on Houzz and Pinterest.
This is just one I've pinned while thinking about lighting for over the island, and the link is to another.

Here is a link that might be useful: drumlights

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 4:41PM
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Ooooh! mlweaving. I like your suggestion about drum lights with metal trim.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 5:42PM
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I forget how tall your ceilings are, khallock. 8 feet?

Have you looked at the Tech Lighting catalog and their dimmable LED Pendants? They purposefully make the hanging wire very thin, so it almost looks invisible. Given your beautiful kitchen, all the way down to those rear windows, perhaps you might like to look at their catalog and their discontinued line.

Here is their Sahara pendent with frosted cover for $116.00. I can't photo shop it like others:

Here is a link that might be useful: Tech Lighting: pendants

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 6:12PM
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Your kitchen is well on its way to being fabulous. I love your cabinets, especially the detail in the glass doors. Can't wait to see it finished.

The semi flush mount pendent you picked is nice but it might look a bit small over your table (of course, I could be wrong since I don't know the actual size of either of them.)

I too, think a drum type chandelier/large pendant would look nice in over your dining table.

I have one over my table that might actually look good in your space too because the geometric details in it echo the detail in your glass cabinet doors. It is Kichler's Quinn. My is mounted with a rod (that was available in different lengths) but I believe it comes in a chain style too. My ceilings are 8 ft.

I used the coordinating semi flush version in a sitting area next to my kitchen.
I am posting pictures of each just so you can see how they compare. Again, the semi flush fixture that you found might be much larger than mine. I don't think my semi flush fixture would have looked right over my table. And it doesn't give off as much light either.

The Quinn also comes in a small pendant size that could possibly work over your island.

And here is the small pendant

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 8:05PM
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If you have to go with a drum light, I like Badgergirl's suggestions. It looks a little arts and crafts, and I think it works better with your traditional elements--stained maple, muntins (or is it mullins?), earthenware pottery. The others are too contemporary and trendy.

What is your countertop and backsplash? They are part of this equation too.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 8:18PM
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I LOVE the drum lights that miweaving_Marji posted! As a matter of fact, I love the countertops in that kitchen too. Whose kitchen is that and what kind of counter is it?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 11:15PM
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lcskaisgir, that kitchen is pulled from the Cultivate.com site. I've linked below to the site. It's a design by a Chicago firm, and they don't give buying information. I'd really like to know who makes those lamps, as well as those in this photo.
May_Flowers, I think Badgergirls lamps are also fabulous! Her whole room is so serene and beautiful. and I think it's true that many drum lights come in several forms to coordinate rooms from pendants to flush mounts.
IMO an argument can be made that any of them are contemporary, or can work in an arts and crafts decor. Sometimes its just a difference in the metal finishes chosen that determines the look.

Here is a link that might be useful: SusanFredmandesign

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 8:51AM
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Kristen Hallock

I really like the drum lights with the metal. Especially this last picture. I also like the lights posted by Badgergal. I dont know what my husband will think though. He has very strong opinions and we've had way too many arguments during this kitchen remodel.

I worry a little about fabric shades too because I am not the worlds best cleaner. I'd prefer something that I can spray and wipe down.

My countertops will be Cambria in Victoria with an eased edge. I will tile the backsplash, but I havent decided what tile yet. I want to wait for the countertops to go in. Nothing too crazy. I might like a subway tile laid in a herringbone pattern. Maybe a marble tile in a creamy whitish color?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 7:41AM
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Kristen Hallock

My ceilings are 8'.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 9:04AM
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khallock, I love your kitchen! Everything about it. For the most part, I tend to agree with Beverly. Your current selections aren't bad at all, but I think your kitchen is way better than any of them. Seriously. Others have said that you stop seeing the pendants after a bit, and actually that's a good thing, as you don't want to fixate on something dangling in space. I would rather see something other than brushed nickel, a darker metal, for a little texture and nod to the craftsman vibe of your kitchen.

I know there's a general rule about odd numbers, but I also have two pendants over my peninsula because, for its length and the size of my lights, two was the right number.

Your kitchen is really awesome!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 9:49AM
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Just looked at Joss & Main offerings today. They have an amazing collection of lighting today - something might work for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Joss&MainLightingEvent

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:33AM
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I love my pendants from Uttermost. They are the Terumi.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 12:50PM
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This post was edited by bcafe on Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 13:29

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Kristen Hallock

Thanks all. My husband hated the Kichler Quinn. He hates drum lights. He is difficult! He is set on a light that doesnt hang down over the kitchen table. I may be able to change that, but i'm not sure. He's very set in his ideas.

So far I am thinking of either the Hudson Valley Darien in Antique Nickel with a white glass shade (8" size)

Or the Boston pendant on Circa Lighting's page in Antique Nickel

Or I could go back with the pendants I had in my last house, which were Hubbardton Forge. They dont have a nickel finish, but I could get Smoke, Black, Burnished Steel...In my last house I had black, but the part right above the glass globe was copper. It was very pretty

And then I am sort of liking one of these lights for over the table (if I went with HF)


Still unsure on the Hubbardton Forge though. I like the lights when I see them in a room, but I'm not always sold just seeing a picture of the light by itself.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 9:16AM
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What did u wind up choosing?

Here is a link that might be useful: choosing the right mini pendant lights

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 1:31PM
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What did u wind up choosing?

Here is a link that might be useful: choosing the right mini pendant lights

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 1:32PM
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What did u wind up choosing?

Here is a link that might be useful: choosing the right mini pendant lights

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 1:33PM
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