While countertops in the food prep area are usually tight on space, we recommend making room for one home decor item in particular: a kitchen lamp. It may never have occurred to you to add this accessory to your cook space — because overhead chandeliers, pendant lights, sconces, and other ceiling light fixtures are so prevalent. But we're here to tell you why this kind of kitchen light is a must.
It creates texture, for one. A pleated shade or a ceramic base adds intrigue and an extra layer to any room. Plus, this feature is extremely versatile. Move it around or switch it out with another — you can go with an oil-rubbed bronze option, brushed nickel, or even clear glass. A kitchen lamp brings a dose of newness to the heart of the home.
Perhaps most importantly, lamps add another source of illumination. And unlike harsh overhead lighting fixtures, they can offer a soft, adjustable glow. Read on to see how a few of our favorite designers incorporated lamps into their culinary hub. Then get ready to make room on your counters or under cabinets.
1. Bring in a vintage table lamp.
Styling a kitchen is an art form, and as evidenced by the scene here, Carley Page Summers is a true artist. Take notes from this sweet cook space, featuring mix and match glassware, a stunning kitchen cabinet, an open shelf with carefully considered trinkets, and a vintage-looking table lamp that has a simple white lampshade. We love that the cord is visible, not perfectly tucked behind an accessory, because, yes, lamps have cords. That's just real life.
Get the look: CB2 Polar Table Lamp, $249
2. Anchor each end of your kitchen island with matching lamps.
If Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent place substantial, coordinating table lamps on their kitchen island, may we suggest you also place substantial, coordinating table lamps on your kitchen island? The weight of the accents adds depth and symmetry to the couple's New York City kitchen, which also features a custom hood, backsplash, and countertops made of Calacatta. Can't you picture it now? A Sunday morning, sitting at this island, catching up on the news, with these lamps to add a little glow.
Get the look: West Elm Modern Gourd Table Lamp, starting at $199
3. Add a table lamp with a fun finish.
This open-air, indoor/outdoor living space designed by Marian Louise Designs doesn't shy away from color, textures, or good vibes. Look closely at the left side of the kitchen, and you'll find a slightly iridescent table lamp. It complements the colorful decor while still making a silvery statement. There's nothing minimalist about this cook space and dining room combo, but it works because of the masterful balancing of opposites: wood and metal, soft textiles and hard angles, bright colors and muted neutrals.
Get the look: Pottery Barn Danielle Small Round Table Lamp, $289
4. Find one that complements the rest of your kitchen lighting and decor.
Leave it to Seattle-based designer extraordinaire Heidi Caillier to design a picture-perfect yet practical kitchen, which includes this hefty, slightly retro table lamp. It adds a subtle glow after sunset, so you won't have to rely on the large overhead lights when you sneak into the kitchen for a midnight snack. And even though it's a muted brown color, the lamp works beautifully with the brass pendant lamps and flush mount fixture.
Get the look: Crate and Barrel Vera Champagne Table Lamp, $398
5. Create a reading zone on the kitchen island with a small table lamp.
There's something about this space that reminds us of our childhoods. Perhaps it's because M. Lavender Interiors collaborated with the clients to evoke a touch of the '80s, with the help of saturated color, small floral designs, and plaid. We especially love the island table lamp, which creates a little reading nook for homework sessions or a good book. If you go this route, just be sure to go with a dimmable light bulb, so the glow doesn't hurt your eyes.
Get the look: Skully & Skully Vine & Trellis Square Vase Lamps, $275
6. Bring in a pleated shade for a lighting idea with texture.
What's not to love about this dreamy kitchen by Rebecca Gibbs Design? First, there are the creamy white cabinets and appliances. Then you notice the sleek open shelves. And finally, your eyes settle on that stylish lamp in the corner. Its pleated lampshade adds texture to an otherwise smooth space, and the wooden base coordinates with items on the shelves. It's a perfect fit.
Get the look: LeKrazyHorse Clip-On Pleated Lampshade, starting at $52.40
7. Stack it on a pile of books.
Don't leave your kitchen counters bare. Bring in a stack of your favorite cookbooks, then stick a mini lamp right on top. The end result will add height to the kitchen and give guests something cool to look at even when you're not preparing a culinary feast.
Get the look: Burke Decor Calabria Table Lamp, $238.40