The magic of light (or magical lighting fixture) shimmers with potential to inspire gorgeous kitchen design – yet people become ultra-conservative about departing from mainstream kitchen pendant fixtures.
The root of all this angst can be revealed in the permanent nature and high ticket cost of re-doing a kitchen. Lighting fixtures can be changed out, but what if we backwards engineer the kitchen design and base it on the focal lighting source?
I can virtually sense some of the designers curdling who read this blog – what an idea! Kitchen are about function, task, layout and so much more – but taking color and shape cues from focal lighting (as a part of layered task lighting) can create a subtle design story with moments of drama and personal signature.
Let’s take the Canopy Designs Bird Jar Pendant above…..close your eyes….
Kitchen Design 1 – This inspiration board features Chrome and Mercury Glass – two sides of the same idea that blend seamlessly. Mercury glass has that antiqued aspect so I picture an island with a weathered component in contrast to newer white cabinetry with two-tone metal pulls that reflect the warm and cool metal finished combined in the glass pendant. The red knobs on that Wolf double-oven range correspond to the hand painted buds on the jar pendant. Behind the range, how about an artisan-look iridescent glass tile, easy-clean mosaic as a focal point? This is not as difficult as it may appear – this design features a large scale pattern created with 3 tiles by using graph paper on a 4-1 scale. The tile comes in sheets – you just use an x-acto knife to cut out the patterned pieces and insert black and gold. Black Silestone counters with a hint of mirror fleck unify with drama and keep it clean with antimicrobial properties built in. Do you see a 40′s black and white diamond floor?
Wow! Instant fear factor – how do I incorporate this into my kitchen? Where would I begin to create a Kitchen Design around this fixture? Like this….
Kitchen Design 2 – This fixture says Paris chic to me…I see a dramatic high-back banquette, back-splashes and counters of air open format marble – the marble has movement, yet mirrors the airy openness of that lighting pendant jewelry and the color mimics the bronze cage’s finish. The pecan color in the marble is picked up in the cabinetry and the inset’s prism shape plays on the pink prisms in the lighting. I see the counter tops as under cabinets as a neutral and durable mushroom tone Silestone – but how about a Vertrazzo recycled island top for some drama, with just a hint of pink glass imbedded? Speaking of pink, I thought some glass pulls might relate with the magical lighting feature – and buttery yellow and soft turquoise finish the walls and complete this color story.
This Lighting fixture is like a fairy all its own – I see this as the focal point above a kitchen banquette.
Kitchen Design 3 – English Garden Whimsy – Yesterday I shared a DIY piece about Chalk paint, and it was the first thing I thought of when I look at this magical fixture and pictured what sort of kitchen design might spring up around it….
This pendant is amazing – sometimes the only way out of the box is over the top! Chalk painted display cabinetry mimic the spherical shape, in the pendant – as do the beaded knobs. Chalk paint softens the pops of color, and a warm-tone wood floor ties together an old world look. A design that is simply unique and out of the box can stand the test of time, because it bends to no specific trend or style! The oyster-color Silestone (I love Silestone in kitchens; it underpins airy-fairy whimsy with indestructible durability and neutral base color) unifies all that color with a neutral grounding point.
Kitchen Design inspiration 5 – Mediterranean meets Bohemian
Above is a detail from one of those chandeliers whose jewel-box beauty can’t be described well in a photograph. The jade chandelier pieces are back-painted with images of white cockatoos and pink cherry blossoms – I have seen it at NYIGF and it looks like it belongs in the Corning Glass Museum.
Building a design around such a signature piece might seem difficult – it’s like building a wardrobe around a dress that everyone will remember – but a kitchen design distributes “attire” over a larger area than the human figure, and space affords more choices.
Since the chandelier cage is so open, it actually would not hurt to mimic the shape in a busy design that is like a negative to the open form. This Italian back-splash tile does the trick. Seaweed glazed cabinetry lighten the mosaic tile, and a cherry island would look amazing! A neutral grey-celery green allows the shapes to have an uninterrupted conversation, and neutral counter tops seal the deal – I think I would stripe the floor with mushroom and oyster-color Marmeloleum to bring this design home.
If you have the opportunity to re-do you kitchen design, why not try to incorporate some magic into the function of your design? It will be a decision you thank yourself for every time you set foot into this center of home and hearth your years to come….