Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
If you’re building a kitchen or just redesigning it, you’re sure to have plenty of questions along the way. Some of these questions likely involve coordinating lighting throughout the space. For example, should kitchen island pendant lights match a chandelier in the dining room or living room?
Island pendant lights should match the chandelier if you have an open floor plan. You should be careful not to simply imitate island pendant lights and chandeliers in other sections of your home. Instead, they should be similar in style but not identical.
In the rest of this article, I’ll focus on the question at hand in more detail. I’ll discuss the different approaches to matching your lights in an open floor plan and the best ways to match your island pendant lights and chandeliers.
Understanding When Pendant Lights Should Match a Chandelier
In modern house design, light fixtures are considered true statement pieces. Sure, you’ll need main light sources to illuminate your living spaces, but secondary light sources, like lamps and smaller pendant lights, are there to make a room more stylish.
Your floor plan will definitely reflect where you place your light fixtures. If you have a closed floor plan, then each room is a space on its own.
Your creativity and ideas can run wild in each room, and those ideas don’t necessarily need to match with other areas. The same goes for light arrangement.
In a closed floor plan, your kitchen lights, including island pendant lights, should reflect the atmosphere and material of your kitchen (not other rooms).
The situation is different in an open floor plan, however. When you have a large, open space in which your kitchen, dining room, and usually living room are combined together, you’ll need to think differently about furniture and light design.
Lighting Should Fit Within the Flow of the Space
First of all, the entire space should have some kind of flow. This means that one style is present in every section of that large space, instead of each section having contrasting designs (like traditional and modern, for example).
In that scenario, island pendant lights and chandeliers shouldn’t necessarily be identical because they don’t have the same function.
Island pendant lights are task lights that illuminate a smaller space that’s used for certain tasks, such as cooking. Chandeliers, on the other hand, are much bigger and can effectively illuminate an entire room.
However, the flow in style should be present in both your island pendant lights and your chandelier.
For example, you could use the same color of the light fixtures or the same metal, but not the same look. By coordinating in this way, a flow is present, but both light fixtures remain unique.
So, to answer the question if island pendant lights should match a chandelier: yes and no. The pendant lights should match some elements of a chandelier but not the entire design or look.
How To Match Your Island Pendant Lights and a Chandelier
Now that we’ve covered whether or not pendant lights should match a chandelier, let’s talk about how to actually match light fixtures in an open floor plan without it being too obvious.
Don’t Just Copy the Styles of Different Sections of Your Space
Even if you have an open floor plan, you shouldn’t necessarily keep strictly to a single style throughout the area. In fact, one of the best ways you can break that monotony of style is by experimenting with your light arrangement.
You should pick smaller sections and design them with individual characteristics. The same goes for light arrangement. Your island pendant lights won’t be the same as another pendant light used for your breakfast or dining area.
A smooth design flow should be present throughout the space, but small unique light fixtures should be a statement of your own style and the nature of that section of your home.
Focus on One Characteristic of Your Light Fixture and Build From There
It can be difficult to choose what type of light fixture and primary light source we want in our homes—especially when we need to coordinate every other piece of furniture in that space to match perfectly with our light decor.
The best way to keep the flow throughout a space is to focus on one particular characteristic of your light fixture. This can range from the material used to the functionality or general style.
For example, let’s say you decide to focus on the material of your fixture. Your island pendant light may be made from glass hanging from a metal chain.
To keep that flow, you shouldn’t find the same chandelier for your other room. Instead, you could buy a chandelier that has some glass elements.
You can also choose to focus on the style of your light fixture. If your island pendant lights are made in an industrial style, then you should consider your chandelier to be in the same style but not identical.
Consider the Purpose of Your Space
The purpose of your space should determine how you’ll choose your light fixtures.
Generally speaking, kitchen islands aren’t used for that many purposes, so smaller pendant lights can be used without any major consequence.
It’s probably more important to find island pendant lights that place a strong focus on decorative qualities.
However, when you’re choosing a chandelier for your dining table, the opposite is true. You want to find a big, bright chandelier that’ll allow you and your guests to see the tasty food adorning the dining table.
So, when choosing the perfect match between island pendant lights and a chandelier, you definitely should keep in mind the design flow of the space and choose a specific focus to build your design around. That said, don’t forget the purpose of your light fixture.
Are Pendant Lights Over Island Out of Style?
Pendant lights over a kitchen island aren’t out of style. In fact, modern kitchen designs that incorporate a kitchen island almost always include pendant lights as part of a design statement in that space.
When it comes to choosing anything for your home, the choice is always your own. Some people will consider pendant lights to be out of style. If you’re one of those people, that’s completely fine. You don’t have to include them in your design.
The answer to the question about matching island pendant lights and a chandelier depends if your home has an open or closed floor plan. For open floor plan homes, there must be a flow between each piece of furniture, including lights.
It’s essential that you don’t just imitate light fixtures but find individual qualities and repeat them throughout the space.
- Lamp Twist: What Is Pendant Lighting?
- YouTube: Julie Khuu: How to Choose the Best Lighting for Every Room in Your Home – Size and Style
- Caroline on Design: How to Choose Kitchen Island Lighting
- TruBuild Construction: How to Choose the Best Pendant Lighting for Over Your Kitchen Island
- The Lighting Gallery: 8 Do’s and Don’ts for Mixing and Matching Lighting Fixtures
- Our Fifth House: Design Dilemma Coordinating Kitchen Island and Breakfast Nook Lights
- Interior Space: How to Accurately Pair Kitchen and Dining Room Lights
- Gabby: How to Pair Kitchen and Dining Lights
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