How to Light a Contemporary Kitchen

Henriette Rieu  |  January 06, 2015  |  3 Min. Read

Lighting  |  Kitchen Lighting  |  Contemporary

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Contemporary design is what in style at this moment – it is what is “in” now.

Contemporary is a mix of modern with other design styles that you like. Some key parts of contemporary style are having neutral colors on the walls and in the furniture. Pops of color come from accessories. Like modern design, contemporary has clean lines, but is not as “cold” as modern style.

This kitchen is contemporary because it is mostly neutral, and uses the books and chair as sources of color. The design mixes clean lines in the handles and backsplash with a traditional faucet and antique lamps and rug. The kitchen gets a lot of natural light. If the owner wanted to, they could add some under cabinet lights under the upper cabinets to give them more task lighting, especially at night.


I would use the Hinkley Cordillera One Light Mini Pendant 4097RI - $249 in this space. This pendant has the same lines of the cabinets and handles, and is a neutral finish.


Another choice could be the Fredrick Raymond Luxe Mini Pendant FR31557BNI - $259. This pendant is a little more interesting. It has the clean lines that are found in the cabinets and handles, and the shapes look like the door as well.


A third choice that would be very different from the others could be Varaluz's Urchin One Light Mini Pendant 169M01SRE - $299. I chose this pendant because the red would work well with the other accent red colors, and make the lights really pop.


Next, I chose this kitchen because it has traditional elements (the cabinets, the faucets, the bead board on the island) mixed in with the modern (the handles, the appliances, and the chairs).

This contemporary kitchen is trendy because it has the two color cabinets and the butcher block on the island. The kitchen could use some more lighting, like under cabinet or cove lighting. They could even use toe kick lighting at the bottom of the cabinets.


A first choice in pendants is the Quoizel's Sonia One Light Mini Pendant CKSN1507AR - $170. I chose this pendant because of the silvery finish. It would work nicely with the appliances, faucets, handles and legs of the chairs.


Another choice could be the Varaluz's Natural One Light Sustainable Shell Pendant 163M01ST - $299. This pendant is cool because it has a lot of colors in it, all which could work with the colors in the room. I also think the bottom oval shape works well with the shape of the chair backs and the island.


Third choice would be WAC lighting's Micha Quick Connect Shade with Monopoint Canopy - $198. I chose this pendant because it is a lot of different colors. The crackle glass would add texture and sparkle. Its shape would work nicely with the hood and the socket would match the appliances.



The third kitchen is an interesting mix of styles. It has rustic brick on one wall, and traditional cabinets. But the dark trim around the window and the dark chairs are more modern. This kitchen shows how fun contemporary can be.


I chose this first pendant by Quoizel, the Kenner One Light Mini Pendant - $220, because like the kitchen, it is funky and fun. The mystic black finish would work well with the window trim and the chairs. I think the texture inside the black cage could play with the brick wall.


The second choice, Quoizel's Trilogy One Light Mini Pendant TRG1508OZ - $110 could work well in this space because it is a mix of traditional and modern too. The glass globe with the antique bulb is more traditional while the stem is clean lined and more modern.


A third choice could be Currey and Company's Clifton Pendant 9910 - $670. I think this pendant would work best because it is a black finish and is a good mix of modern and rustic. The lines by the stem could work with the floating shelves on the brick wall.

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