The Kitchen Renovation.
Lighting Options!

So I hate pot lights.

Much like my hatred of fingerless gloves there’s really no explanation for it.  I just do.

It should therefore not surprise you that I am getting pot lights.

I have to.  The kitchen is incredibly dark and the only light in it is supplied from a single light hanging over my countertop.  A crystal chandelier.




Because of the diminutive size of my kitchen, I don’t feel like I can have pendant lights hanging everywhere which leaves me with ceiling huggers or pot lights.

I went with fingerless gloves.  I mean pot lights.


I love my old chandelier, but if I’m redoing my kitchen I want to redo my kitchen.  So the chandelier is coming down and will be relocated somewhere else.  Also, a crystal chandelier isn’t the most appropriate lighting choice for a kitchen that’s constantly being cooked in.   I bet if I scraped my chandelier at this very moment I’d have enough grease on it to whip up a batch of corn fritters.  At the very least I could keep a small McDonalds franchise running for about for a week and a half.

Which means I get to pick out one single pendant light to replace the chandelier that’s coming down.  I, of course, have a budget.  But since I’m only getting one light and am not deducting the cost of pot lights from my budget  because I don’t really want them and they aren’t considered satisfying … I can splurge a tiny little bit on my pendant light.

I started off my search on the Home Depot website because I figured it would be the cheapest.   Shockingly it had a lot of great options.  Sorry Home Depot … don’t mean to be insulting.  But this is the era of Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.  Sometimes it takes a bit of reminding that you can get similar looks from big box stores.

Granted, I also found some great stuff from places like West Elm, Crate & Barrel and School House Electric.

Behold my favourites …

Lighting 2

1. Brass Cage pendant

2. Bentwood pendant

3. Hammered Brass pendant

4. Polished brass and White Glass globe

5. Green Barn light.

6. Globe Bronze Pendant.

7. White Caged Barn light.

8. Blue Satellite pendant.

9. Oil Rubbed Bronze with gold interior



Last night I ordered one of those lights.  If you guessed choice # 8, you’re wrong.

I ordered the Hammered Brass Pendant from Crate & Barrel. The round one.


Silvia Ball Pendant Lamp 1

If I could have afforded it I would have ordered this entire cluster.  But I couldn’t.  The cost of the single pendant lamp to be shipped from Crate & Barrel in the States was $300.  That includes something called “Border Free” shipping, which means there aren’t any surprises.  The duty, taxes, shipping etc. are all included in the cost.  So you aren’t sitting in your little Canadian house wondering how badly you’re going to get randomly screwed when what you ordered shows up.  I’m talking to you “Broker Fees”.


I love this light.  And clearly if I ever lose interest in it in the kitchen, it also looks good in a living room.  A Crate & Barrel living room anyway.


Silvia Ball Pendant Lamp 2


Part of the reason I went with this particular light is because, (even though I haven’t told you this yet) the look I’m going for in my kitchen is a sort of modern Scandinavian Farmhouse. I may have made that term up.  Basically a lot of white and natural wood.  There will be a mix of clean, modern pieces and rustic pine.  The rustic I have covered.  So for my lighting I knew even thought I love the barn lights, I needed something more clean and modern to create the look I was going for.

That’s my first little design lesson by the way.   Being open to options is important but so is staying true to your original vision.  So if you can’t decide on what to buy when you love a few different things, ask yourself what works best with your original vision.

Unless your original vision involves pot lights and fingerless gloves.  Then it’s time to rethink your vision.


  1. annie says:

    I inexplicably hate pot lights too!!
    HATE them. I totally agree with your logic around the pendant light splurge.
    Thank you Karen. I don’t feel so alone now.

  2. Debbie says:

    I thought maybe on that list of yours would be your blue mason jars transformed into a cluster of lights with Home Depot electrical wires.

  3. Leslie says:

    At least the modern recessed lights don’t suck all the heat out of your house, but they still display all the dead wasps. I’m not a big fan of any ceiling lights, but they aren’t always avoidable. If you’re working at your perimeter counter, the ceiling light behind you casts a shadow on your work surface — not great for lighting so you need to get a pretty one to make you smile (the one you chose is gorgeous). I’m hoping to put under-cabinet lighting all the way around my kitchen … someday.

  4. Carey says:

    Love all the modern choices you had, but I think you for sure picked the right one. Too bad you ordered already, sometimes stores have “open box” sites that are A LOT cheaper. I recently bought a $400.00 fixture for a new bathroom that I found on Lamps Plus open box site for about half the price. I thought something would be wrong with it, but nope, it’s perfect!

  5. Call Me Patty says:

    Funny as I scrolled down quickly to see your choices. #3 was the one I liked the best for the same reason you do. Great choice Karen.

  6. Sandy says:

    Thanks Karen!

  7. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Yep..that was my first choice..definite Scandinavian look to it..Also I like fingerless gloves..but not pot lights..although I need more light in my kitchen and would be happy with most any type..

  8. Shawn says:

    I like a couple of them myself, but I would try to keep my finishes matching. Like if you have oil rubbed bronze knobs, faucets, etc., I would try to match the metal finishes on the lighting in something close. If your kitchen is small too many different finishes might come out looking patchy.

  9. Marion says:

    Love it! It’s going to look great in your kitchen. My personal favorite was #1, for some reason I’m really into gold right now.

    Also, as a photographer and someone who types a lot in freezer-like office conditions, fingerless gloves are uh-maaaaazing creations! Don’t dis ’em until you’ve tried ’em!

    • Karen says:

      I have, I hate them, LOL. I just don’t like them. Like I said … no explanation. I just don’t. Oddly, fingerless mittens? I like em. ~ karen!

  10. Ev says:

    I would have chosen #7, the white barn light. The girls would have loved it. Unless they are uneasy at being in a kitchen! Anyway, I wish I had a need/place for the barn lamp. Trying really hard to think one up! As long as you’re happy with your choice, Yea!

  11. Marie says:

    I’m just glad you didn’t pick #2 – it looks like something you could make (I couldn’t make one, but YOU could). Your choice has an understated elegance and I think it’s perfect.

  12. Mindy says:

    Picking out the three pendant lights for our kitchen redo was one of the top three hardest decisions to make. I was loving all the clear glass globes out there, and pinned about 900 versions of them. And the copper ones. And the enamel ones. And the metal ones made out of A, B, and C that you can find on Etsy. I also love the farmhouse lights. In fact, I have a silver one in the center of the kitchen that will stay because I love it. But I needed one for over the sink and two for over the peninsula. Holy crap, when did lights get so friggin’ expensive?!?! I couldn’t find anything for less than $100. And I needed three. I kept having guilt over spending that on lighting when I could save it and spread it out over several things.

    Then we ran into IKEA over the weekend for a couple knobs that we were short. And then I saw them. My lights. And guess what? Those mother effers were on super sale for $19.99. WHAT?! Three lights for less than the price of one of the others I was looking at. SOLD! I found a picture of them installed in a restaurant and pinned it here:
    Here it is again (the small version of the Hektar):

    Awesome, no? Now would you hurry up and finish that dang thing so I can see some pictures! :)

    • Karen says:

      Great light Mindy! My dining room “chandelier” is a $10 Ikea paper lantern, LOL. Works as a great statement piece until I can afford the George Nelson I *really* want. Hell, I’d settle for a Nelson copy even. :) ~ karen!

  13. NikiDee says:

    Easy to clean and a perfect fit! Multi-tasking at it’s best. The kitchen is going to blend perfectly with your living room décor (wow…I feel like a voyeur). It’s fun to be involved in a renovation where I don’t have to deal with the dust…or upside down filming ;)

  14. Kelli says:

    YAY! That was my first choice, followed by #9…great minds! I think no matter where you place it in your house Karen, it will look lovely…you have a knack after all. :)

    BTW fingerless gloves–er, pot lights–have come a long way. They’re not the big ugly things they used to be, there are now many smaller, more “sparkly” types to be had, including LED type, where you’ll probably never have to change a bulb! Like the old commercial used to say: try it, you’ll like it. :)

  15. Brie says:

    See, I really thought you would go with the green barn light. I was going to try to be a kitchen renovation hero, and inform you that I have one that I removed from an ancient barn on our property a year ago. It’s 17 inches across…. It’s yours if you want it. The thing is in darn good condition too. I could send pictures if you ever decided you wanted it for something. It’s just sitting in a corner, waiting for a home here.

  16. Marlene says:

    As soon as I saw the pictures and I saw #3 my first thought was “that’s so Karen”, so I was pleasantly surprised finding out that’s the one you chose.

  17. Laura Bee says:

    You read my mind like one of those pick a number games…I love #8. I found a beautiful turquoise light at a flea market for $10. Hubby never liked it & it never went up :(

  18. Cindy says:

    I like your selection. I really like #9 if it comes in white. I agree completely about the pot lights. They are a necessary evil. I have six in my kitchen, two pendant lights, and under-cabinet lights (that aren’t working right now), and I still don’t think there’s enough light to suit me when I’m cooking. I can’t wait to see your finished kitchen.

  19. paula says:

    love your choice! i totally picked that one for you. it’s going to look amazing!

  20. Melissa Leach says:

    I’m enjoying your kitchen reno. No dust and no stress at my end. Keep up the good work. Can’t wait to see what you choose for a kitchen sink.

  21. Janet says:

    I’m so glad you decided NOT to go with the barn light. It reminds me too much of … well, barn lights. I can imagine you’d have to invite the chickens into your brand new kitchen if you installed that light. They’d have expected an open invitation.

    Anyway, I like your choice.

  22. Reg says:

    Nice choice. It looks like it will be easier to keep degreased. And that made me look up at my light fixture. Yikes! Off to get the vinegar and rags.

  23. Sandy says:

    Love the light! Can’t wait to see the kitchen once it’s finished. I know it is going to be beautiful.

  24. Beckie says:

    #8 was my pick too

  25. Jamie H. says:

    The only thing I worry about with this light is that it isn’t going to give off light anywhere but straight down – the hammered brass not being transparent. Hopefully the can lights will make up for this.

  26. Ann says:

    I had #8 picked also. Cause having 2 lights in one would have given you more lumens. But I trust you Karen and I am sure this kitchen will be so drool worthy in the end.

  27. karen says:

    Soooo glad you didn’t go with #4. I’m pretty sure that hung in our bathroom in 1971!!
    “Broker fees”…hmmmmm, seems like I’m familiar with those.

  28. Lauren says:

    Modern Scandanavian isn’t unheard of (skip to 6:18 if ya want):,,20636049,00.html

  29. Maryanne says:

    Fingerless gloves are a fashion statement. Just like wearing a ring on your thumb.
    Some like, some don’t…I love both and love your choice in lighting.
    Boobie lights are worse. You know those lights almost every hallway has.
    I think I will get rid of my Boobie light today!

  30. Valerie says:

    Kitchens are curious rooms.
    During cooking and food preparation one requires excellent lighting. If you utilize your kitchen table as a conversation area with friends bright and excellent lighting can become an interrupting glare. In the evening and night time when everything is tidied up and one wander’s in for snacks and such it is romantic and lovely to view illumination originating from two or three perfectly chosen small lamps. So my suggestion to add to what will be I am sure a reinforcement of your choice would be to select two or three co ordinating lamps. If you think this idea has merit you may want at this preparation point to have outlets placed in what may be considered to be from an electrician’s standpoint, rather unusual locations.

  31. jenny says:

    Nice lighting! Off topic, the green social media tab on the mobile site is very annoying. It does not go away, follows you down the whole post and is currently covering a portion of the combox. Excuse typos I can’t see them!

  32. Amie Mason says:

    Ha! I though your would pick that one. Nice choice. I can’t wait to see the ‘Scandi-farmhouse’ look.

  33. Grammy says:

    Excellent choice! I was vacillating between #7 and #3. It’s fun getting to watch you build your beautiful kitchen.

  34. rktrixy says:

    Um… Out of his way that is. I would say out of his hair, but poor dad had none!

  35. rktrixy says:

    Back to the ceiling acne, I mean pot lights. Some are better than others. Placement is the key – where the light washes is more important than whether the light is centered on the ceiling or what have you. And when you are looking what is lit, you are not looking at the lights.

    The fixture is gorgeous! Were you able to find any fixtures that went up and down like old style pendant lights did? I always loved that feature as a kid. Mom loved it if she was working on a project, she could raise the light to get it out of my much taller dad.

  36. shuckclod says:

    I thought of 3 for you, good guess. I would love #6. Lucky you to not have to consult with another on your choices. My DH does not care, whatever I want :) .

  37. Christy says:

    Modern Scandinavian farmhouse, yep, I understand you completely. The My Scandinavian Home blog is quite nice that someone already mentioned. There are kitchens showcased in the blog that fit your creative vision, although I think your finished design will have more rustic charm injected into it. Those are the exciting bits that make a room sing. Oh and smart choice on the accent light if you ask me.

  38. Barbie says:

    Yeah, every once in a while I get the e-mail that you’ve posted and I get to read it at night…puts me ahead of the game in the morning! Your on my list of first things I do each morning with my coffee…. :)

  39. Barbie says:

    Funny! My first guess was #7!! Can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

  40. Pat Kichinko says:

    I am sooooooooooooo happy you did NOT go with #6! I’ve seen it in every horror/Concentration Camp/creepy serial killer lair-movie. EEK!

  41. Debbie says:

    You had me pegged – I picked #8. It looked turquoise/teal to me and I am all things turquoise/teal! I also thought the pop of color would be fun. However, your choice fits well with modern Scandinavian Farmhouse look.

    My initial thought was also, hmm, how would it be to clean each of these. I have a cousin who has a #5 in her kitchen and every time we visit, I surreptitiously clean it as I can’t take the dust and grease. Shh, don’t tell her. I don’t think she notices.

    I love your chandelier. In our family, we play pass the chandeliers. Our bedroom has the dining room chandelier from one sister-in-law’s new house. The kitchen chandelier from our new house is in the dining room of the other sister-in-law’s house. (Yeah, two of us moved at about the same time.)

    I enjoy following the kitchen renovation!

  42. Sandy says:

    Love the fixture,can’t wait to see the end result. Not that my opinion really mayter, but I hate the new green link thing on the mobile site. Sits right in the middle of the screen, hard to see the photos.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for the input Sandy. I’m not really sure what you’re talking about but I”ll have a look. I did install a couple of new plugins but haven’t seen how they work on mobile. I’ll go look now. ~karen

    • Karen says:

      O.K. I see it. It only shows up when my site is in “Mobile” theme mode. Not in regular mode. So if you go down to the bottom of the page and click where it says Mobile theme to off, it won’t show up. In the meantime I’ll see if there’s anything I can do on my end to make it less weird. ~ karen!

      • Shirley says:

        It’s in the middle left of my iPad page too and there’s no way I can see to get rid of it. Almost as annoying as those occasional pop-up ads at the bottom of the page that have no X in the corner so I can delete them. Sorry to be a grump so early in the morning! :)

  43. Kat says:

    #7 was my pick love the strange cage thing!

  44. Cookie says:

    My choice exactly. Easiest to clean are numbers 3, 5 and 9 for my practical side, and I like white. I redid my kitchen in all white. But I would have choked ion the price! I too, tried to avoid can lights but ended up with a ceiling full of them, with daylight CFL bulbs, for maximum light. From outside the blue glow looks like the Martians have landed in here.

    • Karen says:

      You (and I) have to sort of pick and choose what you spend and save money on. My floor … obviously a huge money saver what with the entire thing costing less than than the pendant lamp, LOL. ~ karen!

  45. Chris says:

    Kitchen is going to look great. There is person on Pinterest called My Scandinavian Home Blog. She has a page for kitchen, and it has your style written all over it! You should check it out.

  46. Shauna says:

    I love your choice. If “the devil’s in the details,” the designers got them right: the texture, shine, and glimpse of brass are beautiful!

  47. Laura says:

    Oh that was one of my favorites from your selection!

  48. Susan Dulley says:

    Love the fixture….I was honestly leaning toward #2, but considering the fixture was being hung in the kitchen, cleaning the fixture is a huge consideration, especially considering your chandelier…I like the shape and design of #2, only because it looks contemporary and has clean lines. Your choice is the best and should prove to be a wonderful addition to your new kitchen. Such decision are difficult and should be carefully considered and you have done a great job…You will be very pleased…I love the shape and it looks strangely Scandinavianish…I am still excited to see the new sink…can’t wait….have a great day and enjoy the progress you are making on your new kitchen….

  49. Marti says:

    Fingerless gloves? What is the point of those anyway? I could never figure that out until last weekend when the weekend job blasted me with AC. (November. Air conditioning? WHY?)

    Excellent choice. I figured you’d go for the bronzed globe thing because it looked a bit “Fifty Shades of Kitchen-y” but the hammered white is a good look to.

    This kitchen renovation is starting to be almost as exciting as nascar isn’t it? Ok, not.

  50. Jamie Lynn says:

    that was my first choice when i saw your options! love it and i know it will look awesome in your kitchen! :)

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