Lighting that will make your kitchen shine

The kitchen is where your busy family gathers to start and end each day, so don't you want it to shine in its best possible light? Make your kitchen even more enticing with the right lighting choices.

Be sure to utilize a number of options to light your room and bring focus to specific areas. (Think of how an A-list art venue like the Gagosian Gallery would spotlight works.) When choosing lighting for your kitchen, the key is to find a balance of functional and decorative pieces. Consider these tips for lighting your kitchen.

1. Start with functional lighting, the most basic lighting element. Also referred to as ambient lighting, these light fixtures will bring an overall wash of light to the room, illuminating the space with a bright and consistent glow.

2. For areas in the kitchen where you will be cooking and reading recipes, consider a ceiling–mountable fixture or track lighting system to bring an even glow to your workspace.

3. Installing a dimmer to any fixture is an easy and inexpensive way to adjust the light's intensity to suit different moods and occasions.

4. For warm yet direct lighting above your kitchen table, consider one or more hanging pendants, and try adding fabric or natural–fiber lamp shades to soften the look. If you have an island in your kitchen, two or three pendants hung above the counter space will create the perfect amount of focus to this area.

5. Interesting chandeliers is another great option for bringing a grand presence to your room. A statement chandelier can help to create a separate dining zone within a smaller kitchen.

6. Finally, spreading accent lights throughout your kitchen will break up the room and add dimension. Try using spotlights or lamps to draw attention to an unusual architectural element or a favorite piece of artwork.

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