Pendants or cans over peninsula?

LinelleOctober 28, 2011

I'm in the bid-gathering stages of a modest kitchen update. The cabinets will have new doors and drawer-fronts and be painted white. The counters will be dark gray quartz. The horrible fluorescent box is going. Also going is the cabinet and soffit over the peninsula, which will open things up quite a bit. I'm planning 4-inch cans in 9-ft. ceiling. I'm thinking of three small pendants suspended from a rail over the peninsula. While I was at the lighting store today, the guy suggested I just use cans over the peninsula to keep the space wide open. I hadn't thought of that. I'm not so sure that small, 4.5-inch diameter pendants will clutter the open space vacated by the cabinet + soffit. Plus, I kinda like the idea of light coming from the middle space, rather than just from the ceiling.

What do you think?

Looking out from the kitchen:

Looking into the kitchen (kitten supervising):

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Our kitchens are cousins!
Here is my before:

And after the soffit was removed(and the cabinets on the peninsula I finished yesterday are my new color) For lighting, I'm actually going to do a track because I figured I got rid of the soffit because I didn't like "stuff" hanging at eye level. If I did pendants, again, there would be things hanging at eye level in my face in my main work area. So, I'd go with the cans. Youcan see some of the cans in the pics. I would add more cans, but we put cans in before the soffit was removed, so the placement of them just wouldn't look right. I also wanted the freedom to add spots as well as floods since our kitchen will be darker.
    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 7:41PM
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Our kitchens *are* cousins, bahacca! Vintage 1991. I'll be lighting up the area with the white cabinets and I get plenty of natural light all day long. I'm not convincing that pendants will be that much in my face. It'll be opened up quite a bit with the cab/soffit removal and the pendants aren't much bigger than coffee mugs. However, the comment came from a lighting guy who would lose a sale if I go with cans in that spot.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 7:49PM
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I have 3 pendants over my island and cans in the rest of the kitchen. Two cans are over the breafast area. The pendants give more and better light, in my opinion. The island is 9 feet long and the table is 6 so the lighting ought to feel about the same. I do have 9-foot ceilings so it could be that that is the difference. I wish now I had put in a regular hanging light fixture over the table.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 10:35PM
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Thanks Sally. I think the pendants will look good and not really block the open feel created by the removal of the cab/soffit.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 11:02PM
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Linelle-I'd just measure how far down you'd want them and make mock ups-someone here said to take paper plates and fold them the size of the pendants you are thinking about and hang them from string from the ceiling to see if they annoy you. If they are coffee cup sized, though, they may well be just fine. The ones I wanted were more like 9 inches and would have bothered me.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 11:33PM
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Is your peninsula going to stay the same length? If so, you may find that 2 pendants will be lots.

We just got rid of the cabs over our peninsula, and it is *so* much better! We don't find our new pendants to be in the way visually.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 2:54AM
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our kitchen was also a bit of a twin situation to yours. was sure i was going to do pendants over the peninsula (cans over the rest of kitchen) but couldn't find just the right ones... and had them wait to do the peninsula. (they just put wiring in up there. now that it's done, have decided to do cans... and am glad i waited. i hung 3 balloons from string up there and found that i just wanted it to have a completely open feel. am really happy we waited, as i had been sure i wanted pendants. will be posting pictures soon, i hope...

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 3:31AM
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I would definitely do the pendants. They will give your kitchen more character/interest! Kind of like how putting on a really cute pair of earrings makes an outfit! LOL!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 8:15AM
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My peninsula is staying the same size. I'll be removing approx. 15 sq. ft. of solid visual blockage above it, so I can't imagine the pendants will be perceived as in the way. I agree with jillandmatt that they'll be a bit like a cute pair of earrings, an accessory that adds light to the peninsula.

suzannesl, my peninsula is just 5 ft. long, so it may be that two pendants will suffice. I just have a desire for three, but if three is one too many, I'll go with two. I'm considering one of these shapes (not sure of glass color). Possibly hanging from a rail.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 2:24PM
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We're in the same boat. We removed the overhead cabinet over the previous bar-height and are going with a counter-height peninsula without an overhead cabinet for our updated kitchen. I'd like to do 3 pendants as well but our peninsula will be just under 6'. I like the idea of 3 so maybe mini's? Otherwise 2 will have to do I guess.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 2:42PM
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If you look a billiard table lights, you can get a single fixture that lights the peninsula well and does not need to hang so low. It is also cheaper for installation ;)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 2:56PM
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I think two will be fine with that distance. I, personally, think billiard lights look a little dated. Maybe I just haven't seen a nice one. :)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 3:26PM
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