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From the countertop material to the cabinet color, when it comes to the kitchen, every element works to bring the entire design together in visual harmony. However, there are a few accents that act as the ideal finishing touch, or the icing on the cake, such as kitchen lighting — and that includes the fixtures you hang over your island.
The kitchen island acts as a focal point in any culinary space, so the lighting is especially important. And since you undoubtedly spend a lot of time at your central hub chopping, prepping, eating, and chatting with family and friends, a little extra illumination might come in handy. But sometimes tracking down just the right fixture can prove to be a challenge. You might be thinking, Should I go bold or minimalist? White or black? Metal or rattan? Or, maybe you're considering a chandelier instead of a tried-and-true pendant?
Anything rooted in craftsmanship is currently topping kitchen trends, and this is also true of lighting. When sifting through lighting ideas, go the organic, handmade route with ceramic, rattan, or other woven fixtures for your kitchen. Geometric designs continue to reign supreme, whether for the kitchen or the rest of the home. Oversize fixtures have also come into vogue recently, along with mixed metal finishes. Farmhouse and vintage-inspired lighting are still going strong. And black hues for lighting, or anything else for that matter, aren't going out of style anytime soon.
After narrowing down the visuals you're drawn to, it's time to get into the nitty-gritty. A great place to start is the number of lights you'd like to hang. If you have a large island, do you want to hang multiple fixtures to have superior illumination? Or a single, statement-making chandelier that also provides ample light? Also, how about scale and size? Do you want to go the on-trend, oversize route, or would you prefer something a bit more understated and minimalist? Lastly, even though pendants tend to be the lighting of choice over kitchen islands, know that your options can also extend to chandeliers, flush mounts, semi-flush mounts, track lighting, and recessed lighting.
Here are 30 kitchen island lighting ideas that will help you narrow down your choice. And the fun doesn't stop there, keep reading to discover a few of our favorite brands to shop for dreamy fixtures, too.
Best Ideas for Throwback Lighting
1. Globe Lights
Globe-style fixtures have become an increasingly popular choice to hang above a kitchen island, and for good reason. They're vintage-inspired (with a nod to midcentury design) but also look decidedly fresh and modern. They catch the eye without overtaking a space and have the ability to look flawlessly symmetrical above an island, a visually pleasing detail that's witnessed in this LT Interiors kitchen.
2. Milk Glass
Milk glass has been popular for decades, and you can bring the old-school look into your kitchen with a hanging pendant or two. Here, in this cook space designed by Garrett and Cathy of The Grit and Polish, dual milk glass pendant lights, sporting aged brass, look vintage-perfect.
Although they used to light homes before electricity, lantern-style pendants today take a more modern turn with candelabra-inspired light bulbs and on-trend brass. Kristen of Kristen Myers & Co. made her classic kitchen look flawless with these lanterns for a perfect finishing touch.
4. Barn Lights
Farmhouse kitchen decor really doesn't look the part until it's topped off with proper lighting — we recommend tried-and-true barn lights. In this kitchen designed by Christina and Renee of Park & Oak Interior Design, the pendants look oh-so-farmhouse, but they would work equally well as industrial fixtures if that's the feel you're going for.
5. Brass Accents
If you'd prefer a quieter nod to bygone times in your kitchen, you don't need to go with full-on, trendy brass pendants. Instead, mix a bit of brass with vintage silhouettes and detailing for your kitchen lights, an aesthetic that Mollie of Design Loves Detail mastered in this white culinary space.
6. Crystal Chandeliers
It doesn't get anymore throwback than a crystal chandelier. While you may picture these fancy light fixtures in dining rooms of yore, nowadays, they look right at home in a kitchen. Jesse and Sam of Scout & Nimble went with a matching pair above this kitchen island, and the result is elegant and traditional.
Best Ideas for Oversize Lighting
7. Metal Lights
Factory style pendants have an antique quality that transcends passing trends and looks spot-on in a wide assortment of spaces — especially in farmhouse kitchens. In this design by the team at Townsend Interiors, the metallic fixtures above the blue island add loads of charm to the country aesthetic.
8. Sizeable Shades
For big visual impact, embrace lighting ideas that incorporate large shades. That's what Jesse and Sam of Scout & Nimble did in this trend-proof design that demonstrates how kitchen island lighting can steal the spotlight.
9. Black Dome Pendants
10. Extra-Large Lanterns
Even though lanterns are a classic, timeless accent to bring into any kitchen remodeling project, they'll take a more eye-catching turn if they're scaled up. For example, the substantial brass lanterns selected by CC + Mike for this kitchen are undoubtedly head-turning, and yet, will stand the test of time.
11. Linear Lights
For something a bit more unique, consider kitchen lighting ideas that are oversize and feature interesting, linear detailing. That's what Jesse and Sam of Scout & Nimble did in this cook space, and the end result feels one-of-a-kind.
12. Woven Wonders
If you're hung up on boho style but want to incorporate the oversize lighting trend in your culinary design, consider woven fixtures in a generous size. They look particularly stunning in this white kitchen outfitted in McGee & Co. decor.
Best Ideas for Bright Lighting
13. Track Lighting
Yep, that's right. Track lighting has reemerged from the 1980s and become hip again. In fact, we think this form of task lighting looks sleek and streamlined in modern kitchens, especially when hung above the kitchen island. Here, black track lighting complements the black cabinets in a culinary space designed by Studio Black, providing tons of contrast against the white backsplash. Consider investing in a dimmer switch so you can control the level of brightness.
14. Sputnik Chandelier
By definition, a sputnik chandelier has more light bulbs than the average kitchen island light, resulting in even-keeled illumination for your food prep area. Functional, yet impeccably cool, it looks just right in any modern kitchen.
15. Clear Glass
If you're after tons of bright light, skip the shades for your kitchen island lighting. Instead, focus on the idea of an unobstructed glass pendant. Or, in the case of this Clark + Aldine design, three glass pendants, to ensure there will be plenty of light directed at your food prep area.
16. Multiple Lights
Do you have a larger-than-normal island? And are you hoping to brighten up your space to the max? Then we highly recommend hanging multiple light fixtures over your kitchen island. For instance, the two Cedar & Moss chandeliers hanging above this workstation will provide more than enough light.
17. Illuminating Chandelier
When it comes to ceiling lights, a chandelier will offer pretty much the most light, especially when compared to, say, a flush mount. Choose one that's wide with multiple bulbs, like the one in this kitchen belonging to Kyla of House of Hipsters. It's sure to highlight those swanky marble countertops.
18. Industrial Lights
Industrial lights, barn-style or otherwise, tend to have metal shades that provide brilliant downlight, which is perfect for an island. Even in a dark kitchen, like this one showcased by Etsy seller CopperLightingUK, the industrial fixtures cover the entire island in warm light.
Best Ideas for Organic Lighting
Maybe you're on the lookout for a kitchen island lighting idea that really embraces your free-spirited, bohemian style. In that case, opt for something made with natural materials, bursting with texture. The pendants hanging in this boho-chic cook space, captured by photographer Kristine Lo, exemplify how with the right lights you can bring warmth and visual interest to your kitchen.
For a clear bohemian vibe in any cook space, consider lighting ideas inspired by pottery. Typically rendered in ceramic, these pendant lights feature eye-catching designs in earth tones, something that juxtaposes flawlessly with the marble seen throughout this kitchen.
21. Black Rattan
Although rattan is typically thought of as tan or cream-colored, it also occasionally appears in black, giving it just enough edge. Brooke of Nesting with Grace welcomed the look into her kitchen, and it contrasts beautifully with the warm wood and shades of white used throughout.
While concrete is certainly an industrial material, at its core, it's a raw element that doesn't look like it's trying too hard. You may think it's only reserved for industrial kitchens, but actually, it can work within a variety of styles. For example, in this culinary space featured by Serena & Lily, concrete pendant lights look spot-on in a white farmhouse kitchen.
If you're hoping for kitchen island lighting in a natural material, you can't go wrong with wood. Nodding to the outdoors and craftsmanship of yore, it works particularly well in vintage-inspired setups, like this one styled by Anastasia of The Identité Collective.
24. Woven Wicker
What looks better than a single wicker or rattan light fixture hanging above a kitchen island? Multiple fixtures, of course! And they look especially cool in varied shapes, as demonstrated by Anne Sage in this cook space.
Best Ideas for Artistic Lighting
25. Suspension Lighting
Suspension lights can look unique, even futuristic, in a contemporary kitchen. Many adhere to the typical suspension style, while others take on the look of an avant-garde chandelier — one that's a big departure from the crystals and gold details seen in bygone versions. To capture this nouveau lighting idea, opt for a minimal, yet exceedingly cool, suspended fixture, like the one in this sophisticated space designed by Madeleine Blanchfield.
26. Contemporary Chandelier
Pendant lights aren't the only way to go — perhaps a chandelier is better suited for your kitchen island. In this culinary space crafted by Arent & Pyke, an oh-so-modern 10-light chandelier — that will undoubtedly stay afloat while lighting trends continue to ebb and flow — takes center stage. Not to mention, everyone who looks at it will be mesmerized by its beauty, complemented by a marble backsplash and muted green cabinets.
27. Streamlined Light Fixtures
When you hear "artistic," you may think that lighting needs to be overly flashy or colorful. Artistic can also mean subtle and streamlined, yet striking, when it comes to lighting — and these fixtures selected by Greg and Wendy of Blackband Design are picture-perfect proof.
28. Terrazzo Finish
Terrazzo, a composite material featuring chips of glass, quartz, or granite, has been popular in recent years and has made its way over to lighting. It brings just enough creative flair to a kitchen island, something that's been showcased by Katrina Chambers.
29. Geometric Details
One surefire way to bring artistic value to your kitchen is by hanging geometric lights above the island. Along with the patterned wallpaper and colorful decor, the black geometric pendants in this Kate Pearce Vintage kitchen complete the imaginative scene.
30. Sleek Chandelier
For something artistic that also looks sleek and sophisticated, look no further than a contemporary chandelier. Emily Henderson went this direction in her cook space, opting for a fixture that incorporates linear elements and straightforward globe-style lightbulbs, resulting in a minimalist approach to artistic lighting.
Where to score swoon-worthy kitchen island lighting:
Okay, so you've familiarized yourself with the kitchen island lighting options out there and you're feeling super-inspired. So right now is a good time to head to some of our fave lighting destinations, where you'll discover fixtures that are sure to shine in your culinary space.
This brand is a chic mainstay among many of today's designers and happens to specialize in lighting that perfectly punctuates kitchen islands, ranging from abstract pendant lights to retro semi-flush mounts and everything in between.
If you're searching for something a wee bit more traditional and timeless, look no further than Shades of Light. They have kitchen island lighting options that would look ideal in transitional, farmhouse, and vintage-inspired cook spaces.
For tons of options and varieties, you should head on over to Joss & Main. With tons of different lighting categories, many of which suitable for kitchen islands from flush mounts to chandeliers to pendant lights, it's all here.