With kitchens trending larger and larger and the move toward more open floor plans, the kitchen is increasingly becoming the center of the home. Large kitchen islands, rather than separate dining areas, allow you to entertain while you cook and clean, enabling your chef to be part of the party… and for the party to offer a helping hand. With that in mind, it only makes sense to show your kitchen island a little love with an island light. Good kitchen lighting is the best way to make a large kitchen seem cozy and inviting. Prominently placed island lights showcase your personality and your tastes, giving a personal, signature touch to your space.
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The good news is, there are a ton of different island light styles out there – really, if you look, there’s one for every taste, some modestly customized and some way out there. You won’t have to look far or wide to find something that’s a little more than just your average island-sized pendant light. Take this trio of Chadwick Island Lights, for instance – their milk-bucket style is simple, but perfect for adding a little whimsy to a country style kitchen. The effect is subtle but just enough outside the norm to give your kitchen island a little pizazz.
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For a more modern kitchen, say one belonging to a science buff or a die-hard molecular gastronome, this Molecular Chandelier from Elk Lighting is a fantastic choice. Shaped in the form of a molecule and combining a sleek chrome finish with beautiful incandescent glass lights, this is much more than just your average island light. It makes a strong personal statement, and is sure to start more than a few conversations.
As I said, though, island lights come in all colors and creeds. This Cortina 12-Light Chandelier is also well suited for a modern style, again utilizing chrome and glass to stunning effect, but this piece is much better suited to an urban loft style space, with a wink and a nod toward upscale nightlife and snazzy hotels. If your kitchen is all chrome and cocktails and high-rise city view, this might be the chandelier for you.
Speaking of cocktails, if you love the drink but don’t take it too seriously, this playful Martini Glass Chandelier is a great way to poke fun at your own entertaining. Each “Glass” is a light, and the loopy wire that links them together into a single island light is pure fun – great for a host that’s good with a cocktail shaker but with friends who are more laid back than Bond.
Alcohol-inspired island lights are actually more common than you might think, especially when it comes to the fruit of the vine. This Napa 6-Light Chandelier is pure vineyard style, and actually doubles as a wine rack. It has space enough to keep six of your favorite vintages close at hand (which is especially great if you don’t have a built in wine cooler in your kitchen), along with a full set of wine glasses, so you’ll never miss a beat while you’re entertaining. Even when you aren’t, the effect is lovely, with the soft frosted lights showcasing your stemware.
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If you’d rather have the spotlight on your favorite vintages, this Collector’s Chandelier from Sterling Lighting might be more up your alley. Of any of the island lights I’ve mentioned here, this is far and away the most customizable… because it doesn’t actually come with all those bottles. You supply the wine bottles, and can change them as often as you like, for a whole variety of beautiful glass colors, or just a way to remember your favorite wines once they bottle’s empty. Two lights illuminate the bottles from the inside, creating a beautiful focal point for your kitchen island.
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If you love the green glass, but aren’t so much for showcasing your wine collection, you really can’t go wrong with Tiffany. This leaf-patterned Latham Chandelier from Landmark Lighting is made with a Tiffany glass shade and a bronze, lantern-style lamp accented with coils of vines and leaves. Part rustic and part elegant, this signature island light marries a foresty palette wit a slightly feminine touch – perfect for the outdoorsey or a rustic kitchen style.
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Similarly, this Iron Birdcage Pendant Light has a nature-inspired touch to it as well, with soft pastel leaves and delicate pink rosettes. Where the Tiffany chandelier is elegant, this island light is all whimsy and charm, perfect for a cottage style kitchen done in pale colors with lots of natural light. This island light brings a little more of the garden into your room, the perfect touch for a gardener or someone who hosts afternoon teas.
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If that’s a little too girly for you, you can swing in the exact opposite direction with this Novelty Motorcycle Pendant Light. Of any of the lights on this list, this is easily the most personalized, but there are quite a few like it – shaped island lights designed to fit specific theme interests. Elk Lighting has a whole collection of novelty pendant lights, ranging from skateboard pendant lights to the starship Enterprise island lights and everything in between. It’s certainly a bold choice, and maybe better suited for a home bar or secondary entertaining area (read: man cave), but there’s no better way to set a strong theme for a room and have fun doing it.
Whatever your taste or personal style, rest assured that there’s an island light out there not only to suit your space, but to make it your own. Whatever you do, don’t settle for average island lights – if you really want to entertain, you should make your kitchen entertaining. The more “you” shines through, the better time your guests will have. What are you looking for in a pendant light? Do you want a themed pendant light, or are you just looking for an island light with a little personality?