When picking out kitchen lighting, we often look to the architectural details of a space for cues. Pendant lighting or chandeliers are preferred above an island, lending a functional element with a statement-worthy layer, while recessed lights tend to skew utilitarian. Flush mount ceiling lights combine the best of both worlds, offering a design-forward solution that's ideal for small spaces and intimate nooks.
What is flush mount lighting?
In its most simple sense, a flush mount light fixture sits directly against the ceiling, casting incandescent light downwards. On the other hand, a semi-flush mount has a gap between the ceiling — think of it as an extra short pendant light. According to The Home Depot, installation can average around $100, depending on the type of fixture and the amount of electrical work required. Since the process involves more than just swapping out a lightbulb, especially if you want it to be dimmable, you may want to enlist the help of a professional to ensure that it's done properly.
Additional Things to Think About
When you're ready to start shopping, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the wide variety of styles — ranging from traditional to industrial to modern — and finishes — ranging from chrome to pewter to brushed nickel — to choose from. Another factor to consider, are the light bulbs. We highly recommend LED bulbs as they tend to last longer and will save loads of energy.
To help you get started, we sourced an array of low-profile, flush mount lighting options that might just inspire you. Take a look.
1. Offset low ceilings.
In an intimate kitchen that's tight on square footage or boasts low ceilings, a flush mount can provide an ideal amount of light. The two-tone fixture over the sink, spotted here on Better Happier, does just that and more, lending a hint of warmth thanks to the lustrous brass detailing on the lampshade.
Get the look: CB2 Bell White Flush Mount Light, $59.95
2. Line them up.
Contrary to popular belief, flush mount light fixtures aren't exclusive to traditional style and this transitional kitchen designed by Chango & Co. is proof. Boasting an industrial touch, the caged shades provide structure around the lone exposed bulbs while lending an edgy element to an otherwise modern space.
3. Skip the kitchen island pendants.
Inspired by popular French fixtures of the '50s, the midcentury-inspired ceiling lighting in this light-filled kitchen is prime for making a statement. The metallic finish coupled with the subtle-toned shade offers an effortless way to sneak a dose of color into your cook space while providing an ambient source of light.
Get the look: The Urban Electric Co. Lundy Flushmount, $2,445
4. Go for small yet impactful options.
Flush mount light fixtures are ideal for spaces with low ceilings. If you're lacking ample height above the kitchen island, follow designer Emily Henderson's lead and skip out on low-hanging pendant lights to prevent visual clutter. While the contemporary flush mounts aren't the only source of light in the kitchen, they still manage to uphold a functional element with a design-forward finish.
Get the look: Allied Maker Mini Dome Flush Mount Lights, $695
5. Make it a highlight.
We're swooning over this dreamy kitchen by designer Tiffany Leigh, where the flush mount ceiling light doubles as the undeniable focal point. Serving as a complementary pop of color, it beautifully plays off of the turquoise door, while its warm brass finish lends a dose of warmth.
Get the look: West Elm Metal Ring Flushmount, $149
6. Match the hardware.
Green and brass were made for one another and in this striking Ontario home, featured on The Everygirl, a retro-style flush mount fits right in with the contemporary character of the colorful kitchen. The two-tone fixture, with its frosted glass shade, features subtle brass detailing that emulates the matching knobs and pulls of the cabinetry.
Get the look: Hudson Valley Lighting Mitzi Lydia Ceiling Light Fixture, $148
7. Think within a theme.
Follow the lead of interior designer Heidi Caillier and bring a midcentury modern touch to your kitchen with a modern take on the classic sputnik silhouette. The geometric star-shaped design coupled with a clear glass bulb and warm brass finish is a recipe for inviting an element of elegant flair into your space.
Get the look: VILUXY Brass Star Flush Mount Ceiling Light, $42.99
8. Contrast with other lighting styles.
If you currently have an opening for a flush mount in the center of your kitchen, complement the fixture by installing wall sconces, to provide ample light throughout. Take a page from Cassie Bustamante's book and go for a high-contrast matte black finish to really make it all stand out.
Get the look: Litfad Brass Jar Shape Flush Mounted Light, $61.54
9. Opt for more than one bulb.
A flush mount need not be limited to a single bulb. In fact, you can have a two-light flush mount or even a three-light flush mount, discretely hidden under a frosted glass shade. The ultra-streamlined and modern light fixture in this contemporary kitchen is a great example of just how easily multiple bulbs can be concealed.
Get the look: The Urban Electric Co. Porte, $1,276
10. Consider more than one.
Since flush mount light fixtures are known for having a soft glow, go for more than just one or two, if you're looking for a consistent light source throughout your kitchen (or if you simply want to avoid having to mix and match fixtures). Keep it simple with an option that can seamlessly fit in with the rest of your home decor.
Get the look: Schoolhouse Beacon LED, $399