Lighting a kitchen in Wisconsin is a customized thing. Kitchen floor plans are quite unique, and, no one uses your kitchen the way you do anyway. The fundamental “layering of light” applies here in spades: kitchen recessed lighting combines with light fixtures and natural lighting to give you the level of light that pleases you. Let’s look at the lighting basics and then add a few extra ideas to embellish your plan.
We start nearly every kitchen with recessed lighting placed over kitchen counters so your lighting doesn’t throw your shadow into your tasks. You say, well of course! But we’ve discovered that most homes, if they have kitchen recessed lighting to begin with, have lighting that shines on the kitchen floor. Not helpful.
You’ll need under-cabinet lighting, too, because it scatters light forward toward your hands. We like slim line fixtures that tuck up under the cabinets and cast light evenly across the counter. We suggest under-cabinet lighting with a built in dimmer switch for use, for example, when you are enjoying late drinks with neighbors and don’t want the full lighting, or to use as a night-light on long winter evenings.
Have a breakfast bar or island in your kitchen? Consider pendants, and more than one. Or a chandelier. Or a blingy fixture that says, “We love a statement at our house!” Add small recessed can lights over the breakfast bar or workspace. It’s useful, effective, and looks really beautiful when used with or without the bigger fixtures. Back to the pendants: they come in every imaginable style: contemporary metals, colorful Italian glass, Mid-century modern, Mission, or Vintage Industrial with its Edison bulbs. Retrofitting a space with pendants? Consider a multisystem fixture for the ultimate in flexibility. We have thousands of pendants and Certified Lighting Specialists with years of experience helping customers like you to identify the look you’re after. Incorporating good lighting that also makes a statement? That’s what we do.
Not everyone has the luxury of a kitchen table. Got one? Show it off and make it a place you want to spend time with lighting that works. Pendants work here, too. And so does a chandelier. Years ago on a home tour we spotted a sensational vintage-looking crystal chandelier lighting the breakfast table in the kitchen of a very contemporary Madison home. It was a showstopper made more delightful when the homeowner admitted he didn’t care to eat in the dining room, too stuffy! So he brought the exquisite fixture into the kitchen. Bling not your thing? We love the new “upholstered” drum shade fixtures, along with up-cycled industrial, and mid-century modern. The message here? If it makes you smile, do it! You’ll probably find it here on our website and if you need more help visit our showroom. Make an appointment, bring your photos and measurements, and we’ll help you make the perfect choice and get the proportion right for your space.
A quick tutorial on the right proportion as you browse our online shopping experience: Typically a chandelier is hung 28-32” above the tabletop. And it’s best to hang one foot in from the edge of the table to avoid hitting your head. What’s the right height of a fixture? Our rule of thumb is 2.5 to 3” for each foot of ceiling height. An eight-foot ceiling prefers a chandelier that’s 20-24 inches in height. How about the diameter? Add the height and width of your room together and treat the sum as inches. A 15 x 18 foot dining room would look great with a chandelier that’s 33” in diameter.
Now that you know the “rules” remember the pirate’s code. They’re not actually rules, more like guidelines, really. An example of “the code?” If you’re lucky enough to have a big farm kitchen with a worktable in the center, consider using multiple chandeliers for lighting. Two chandeliers over a worktable or long, rectangular dining table has a “why not?” attitude that can be very appealing.
And perhaps you have a small sideboard or English dresser in the kitchen, the perfect spot to set up a bar. Let’s make it useful with a table lamp.
Did you incorporate a desk into your kitchen for paying bills and perusing cookbooks? A table lamp might make the perfect accent.
Does your backdoor lead directly into your kitchen? A flush mount fixture instead of a recessed light tucks up out of the way of the door yet brings your aesthetic into another area of the room.
Start shopping our online collection or visit our showroom.