A contemporary kitchen design can be a lot of things — a little bit modern, vintage, neutral, and even colorful. This home decor look, which truly encapsulates the style of right now, can borrow from multiple aesthetics but usually relies on a neutral palette with a bit of minimalism and a few pops of thoughtful color to add a dose of intrigue. When it comes to kitchen lighting, that means ceiling lights with pizzazz, eye-catching pendants, eclectic chandeliers, and more.
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If you're ready to upgrade to the perfect contemporary kitchen lighting, we'll show you how.
1. Hang a chandelier with a modern design.
A statement-making chandelier with a matte black finish will complement just about any cook space. But we like this multi-arm option because it can work in a modern kitchen or a contemporary one. And if your ceiling lighting features a sleek hue like this, you can create a fun ambiance with a colorful backsplash tile.
Get the look: Corrigan Studio 6-Light Chandelier, $144.99
2. Pick a lighting design that complements your kitchen decor.
This kitchen pendant lighting installation features a fun array of colors that feels quaint and contemporary at the same time. The shades make a monochromatic space feel lively. If you go this route, feel free to pick any color that will invigorate your cook space. Perhaps the fixtures will be the only pop of color in the room — in which case, we recommend going bold.
Get the look: Design Within Reach Grain Pendant, $209
3. Install an oversize pendant.
If the rest of your cook space is pretty neutral and contemporary through and through, skip the mini pendants and wall sconces. Make a statement with a single oversize light that features a frosted glass shade like the one shown here. It will draw the eye up and create a focal point in a smaller kitchen.
Get the look: Shades of Light Iconic Color Pop Dome Pendant, $292
4. Mix and match sizes.
We love that this kitchen features light fixtures of varying sizes, and they're all complementary. The cage pendants over the island countertop are a smaller iteration of the farmhouse fixture above the dining table. And the consistent brass hues give the entire space the perfect dose of contemporary edge.
Get the look: Everly Quinn Light Kitchen Island Linear Pendant, $323.99
5. Find a light with curves.
Because contemporary style is best defined as anything that's "right now," there are a lot of ways to interpret the look at home. A round pendant light like this one will create a contrast to the straight lines that are typical in most kitchens. And the white color will add the perfect amount of simplicity.
Get the look: Hashtag Home Quinn 1-Light LED Globe Pendant, $79.29
6. Go for a textured shade.
Contemporary style is often very neutral (save for some pops of color), so it's important to bring in texture to add interest. That's why the three-light fixture in this space from Studio McGee caught our eye. The eat-in area features multiple traditional touches, but the shades offer a revamped take on a classic style. We suggest choosing soft bulbs to accompany the fixture — they'll keep everything feeling zen.
Get the look: McGee & Co. Bryant Large Billiard, $1,089
7. Opt for recessed lighting that blends in.
In some contemporary kitchens, the lighting is so minimal that you don't see it at all. Case in point: this chic space from Amber Interiors. To recreate a cooking area that feels both vintage and modern in equal doses, try recessed lighting that doesn't make a scene. This is also a great way to incorporate dimmable lights into the mix.
Get the look: NUWATT LED Retrofit Recessed Lighting Kit, $279.99
8. Find matte black pendants.
Matte black pendants will look great in a contemporary white kitchen. Sticking with the neutral theme of this area from Chango & Co., these lights don't call a lot of attention to themselves, but they're still incredibly sleek. Group three together to create a light source that's functional and balanced.
Get the look: Zipcode Design Gannon 1-Light Single Dome Pendant, $61.99
Hedy is a freelance lifestyle and entertainment writer for places including POPSUGAR, Eat This Not That, InStyle, and more. She devotes 99% of her time to snuggling with her cats and 100% of her money to following Harry Styles around on tour. She's always on the lookout for another slice of New York Pizza, and she's never met a Starbucks drink she doesn't like.