Friday, November 17, 2006

our kitchen renovation: pendant lighting options

My main man and I are redoing the teensy galley kitchen in our new home... We were able to really think big (well.. relatively big!) because my dad is an architect, and so has generously done countless studies and drawings for us. One of the exciting changes we decided upon will be the one to re-locate the sink from one side of the kitchen (far left in the dark-ish "before" pic), to the end of the kitchen underneath the window (thereby getting the fridge away from its currently obstructive position!). And now we come to the raison d'etre of today's post: the lighting. I'd love to have a beautiful old pendant light over the sink; and yet my man is concerned that it will block the view of window. Thoughts? Would love some views on this.

Some of the industrial-style pendants that I covet...

(First two antique beauties are from Re-found Objects, in England; the final (gorgeous!) light is the "Harmon pendant" from Restoration Hardware).

These are sweet as well, made from vintage jelly molds:

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Anonymous elisabeth said...

Lucky duck! I think it will be lovely -- in the window the chrome or metal will be glint-y and reflect the light. Have a look at Urban Archaeology for inspiration -- or to buy, if you can stomach the price.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Phoebe said...

hey e-- I love U.A.'s stuff but just absurdly pricey! $750 for a lamp, etc. but ok, so that's a yes vote. good!

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan Hayes said...

What is the general theme or feeling you're going for in the kitchen? I think all of the pendants are handsome (except for the jelly molds, which are cute today, but would seem cloying tomorrow, and would probably make me feel frankly homicidal by the end of the week), and are small enough not to interfere with the view.

I think that my fantasy kitchen would probably be designed by Robin Standefer and her partner Stephen Alesch, who are adept at tempering vintage industrial stuff with handsome (that word again!), solid elements with a more traditional feel. The couple started as set designers in Hollywood (I honestly think it's worth having a look at PRACTICAL MAGIC and ADDICTED TO LOVE, neither very good films, but you might find their design inspirational); their work was so admired that they branched out into interior design. Food & Wine profiled their approach, but I haven't been able to find much online. Here's a New York mag piece with photos, but you can't really see it that well:

Anyway, you might have a look at those two films, and maybe the German original of MOSTLY MARTHA (which is, I believe, being remade in the US) for a few ideas along the lines of your pendants.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan Hayes said...

Oops! Truncated URL!

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan Hayes said...

I'm awfully sorry!

You might search Standefer at One more try:


5:58 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan Hayes said...

Darn! It's still messed up, I see. Those two lines should, of course, be joined as one, and the junction word is, I believe, /greatroom/

Awfully sorry about this Commenter Incompetence! I suppose, though, that it'll increase your hit rate, and whatnot...

10:47 AM  
Blogger Phoebe said...

Jonathan, thanks so much for the film and architect suggestions!(addicted to love is very poor indeed but somehow i own it on VHS-- will take a look- are you referring to one of the loft kitchens that broderick and ryan are staking out?)...

Our aimed-for look is a clean, contemporary, simple white kitchen with a few vintage touches: there will be a white armoire in the kitchen in lieu of the space-stifling cabinets on the right side currently; the lighting fixture and faucets will be vintage-esque. (the apartment is deco-era, with original nickle fixtures and black and white tile in the bathroom. so cool).

The unfinished cabinets are shaker style, (to be painted a pearl white or grey/putty, not sure yet) and our new appliances are all stainless.

Ideally I'd love to do soapstone, limestone, or slate for the countertops, but we're just keeping it simple and mass-appeal and going to go with granite. Black, I think?

So: thanks!! for the link (haven't checked it yet) and for the thoughts! I love the german Mostly Martha and will check out the film's kitchen(s) again!

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan Hayes said...

Well, that seemed to be the direction you were going in, judging from the pendant lights you chose. Standefer-Alesch seem to have an amazing knack for combining old marble table tops and soapstone sinks into a more modern setting. They seem to be geniuses at finding reclaimed factory fittings and doing really inventive and beautiful adaptive reuse-y things with them. I wish they had more of a web presence! But I'd wager they're right up your alley.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I don't think blocking the window will be a problem at all...the only thing I'd be sure about is having enough light. There's nothing more annoying than washing dishes in a kitchen that's too dim. But you could always install extra lights on the sides...

8:50 PM  
Anonymous bedroom furniture said...

Did you know that pendant lights provide both task and general lighting? They are the perfect addition above a kitchen island or game table and when used over a night stand or end table they free up the space normally occupied by table lamps.Pendant lighting adds light exactly where you want it; much like a decorative soft spotlight. Pendants come in a wide variety of styles, designs and colors suiting them to fit anywhere you can think of. They work very well as accent lighting, as a soft spotlight to highlight an area of the room or even lighting over a dining table. Think outside of the box when it comes to pendants, be creative, pendants are perfect for the spot that nothing else seems suited to. Adding a little light may be exactly what the room needed.

3:54 PM  
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11:53 AM  

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