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Which Pendants for My Kitchen Island (or Not)?

Please help me decide! Should I add new pendant lighting above my kitchen island, or not? I’m testing out 5 options and would love to know what you think.

First, let’s take a little tour of the kitchen updates I’ve made so far in my new house.

These are the pendants that came with the kitchen. I took them down immediately.

Kitchen updates so far

Miraculously the only thing that needed updated in this kitchen were the floors (below) which we refinished.

And, we added some paint. We had the island painted the same colour as the rest of the kitchen (which is a custom green beige neutral), and the walls were painted the same as the trim colour. 

Eventually the violet grey countertops on the perimeter need to be replaced. But, since the island countertops are white, this is not an emergency.

Since this kitchen is so open, the only place to hide kitchen clutter is the pantry, however we always have a lot of fruit in bowls so I think the best way to style it is to always have an arrangement on the island.

However, what bothered me about my last kitchen, was that I couldn’t have elaborate tall branches of any kind because the pendants were always in the way.

Brass Pendant

So in our new kitchen, I’m actually considering not replacing the pendants at all. I certainly have enough existing recessed lighting (aka. cheese lights) so additional lighting while cooking isn’t really an issue.

Here is the look at my kitchen island with a tall arrangement and no pendant lighting.

But, I want to explore the idea of pendant lighting so here are some lights I have considered:

Keep in mind the scale is not going to be perfect in these photos here since I added them onto the slide.

Pendant Lighting Option 1:


Pendant Lighting Option 2:


Pendant Lighting Option 3:

Hudson Lighting

Pendant Lighting Option 4:


Pendant Lighting Option 5:

Alice Lane Interiors

If you want to learn how to do this with your kitchen, buy my shop online course here.

And here is a look at my kitchen again without any pendants and some tall pussywillows this time:

Making decisions for your OWN home is not easy

It’s so much harder to make decorating decisions for your own home. Don’t you agree – I mean, that’s why some of you choose to hire me for eDesign.

I’m sure the designers, decorators as well as homeowners can attest to this. Right?! Please share your experience in the comments below.

And please help me decide by entering your vote as well in the comments! 

PS. my third virtual workshop happened this weekend! There’s only ONE workshop left!!

See what some recent True Colour Expert graduates are saying ⬇️

New True Colour Expert Love ❤️

“Will take lots of practice, but I learned a lot!” – Wanda

Ah ha moment: “Your ‘subtraction’ method of selecting colors. Using wheel to i.d. undertones which eliminates So. Many. Colors.” – Beth

“As a trained, educated professional… they do not teach this! Designers need this… Design schools need this!” – Kylie

“Game changer – comparing & really seeing the undertones simplifies the entire process! I think as designers we tend to overthink things. You just made it easy to understand in a way that makes sense. As a designer I’m going to be more confident and not second guess myself after this course. – Stacey

There is ONLY ONE more course left in my Spring season, June 21 & 22, 2023. We haven’t made any decisions about this fall. 


Related posts:

Decorating with Blue & White, My Upstairs Dining Area

My New Leopard Print Runner

How to choose a pale Neutral Wall Colour for my New Kitchen



  • Carissa says:

    Honestly, I like it with no pendants, I like the unobstructed view into the kitchen

    • Jeanne says:

      I agree. I just bucked the pendant trend in my kitchen when I had to replace the ceiling because of water damage and a bathroom remodel. I was so weary of decisions after the bathroom remodel, I just left no pendants which was how it was. I updated ceiling lighting for more light and I love the look. I think it’s modern and didn’t want to obstruct the view to my yard. Also thought my husband might feel there was not enough counter light. Sometimes I wonder if I should have tried to figure out pendants since everyone else does, but I think it enlarges the room without them.

    • Jessica says:

      I agree. I prefer no pendants as the eye can wander around the beautiful kitchen. Most of the pendants seem to dominate the room which says a lot because it’s a huge room ! I would use some pretty candles on the island for extra “lighting” and the warm intimacy they bring.

    • Jessica Sullivan says:

      I agree. I prefer no pendants as the eye can wander around the beautiful kitchen. Most of the pendants seem to dominate the room which says a lot because it’s a huge room ! I would use some pretty candles on the island for extra “lighting” and the warm intimacy they bring.

    • Amber says:

      Wow — so many no pendant votes. I think that’s because we tend to like more while space in photographs, but in real life, lights will help define the space as separate from the other rooms. Also pendants give off much more flattering light than cans, which can cast shadows.

      I like brass in the space to tie in with the yellows in the adjacent rooms, so #1 is my first choice. Some of the others seem too large. I know oversized pendants have been a trend for a while, but I think that’s going out.

      • SAnn says:

        Ditto on the brass. Adds “pizzaz” Nice with the chair prints.

      • Beth says:

        I agree. I was thinking that the picture of the kitchen as it currently stands was perfect without the pendants, until I saw number one and number two and thought, so pretty! I suppose Maria could live in her house a while longer, and then see if her heart is telling her that the kitchen could use a little something something.

    • Janet says:

      I agree, no pendant

    • Janice says:

      Agreed! No pendants. The back wall of the kitchen is beautiful with the marble tile and the hood. Don’t block that view.

    • Shelby says:

      Agree. No pendants looks best. I feel like adding the lights blocks off seeing into the kitchen.

    • Chris says:

      I vote for option #5 because: the shape mimics the back of your stools, minimal visual weight, doesn’t detract from the drama of the stool back, Carrie’s the eye up better than a tall arrangement on one side, more beautiful than the lovely range hood, practical so you bring light to beautiful counter top and fruit displays.

      • Pam Kingston says:

        I too, vote for #5!

      • Kim says:

        I think pendant #5 because:

        It works with the style of the hood and doesn’t scream, ‘Look at me!!!’ like the more modern, brass piece do. It allows my eye to rest on the focal point of the chairs, which is really the interest of your kitchen vignette.

        I also feel it harmonizes with the the feel’ of the rest of your space—very traditional but with that touch of quirk. Let the quirk of this leopard chairs shine.

        Plus, just cheese lights makes for shadowy lighting!

      • Dionne says:

        #5 for me as well. It hits the sweet spot of adding something special without overpowering.

      • Becky says:

        Me too: #5. It looks like the pendants just aren’t installed yet if you leave them out. It’s a big space with nothing in it if you leave them out. Fewer lighting options. And I just like the classic shape of the lanterns. What about only doing 2 though? Unless they’re smaller, three gets kind of heavy.

    • Susan says:

      I agree with Carissa. Pretty view into the kitchen, and none needed.

    • Debra Forsyth says:

      I am going to suggest another option as I think you may want pendants but want option for large floral arrangements. Instead of 3 pendants of open lantern in option 5 what about 1 horizontal open lantern that would leave space on either side for large floral arrangement.
      I personally like clear glass pendants made from blown glassmakers like Simon Pearce as they are artwork in themselves and I am inherently lazy and wouldn’t change large botanical as needed.

  • Glenetta says:

    I like the 5th option. They are open but add mood lighting.

  • KNJ says:

    Hello Maria, Per your request and commentary about it being more difficult to design/decorate one’s own home, I thought I’d study the choices and provide my two cents. Options 1 and 2 appear to be the best choices…personally I would lean towards #2 but….I’m wondering if some sort of single hanging ‘billard’ style light fixture with two lights (one left and one right of the center support) would also be an option. It could be either from an existing vendor or easily made from any of the options shown…just using two of the fixtures and then crafted onto a center support and T bar. The 3 fixtures detract from the symmetry and clean lines of the Open kitchen. Options 3, 4 & 5 are all a bit too large/heavy for the airy space…even Option 1 is a bit heavy but I think the open space could handle them and they would give good down light and appear clean lined and wouldn’t become the focal point when looking at the kitchen. Also, I may have preferred a polished nickel and/or clear 24% lead crystal (clear glass, not green) fixture would have been an interesting choice. I would love to have a view from the kitchen towards the stairs ….which has wrought iron. The more elegant, feminine fixtures will go extremely well with the living room and adjacent eating area. So far, everything is looking fabulous (except as you already know, not a fan of the stair runner)…but that is why picking things for one’s own home is so difficult…it’s so personal. Enjoy the journey! Best, KNJ

    • wtreacy11 says:

      They’re all lovely pendants but my vote goes to #2, for several reasons:
      The warmth of the brass is repeating the warm colours in your artwork. Warms up the space.
      The shallowness of the fixture will allow for tall spectacular arrangements.
      They’re simple – won’t be overly distracting from your arrangements.
      White glass globes = warmer diffused lighting. You already have enough strong lighting with the pots.
      They speak to your ‘glam’ style. Their weight is in balance and relates to the narrowness of the chairs.
      I’m not a fan, at all, of the no pendant look. Pendants are the room’s jewelry adding such ambiance when dimmed in the evening.
      Have fun! House is fabulous!

      • Jill Bennett says:

        I agree with this, so won’t bother repeating (#2 is best and allows tall arrangement on surface). I would add that not using pendants may make the counter less useable because it is not well-lit. Also, without pendants you may cast your own shadow from recessed lights while you try to work at the counter, making the lighting even worse.

        • Erin OLeary says:

          I’m another vote for #2

        • Annie says:

          Good points. I’d like to see what 2 pendants would look like over that island. That would give better lighting, but also leave space for tall arrangements. (And I think might be less distracting.) 3 pendants seem to visually overwhelm the view of the lovely kitchen.

          • Peggy says:

            That is what I have been thinking..Two pendants is sufficient! IF pendants are needed, I like the sleek look and color pop of option 2.. and agree that 3 pendants seems too overpowering going from end to end (which may be that scale is off due to cropping it in.) It is indeed lovely!

      • Pam says:

        I agree #2 if you need pendants. However, my preference is none at all.

      • Tamara says:

        Agreed. First choice would be no pendants, second choice is #2 for the reasons described here.

    • Beth L says:

      Great comment. I’m torn between the nice light of pendants with the visual clutter they give.

  • KimberlyAnne says:

    I feel adding pendants would be distracting from the lovely view into the kitchen. The tall branches add such drama.

  • faellie says:

    I like your description of your violet grey countertops as “not an emergency”. I’m now looking around my house to see if I have any “colour emergencies”.

    You’ve mentioned that you don’t need pendants for cooking: do you need them for anything else? Do people sitting at the island need them? Or are they mood lighting for parties? If both of those are a no then I would say don’t have them at all. Plus, there looks to be plenty of room on that island for a table lamp!

  • Lisa says:

    I would add pendants, but I’m not a fan of any of the options.

  • Ellie says:

    I don’t like any of the pendant choices, but to be perfectly honest I like the kitchen without any pendants at all. It’s such a beautiful kitchen and with plenty of visual interest that pendants are both totally unnecessary as decor and actually detract from how pretty the kitchen is.

  • Valerie Cummings says:

    I agree decorating ones own home is harder.
    My vote is for no pendants..there’s already lots for ones eyes to enjoy.

  • Annie says:

    I think the kitchen looks much better without the pendants. The tall stems of greenery bring the outside in. For ambiance, you could always add a table lamp – rechargeable if you don’t have any conveniently placed sockets.

  • Cate says:

    Of the choices, if there’s a reason for pendants, I’d go with #2, because of their delicate appearance, like sweet jewelry for the room, which is looking beautiful!

  • Hey Maria! If it were me, I’d opt for no pendants. 👌😍

  • Ruey says:

    Hi Maria-
    I love the openness of no pendants .
    No distractions from your beautiful focal wall.
    And while I like the openness of the cage pendants, I’m not a fan of naked bulbs overhead, too glaring to the eyes.
    If you’re looking for a more intimate setting at your island, perhaps a lamp or two of some sort? You love your lamps!
    Not quite sure what you’re looking for, though.
    The kitchen looks BEAUTIFUL!

  • Rebecca Mccune says:

    Number 2!

  • Marlene says:

    I like the look without the pendants. They are more of a distraction than an asset.

  • Jennifer Nelson says:

    I think it looks best w no pendants. The pendants are visually heavy, imo. The openness it provides without is best.

  • susie says:

    #5 hands down! Perfect for the space. I’m not quite convinced on “no lights”.

  • Susan says:

    I vote for #2 or no pendants (but I really like the delicate touch of gold in #2).

  • Debbie says:

    Hi Maria — I like it better without pendants. But these are daytime scenes so do you need “mood” lighting there at night (or will your lamps suffice?) If you do decide to go for pendants, then #1 or #2 are best of those above since they sit closer to the ceiling and still give you options for tall floral / greenery displays.

  • Kim says:

    I agree with KNJ and just have two , similar to option 2, wider and also not in brass but clear glass and the polished as she suggested. That way you have the lighting but also have room to have the height of whatever flowers you choose. I think you should have something verses no pendants. Good luck.

  • C. Trentacosta says:

    Love the pendants in option #, they just finish the space and don’t obstruct the space. I also like the forsythia arrangement. The pussywillow arrangement is a bit too high in any scenario. Looking great!

  • Amber says:

    I am leaning towards no pendants — and it’s making me consider not having any in my new build as well (electrical walkthrough is Wednesday so I need to figure it out). I think the first two look the best from the options, but I don’t think they add anything overall.

  • Mary Schauer says:

    Number 2, they are delicate and functional.

  • Jill Baum says:

    I vote no to no pendants. Those branches don’t add nearly the drama and elegance that the pendants do. I lean towards #5 but think you can do better.

  • Robin says:

    I don’t think any of the pendants add to the look of the beautiful kitchen. I vote for no pendants.

  • Cate says:

    I prefer the # 2 option….they would add a bit of warmth without obstructing the view. It’s a gorgeous kitchen! My second choice would be no pendants at all or perhaps use some cordless lamps ….which can be put away when not needed.

  • Kylie says:

    I prefer either no pendants or number 5… but if you do pendants I would only do two of them rather than the three. It feels cluttered with three of them in my opinion. And with only two of them you get to see the lovely rangehood without it being obstructed by lights.

    • Christine says:

      This was going to be my vote as well!!

      Qty 2 of #5 😊

    • Robin Mansfield says:

      I agree with Kylie. No pendants is my first choice, then choice 2 is just 2 pendants with the middle pendant being the view of the range hood.
      If you go with no pendants, do you Sheetrock over the ceiling openings ?

      BTW, the home is stunning with each well calculated decision that you make. But the entire project has made you understand why your edesign packages are so necessary for your followers to purchase. We want to get it right the first time, and be happy with the timeless look, while we enjoy the current home for the length of time we are in it. Whether that is forever or short term(sometimes job change moves, family issues, financial, etc). But in the end, the timeless approach makes the home easier to put on the market with its timeless choices.

    • Robin Mansfield says:

      I agree with Kylie. No pendants is my first choice, then choice two is just 2 pendants with the middle pendant being the view of the range hood.
      If you go with no pendants, do you Sheetrock over the ceiling openings ?

      BTW, the home is stunning with each well calculated decision that you make. But the entire project has made you understand why your edesign packages are so necessary for your followers to purchase. We want to get it right the first time, and be happy with the timeless look, while we enjoy the current home for the length of time we are in it. Whether that is forever or short term(sometimes job change moves, family issues, financial, etc). But in the end, the timeless approach makes the home easier to put on the market with its timeless choices.

  • Renee says:

    Hi Maria,

    What a transformation! I love options #1 and #4. These will give a nice warm glow in the evening (versus bare bulbs) and work beautifully with your finishes. Skipping it altogether is a fine as well but this large space can take the additional layer. Also, to help decide which/if any, it would help to have a view from the other side of the island looking out into your other spaces and see them in that context. I cannot remember what fixture you have if any in the adjacent sunroom. Coordinating with anything there is a factor as well. Thanks for sharing and can’t wait to see what you do.

  • Holly says:

    3 is too many! A single, simple, island chandelier or 2 glass pendants either in brushed gold or polished nickel. No pendants would be my pick over the 3 that are shown. Good luck! Love your new house!

    • Amy says:

      I second this!

    • Renee says:

      I recall kitchen designers have a specific formula for the spacing and size of pendants over an island and for that reason, it’s not likely you can just say 2 versus 3 without those guidelines in mind. It truly depends on the size (length) of the island and the circumference of the fixtures. I wonder if that proportion guideline would have resulted in smaller fixtures over Maria’s old kitchen. From the pictures they seem a bit oversized for the island and maybe even too close to each other because of that large diameter. Anyway, two larger lights has been a trend but this island looks really long.

  • Bonita O'Neill says:

    I like it without the pendants lights. The lights seem to take over the overall beauty of the design saying, “Notice me, notice me.”

  • Barbara says:

    What do you want to be the focal point—the open kitchen with the beautiful backsplash or the pendants? So many pretty things to see. And you state that you don’t need the fixtures to add lighting. So, why do you want them?

    IMHO, I love it without the pendants. The last three are too bulky and detract from the kitchen. My eyes stop seeing the overall kitchen and land on the pendants. If I have to choose one, option two would be my choice. The brass looks so pretty with the backs of the bar stools and these pendants don’t overpower the space. A final consideration is whether the light fixtures can be kept free of dust. Even if you don’t cook with grease, a kitchen can still get dusty. If I see dust on pendants, it makes me feel that the whole kitchen is dirty.

  • Janet R says:

    Not option #3 for sure! Probably none.

  • Pam says:

    I like 2. The other pendants draw too much attention to themsves. Or 5,without the pussywillows. But actually, the original ones are quite nice also.

  • Alix says:

    I agree with many others–either no pendants, so that the focus on the far wall and hood is maintained, or #2. #2 is a bit of bling but less overpowering and distracting than the others.

  • Lee says:

    You might not need the pendants for cooking, but it’s hard to set the mood at night with just recessed lighting. I know in my house, that’s where everyone always ends up!

    I think the scale of all of the above choices is too large and/or heavy, although if I had to choose only one, it would be #5. I would keep looking.

  • Gertrude Brunot says:

    I vote no pendants. They aren’t necessary and detract. I love the tall styling option.

  • Charlene says:

    Yes add the pendants. You can do the dramatic sticks elsewhere! Option #5, hands down. It will always look like something is missing.

  • Laura says:

    I like it without the pendants. After all, the exhaust hood is the focal point of that wall. I would spend my $$ on a panel-ready refrigerator instead. It would provide a much cleaner look.

  • Noni says:

    I vote for #3 as the shape coordinates with your hood fan, but I would find them with gold hardware. I am also a fan of having only 2 pendants, as it mimics the 2 windows behind them. No lights is nice, but the pendants help define the space. Wonderful updates all around so far! 🙂

  • Lynn says:

    Personally, Ilike the kitchen without the pendant lights, but If I had to choose from those five, it would be #2 or#5. They are the least distracting. Everything looks very serene and inviting and I love the animal print chair backs. Sweet pop of fun!

  • Kim H says:

    I’m leaning to no pendant lights. They all loom, look too big, to me, though that may be because your kitchen is almost done and only the lights are rendered in, which makes them stick out. It’s easier to see how elements relate when it’s all rendered or all a photo. If forced to choose though I’d say four or five.

  • Kim says:

    I am surprised at so many votes for no pendants. I think lights are beautiful. I would go with #1.

    • Holly says:

      I agree! Option #1 adds beautiful “jewelry “ to the space, too.

      • ASR says:

        Totally agree with Holly! Cabinet hardware and pendants are your “jewelry” for a pretty space. I’m suggesting 2, seeded glass pendants like Visual Comfort’s Reese pendant. It’s trimmed in an antiqued brass so not too shiny, and clear enough to be nearly transparent but would give the additional soft light and beauty to fill the open space. IMO. 🙂

  • Brandi Jackson says:

    No pendants! There’s enough visual interest with the windows and vent hood.

    I would only do 2 pendants if you really want them. Not as busy. There’s a lot going on already on that back wall. It’s a beautiful kitchen.

  • Janine says:

    I would opt for the look of #5, using only 2 pendants. This leaves the view of the hood open, while allowing for a tall floral arrangement in the center of the island. I would select a chrome/crystal finish on the pendants, the gold is too distracting and doesn’t relate to the kitchen hardware.

  • Nan Lemon says:

    Just finished your 2 day class and I am already putting what I learned into action.your description of the violet grey countertop as being not an emergency, is something I can relate to. thank you for the two days I spent with you in class. I like the island without any pendants,however, I like pendants for mood lighting in the evening when company has gathered in to the other side of the home. option 1, looks a little heavy ion the photo; however, I like the style with the adjoining rooms. Option 5 is nice, but it is too busy with the three candlelight’s in each lantern. option 4 works for me as the finish relates into the room with the chairs and photos. it is always hard to choose lights, and once they area up there are holes in the ceiling. Nan

  • Dorothy says:

    Sounds like extra lighting isn’t needed, so I’m in the no pendant camp. I think they are a huge distraction from the lovely view of the kitchen and mill work. Having said that, if mood lighting is needed when the recessed lighting is off, my vote would be for option 2 as less distracting.

  • Lena says:

    I love your kitchen without the lights, I agree with others that your kitchen is so beautiful it as is.

  • Sonya parsons says:

    Personally I find the 3 pendants too busy. I like the clean look of the No pendant picture. It dosent distract front your beautiful kitchen.
    Or……. if this was my kitchen I would consider one beautiful crystal chandelier, cantered and in line with the range hood. I think that would be beautiful!

    • Diane says:

      I agree with the busy-ness. 3 is 2 too many! Could there be a single chandelier in the center? Otherwise, no pendants. And they can always be added if you tire of tall, dramatic floral arrangements. 😉

  • Minda says:

    Your kitchen is beautiful and inviting and airy. I’m with the NO pendants crowd. I think they only add visual clutter and detract from the open, calm and inviting feeling created without them.

    Let the kitchen breathe and shine on its own. The tall arrangements are wonderful and so much better to have some natural elements that speak.for themselves rather than pendants that, to me, suck up the oxygen in the space.

  • Nancy Simison says:

    I believe I would add pendants. It finishes the look. I would have some black because of the frames, pot filler and touches of black in appliances. It would also relate back to the wrought iron railing in the home which is quite a feature. Personally I think #3 or 4 which seems contrary to most but I also would choose something a bit smaller if I could. I think some, like 1 and 2 have much too much brass. What does that relate to?

  • Angela says:

    I’m in the no pendant camp. The view into the kitchen without them is gorgeous, and the 3 pendant approach kind of segments in a way that makes what is beautifully calm and balanced suddenly look busy.

  • Mimi Goldberg Shulman says:

    No pendants.
    You get to see the beautiful view out your windows.
    For ambience for special occasions you can set up lamps.

  • Annie says:

    I vote for no pendant lighting, but if you want pendants, then I would choose #2.

  • Sandra says:

    My choice would be #3 but with only two pendants and with gold trim. Agree they mimic hood shape and 3 pendants feel too busy/heavy in such a beautifully trimmed room.

  • Char says:

    Maria, I vote for no pendant lights if you don’t need the extra light they would provide over the island. I didn’t like any of the options you provided. I found them too large. They seemed to be the focus of the kitchen versus the kitchen as a whole. Why not live with none for awhile and install some later if you change your mind?

  • Rhonda Millett says:

    I don’t love any any of them, but I would pick #2 if I had to. I always look at cleaning ease and some of these look like a nightmare to keep clean especially #5. And they will get dirty, so much dust and grease in the kitchen unless you never cook. Secondly look at how you change the bulbs as well what they take for bulbs. Some bulbs are not easy to find and ridiculously expensive.
    I have ones similar to #4, it takes 2 people to change the bulbs and we still could use a fifth hand.

  • Ann Rash says:

    I love the look of a nice group of pendants, but the island chairs are so busy that all your choices look a bit too much combined with the animal print. If the chairs are staying I’d pick a small downlight semi flush mount set from the same series as pendant #1and forget the pendants. With a set of chairs that blend in more to the island I’d pick pendants # 4

  • Brooke says:

    I understand why people are suggesting no pendants but I love the light pendants give off, and wouldn’t want to have cans on all the time. What about the “Reese pendant” from visual comfort in soft brass? In 18” or 22” – not sure size without knowing how wide your island is.

  • Carol H says:

    I love #1 and 5.

    #1 brings some warmth against all the white marble tile and cabinets. I love the look of them.

    I think you need something, over the island to kind of ground the island if that makes sense. #1 is my top pick.

  • Julua says:

    I too would vote for no pendants. I think they distract from the serene look of the room. They look too busy. The room has plenty of interesting texture and things to look at. Sometimes less is more.

  • Anne says:

    Hi Maria! Don’t love the options so I vote no pendants…or pendants that are less brass and more color neutral. Something more unique and beautiful. Since the pendants shown don’t hang very low I would consider semi-flush small chandeliers. I like the Cora Medium semi-flush mount chandelier by Chapman & Myers. I think they’re elegant and compliment both your classic kitchen and pretty stools. Perhaps 2 instead of 3. Comes in large too. Good luck!

  • Janet Aurora says:

    I love the look of the kitchen and believe the pendants take away from the overall look. Since you don’t need the additional lights, there isn’t a functional reason to do them.

  • Alex says:

    Hi Maria!
    I would go for no pendants. But I like #5 the best because it’s more delicate, the gold pulls together the warmth of the leopard chairs and the yellow art in the corner, and I think they go best with your house aesthetic.

    So my thinking is add something other than pendants with some gold/warmth as styling to have that same effect.
    I just completed your course yesterday and it’s definitely influencing my advice! 😀

  • Louisa McConnell says:

    I like the way the kitchen looks without the pendants. It’s a beautiful kitchen and adding pendants might feel too heavy with everything else. I like the way the tall arrangement looks without the pendant in the last photo.

  • Anne Wallman says:

    No pendants. I’m the less is more girl! Your kitchen is lovely.

  • Honestly, I think 3 pendants are too much for the island size. 2 large pendants would suffice. But…with your chairs & styling your kitchen doesn’t need them. 🤗

  • Gwen says:

    I like dimmable pendants over an island. I like the traditional, warm look of #5, but only if you are doing other brass accents in the home.

  • Karen Welch says:

    Yes, doing your own home is THE hardest!!!!!!
    I am seeing one large sparkly chandelier there on a dimmer to be be used just for ambience. With the other lights off and the chandelier on low it would be stunning at night. Turn it up if needed! Then you still have room for tall arrangements, fruit bowls, etc.
    If you decide on pendants, three are too many. I enjoy following you! Good luck!!!

  • Kathy Wuori says:

    Your kitchen is beautiful and pendants feel like an unnecessary distraction, especially since you have ample lighting without them. The large flower arrangements works beautifully. In case you needed another opinion lol.

  • Terri says:

    Not needed at all! I love the look without the pendants!

  • Christine Ommen says:

    Two pendants or no pendants. With 2 you’d have to change the spacing. Two or none leaves the hood unobstructed. Did this in my kitchen (moved from. 3 to 2) and it’s amazing the difference. Having one obstructing the view of the hood was weird, in hindsight.

  • Dianne Mack says:

    Your kitchen is beautiful and the pendants block the view. In my opinion, no pendants.

  • Jennifer says:

    #5… I understand that there is a need for the lighting to balance out the light in the space so adding no fixtures is not an option; however, IMHO… I think what is making many here vote for NO lighting is that three fixtures seems to be too many for the length of your island… And, I the one that is lining up and blocking your hood is why I think it looks “off.” I agree with the reader who suggested one fixture with two lights…that could work (can just cap two holes) but may not be so easy to find one long enough to fill the space. I feel for you Maria, asking for opinions from others, and of course getting so many! OM G, cannot even imagine, lol!! Whatever you pick I’m sure will look beautiful, and regardless of what any of us say, it’s your darn house, do as you please!! Looking forward to seeing the outcome : )

  • Cindy says:

    I, 2, 3, and 4 are too bulky in my opinion. I personally prefer having pendants over an island, and 5 allows to have pendant lighting but not too large and I like that you can see through them. So my choice is 5 – whether 2 or 3.

  • Heather says:

    Your kitchen is lovely!
    I would vote “no” on the pendants. I like the unobstructed view the best.
    If “yes”, I would choose option #5 and use only two pendants. Three looks crowded to me. And, with only two, you might still have room for a statement flower arrangement.

  • Leslye says:

    Designing for oneself is the most difficult! We see all the wrong choices and too many possibilities. Sometimes I believe it is better to not do anything until you find one choice you love! I’m still waiting to love some pendants for my own island. You have lots of input and options…a definite advantage…I think!

  • Peggy says:

    No pendants, but if you must, maybe the last light option. IMO all the others are the first thing you see, not the kitchen. The last ones you look through or beyond. So maybe if they do not add needed light or ambience then you don’t need them. I do like without, I really see the beautiful kitchen that way. But I’m not a designer, I’m a “civilian” Ha!

  • Marjorie says:

    One or none

  • Suzanne says:

    I’m in the no pendants group. The kitchen when you purchased it needed the pendants because it was kind of boring. Pendants in your kitchen are not need. It is beautiful as is. And, I love the tall branches or whatever else you put on the counter

  • PatL says:

    None! Love the expanse of openness! It feels so relaxed!

  • Melinda says:

    If having a light source is truly not an issue, I would lean toward no pendants. However, I do like the option of dimmable pendants for mood lighting in the evening, and would go with option #1 because their clean lines which would not fight with a busy arrangement.

  • Patti says:

    I also prefer choice #2, but does the finish relate to anything in the room? No pendants is also a nice option if you don’t need the lighting while sitting at the island.

  • Mary Ann says:

    I agrée with NO pendants. Each of the other options seemed to distract from the ‘big picture’. And think of all the money you saved!

  • Patricia Russell says:

    I would say no pendants. I like the open visual to your vent hood wall.

    If using pendants over an island I find 3 pendants can look busy and obstruct a pretty site line. I often will only use 2 pendants (properly scaled). Of the pendant options you are showing I like option #1 for the simpler chic profile.

    I think pendants look distracting with the animal print fabric on the back of the counter stools. With or without pendants I would consider changing out the animal print fabric if you plan to use those stools at the island. I know you love animal prints but you have it on your stairs which is a nice pop. In the kitchen the animal print takes away from the focal point of the vent hood wall with the marble tile backsplash (IMO).

    • Susan says:

      No pendants. Live without pendants, you can always add them in the future. Your kitchen is beautiful as is!

  • Karen says:

    Thanks for asking! My favorite photo is the one with the tall yellow (forsythia?) arrangement and no pendants hanging down. I think all of your choices are very style-heavy and steal focus away from your beautiful kitchen. Of them, I like the brass lantern cage style Option 5 the best. if you need lighting, do you think that something like a mini-mini pendant would blend in? I think your kitchen doesn’t need anything, however, at night it will get dark in there.

    Have fun with it. I think the tall pussywillows are a bit too gigantic and end up looking weird like the tallest branches are going to touch the ceiling.
    If you are going to use your island for things like putting out a party buffet,maybe you want some light on that space.

    I’m sure you’ll make a good decision – enjoy!

  • Carol M says:

    Your kitchen is lovely and if you don’t need the additional lighting, I really like the look of no pendants. I’m no designer, so this may be a silly option, but if you do want pendant lighting, could you just put one in the center. That way the sides are free for your large branches.

  • Alisa says:

    Of these, #4 or 5… I like the way 4 ties into the dark colors on your stools and adds a circular shape; and 5 you can see through so they don’t instruct as much. #1 too much brassy which draws your attention, #2 look too small to me. Would consider no lights, or maybe a different style of light.

  • Fran says:

    Option #1. The lights seem closed and don’t interfere with the tall branches of an arrangement. They seem to echo the animal prints. To me, cheese lights are just overhead lights, which need to be ignored and lamps used. The pendants seem more lamp-like.

  • Alisa says:

    Sorry for the proof reading! They don’t DISTRACT from the back wall as much because you can see through. The kitchen is beautiful, so going without is pretty but I feel like the lighting could add.

  • Rose says:

    I thought I would be one of only a few saying no pendants so I’m pleasantly surprised that most are saying that. If you insist on pendants I would try 2. I like the focal point of your stove hood and the pendants distract from that. Good luck I know whatever you do will be lovely

  • Karen M says:

    No pendants gives so much more breathing room. Sometimes when I sit at an island I feel like I need to duck or wear a visor. And for those occasions you may need a extra light on the island surface, they have so many rechargeable lamps now – some that are so cute (and expensive!).

  • Donna says:

    My first vote is no pendants, but if you decide to go with pendants, #2 is my favorite. They are lighter looking, less bulky and allow for the tall arrangements.

  • Tina says:

    Of all the pendants I think No.3 looks the nicest with your lovely kitchen. But maybe it’s best with no pendants, as it also looks very nice with none. I also notice the the green seating seems to just stand out alone and not relating to anything there. Just thought I’d mention this.

    Your kitchen is beautiful, Maria.

  • Annie says:

    Hello Maria,
    The first choice with gold accent looks best to me. The upside down mushroom shape is stylish and subdued. The gold picks up the clock on upper right and looks great with animal print on chair backs. The white globe goes well with marble, backsplash and countertop. These pendant lights are not there to make a statement, they provide soft light and blend well with fixed as well as replaceable elements. Tall branches and large flower arrangements will still make a statement and work well on the counter top without interference from the pendants.

  • Carol says:

    I never would have thought no pendants, but that would be my choice. You can always add them when you decide you’re ready and won’t waste the money of buying them then deciding it’s better without. But personally I like the large arrangement making the statement instead of the pendants. ! Maybe the scale of the photoshop is why everyone thinks the mockups with pendants look to cluttered? I’m going against the group and will say I like #4 and #5 of the pendants the best.

  • Stacy says:

    I definitely WOULD have pendants. That way, you can turn off the other lights and sit at the island with the pendant lights on. It’s like zone lighting. One thing that made me mad about my current house was that the sellers, who were the original owners, did not install pendants, which is far easier to do in the build than to do it later. They went cheap on that option. So having nothing but can lights and undermount lights in the kitchen, I needed more lighting, and I had to have the pendants added later. It’s one thing to think about how pendants look, but you also have to think about function.

    I think pendants are like jewelry for the room. They are a beautiful focus, as light usually is. Your island is huge–you can put tall floral arrangements, if you must have that, on the other side of the island. I would install only two pendants if you want larger pendants like you’ve shown. If you are going with smaller ones, then do three. I leave my pendants light on nearly all the time and turn off the other kitchen lights. I don’t really like any of the ones you’ve shown–I would lean towards a white frosted shade and nickel finish. I would also hang them lower as it seems oddly high where you’ve shown them now. I don’t care if the lights block the view of the range hood as I’ve never thought of a hood being a great focal point anyway.

  • Jans says:

    I disagree with those who chose option two. They are correct the the pendants are delicate, but for the size and bulk of your island, they don’t have enough visual weight and look like a mistake…I much prefer option one. And I’m not a fan of no pendants. Night time lighting is a consideration and since I hate “cheese” lights, especially at night, having pendants is a must for me.

  • Theresa says:

    I really like nos 4 and 5, but how about only 1 over the island, leaving plenty of room for tall stems?

  • Hello lovely Maria, I don’t think you need pendants. I think you’ve got a lot going on with that site line and since you are yourself questioning it, I say, when in doubt, don’t. Your vent hood and marble tile are so lovely and I know those leopard chairs might be temporary, but I love them there. I think there’s so much interest already. Pendants are not necessary if the lighting is sufficient.

    I would continue to update the other areas of your home and see if it bugs you later. You can always add them later. Or is it a now or never thing with the contractor and the holes in the ceiling?

    I know you don’t love battery powered lamps because the batteries don’t last, but I could see a small battery operated lamp from a cool company like modern lantern sitting on your counter, which would give you the ambient light you are seeking without the clutter of a pendant. Just a thought.

    Whatever you decide I’m sure you’ll make it look stunning, but if you do decide on pendants, number one, those Kelly Wearstler‘s would be my fave. Hang them a little higher than normal and put your lovely branches in between the first and the second pendant.

    And yes, I find it. Impossible to make decisions in my home!! I myself have a Pinterest page full of pendants for a kitchen. Refresh we are planning. I also find I just don’t wanna deal with the mess because I know how long it takes and how messy it gets! Plus when you’re in the design business you know
    10 minutes after you install your dream pendant something new will hit the market.

    Good luck! I know you will make a fabulous decision!

  • Oamela says:

    No pendants would be my vote. If you decide to add them, I would choose option #5 as they are less obtrusive and still allow sight lines to the kitchen as well as tall arrangements on the island. With the other options, the eye stops on the pendants so they become the focus and not your beautiful kitchen beyond.

  • Pamela says:

    No pendants would be my vote. If you decide to add them, I would choose option #5 as they are less obtrusive and still allow sight lines to the kitchen as well as tall arrangements on the island. With the other options, the eye stops on the pendants so they become the focus and not your beautiful kitchen beyond.

  • sandi says:

    If I had to choose one of the light options it would be #3 – BUT I do LOVE it without the pendants! I love seeing the range hood and it would feel so open!

  • Jacque says:

    Love it without pendants. There is so much beauty to take in! I am fearful the pendants would distract the eye!

  • Patti Sosdian says:

    I think 2 large lantern style pendants would look great. To me 3 pendants look to busy and by using 2 fixtures you open up the middle for any type of arrangement. In design magazines it is not often where 3 are used.

  • Denise says:

    I like no pendants much better. Give yourself room to decorate! You can always add pendants later if you need them.

  • Karin says:

    I like #1, but I think 3 is too many. I would go with 2.

  • Beth says:

    You are very right about designers having a much harder time deciding what to use in their own house. I guess because it is way more personal and you know that you will have to look at it every day. I like option 5 the best, but I would really like only one long pendant or two smaller ones rather than three which I know that this would require electrical work. Pottery Barn has some pretty ones. What I really am not fond of is the chairs now. I also didn’t like the original ones. I would like a much simplier chair in their place. Otherwise, I like the kitchen and really the whole house.

  • I’d opt for 2 larger pendants instead of 3… it’s a more current look AND it gives you enough space for a taller arrangement on the island. Win win!

  • Janet says:

    I think pendants are necessary to pull the room together and add more intimate light over the island. I’m not a big fan of any of the choices, though.

  • Tami says:

    As I read this, I am hearing that you would like to try going without pendant lighting and why not live with that for a while and see how it works out? There aren’t any rules that I know of that say one needs pendant lighting over an island. For me, and this is just what has worked for me, is some advice I received years ago and this person told me that when you move in to a new place, live with it for a while. Learn where the sun comes up and where it goes down. Learn how one lives in the space before changing things because then you will learn what needs to change and what works really well. So long story short…why not try to live without the pendants for a while and see if it works. Like others have said, without the pendants you have a beautiful unobstructed view of your kitchen, but if after living with it you decide to add pendant lights I would choose #4, only because it instantly added warmth to your kitchen and I felt tied in with your leopard stools very well and the vibe of your house. But, in the end, the choice of pendant lighting is a personal decision that only you can make.

    • Sheree L says:

      I agree with Tami. Live with it without the pendants for awhile. No need to be in a rush. I also like #4, because it feels more traditional to go with your timeless styling. That said, I think #1 and #2 could be lovely. I’m just not fond of #3 or #5. If adding pendant lights, also like the idea of only two lights, but I’m guessing that would be more of a hassle, since there were three there previously. Your space looks fabulous, Maria!

  • Desiree Bannasch says:

    Three pendants obstructs the view and looks too busy. If doing pendants, I like option 2 but only 2 Pendants.
    I actually like tall branches and no pendants best. Is there a plug? A tall, skinny lamp would be nice. Perhaps a battery powered bulb.

  • Beth O says:

    #2 would be my choice for lighting. They somehow provide the drama and add to your love of yellow without hanging too low. “cheese lighting” is an option but you certainly would want to have an arrangement then.

  • Amy says:

    I prefer your kitchen without pendants—less busy with the tile in the background

  • Beth Burns says:

    I’d choose pendants, but the scale and shapes of the options feels a bit off; the pendants are a bit large. The size and shape of the previous homeowner’s pendants fit well to my eyes. They’re more linear and play nice with the kitchen lines. With that basic size and shape you could still have your tall arrangements.

  • Barbara Olson says:

    There are a lot of posts! I like it without the pendants as many have posted. Another option would be to have a lovely single fixture that is over the island that can retract or lower for the occasions. But that might be troublesome. The kitchen looks great on its own. Hubberton Forge comes to mind for a single.

  • Susan Fisher says:

    I do love it without the pendants, but would you be able to live with that? If you plan to utilize the counter for meals, snacks, etc. I don’t think you will be happy with the “cheese” lighting. I know I’m not. I like option 3 if you go for it. Is there any way you could do 2 lights? I know we usually use the rule of 3 but may leave you room for your large vase and floral arrangements. I agree these decisions are so big! It’s tough! Home is progressing so beautifully however. Love it!

  • Jennifer says:

    We’re seeing these photos in the daylight. I would imagine, however, that having pendants over the island would be nice for mood lighting in the evening, especially when people are gathered in your space. Therefore, I would vote for pendants, go with #5 and do two. Everything you do is beautiful, so no doubt any choice will be perfect!

  • Clare says:

    I vote for no pendants, they hide some of the beautiful details of your kitchen.

  • Lauren says:

    I think the problem is that 3 pendants is a bit too clunky, whereas if you could do 2 it would look symmetrical and provide a soft glow in the evenings, like lamps, with a dimmer installed. Otherwise I vote no pendants too.
    Just built a new home and you are so right about making decisions for your own home. It’s so much more stressful and exhausting than people imagine. And for most of us we are working within budget constraints which takes a lot of the fun out of it, especially when you see so many high-end homes on the internet that aren’t realistic for the average person. Grateful for your practical advice that can be applied to any home, Maria.

  • Hi Maria–Yet another opinion, here! Yes! It’s sooo much harder to do your own space. One sees so many possibilities and seemingly endless beautiful things that would work. Now, onto your pendant question: I like options #1 and #4 b/c they add a little gold to the mix. I added gold pendants to my kitchen b/c I wanted the warmth with the stainless appliances and they relate to other gold elements the kitchen is open to. Also, I view mine from the side, so a tall arrangement (in my case) wouldn’t be a factor. // Since this doesn’t seem like a lighting “emergency” (ha!) maybe go with none for awhile and see what you think. Best of luck! It’s a joy to see you adding your personality and knowledge to your personal space.

  • Melissa B says:

    I would try TWO pendants so that the hood vent is center OR no pendants 🙂

  • Andrea Holmes says:

    The lovely detail and structure of your kitchen are obstructed by the pendant lights, so having none is definitely a great option.
    Of the options you presented though, I think only the shape of #3 with clear glass and brass/gold metal or possibly #5 suit the traditional style of the room. And although #5 is clear glass, the internal details are too much.

  • Kara says:

    I like it with none best and my second choice is option 5. I think that style matches your house the best.

  • Cheryl says:

    First of all, your kitchen is beautiful!

    I vote for 2 pendants so they don’t obstruct the view of the range hood. Surprisingly, I liked the lanterns #5. I tried black instead of brass and liked that look too. (Three pendants cover the range hood and ‘spill over’ the sides of the island. I like pendants to be 12″ from the sides.)

  • Hanne says:

    Have you considered one pendant – long and narrow that is affixed in the center?

  • Les says:

    Thank you for letting us in on the fun of choosing lighting! I think your lovely kitchen looks unfinished without the pendants. I would go down to only 2 pendants, whichever your choice. Of your choices, I would go with #4, but also consider Visual Comfort’s Holborn Lantern in Old White or Bayridge in Aged Iron (the mercury glass globe has the gold bits that would tie in nicely to your leopard fabric and yellow artwork) or Lorford Bell Lantern which also has the mercury glass. There are also lots of other options in a white or plaster finish which would be a nice understated touch.

  • Bette says:

    No pendants.

    Further fuel for not adding them — my husband, who is tall, frequently has to duck upon standing up at a kitchen island/seating area.

    For me, it’s the glare factor that rules against pendant lighting. These lights will reflect in the countertop and cause headaches for people like me.

  • Liz says:

    I think the kitchen is lovely with no pendants. You want the space to function for the way that you want to use it and since you want tall branches in arrangements sometimes, I say forget the pendants!

  • Christian P. says:

    Your decor is fabulously glam. I prefer this option if you want something that will make a statement and play nice with the leopard:

  • Laura says:

    #5 hands down…I feel that #2 is too modern for your space. The others seem a bit chunky and I like the openness of the last pendant…the Brass warms up the kitchen.

  • Shannon Nembach says:

    All of the pendants you picked are pretty, but I think some of them are too modern for your traditional home. I like Option #5 the best, but only install 2 pendants. You could still have some tall branches in the middle of the island.

  • Kelley Marcanio says:

    I like no pendant lights the best. It gives an unobstructed view of your beautiful kitchen. If I had to pick a light option I would go with #1 as the gold tone coordinates with the leopard print in the chairs and pulls it all together. Also, have you considered clear glass pendants? I would imagine they would still give the great view? Good Luck –

  • Bev says:

    Yes for sure add pendant lights. They provide good task lighting for your island. For me, good task lighting is a must. As you mature in life this becomes more of a necessity. Make sure they provide light that goes down to the island (not option 5 for sure) and some uplighting to the ceiling is a bonus and gives a beautiful look. I think option 3 may do this and there would be other choices out there along this idea. Without pendants you may get shadowing while doing tasks at the island. Looking forward to seeing your choice.

  • Judy says:

    Option 1 or 5 but only 2 of them. I think 3 pendants over that island is heavy. I think it you showed a 2 pendant layout, it might also change peoples minds on which one they like best. No to branches, it’s just visual noise.

  • Robin says:

    What about black pendant with gold inlay? Scale wise, would go a bit smaller than what is shown in the representation photos.

  • Penny says:

    I vote for without. I think it blends with your floor plan and overall decor better without. Plus it contributes to the popular “unkitchen” look. Adding pendants causes my eye to stop rather than taking in ALL the surrounding beauty. Kind of like looking at just the lipstick rather than the whole face.

  • Larissa Saucerman says:

    I’d go with option #1, they’re the most glam, fun option and tie in best with your barstools and other furniture. I know #2 are a fan fave, but personally they remind me of heat food lamps at a restaurant. The other three options feel very basic and your personal style isn’t basic! But, I’d like to see a few more options similar to #1.

  • Robin says:

    No pendants looks best. Your kitchen does not need lights to be the focal point and in my opinion, they all look too big and heavy in the space.

  • Rachel Kraynak says:

    Practical question : does anyone sit at the island and read? Then, 2 pendants would be my choice.

  • Susan Brokaw says:

    I like the unobstructed depth of field view into your lovely kitchen achieved without the addition of pendent lights. Less is more sometimes. Thanks for the opportunity to weigh in!

  • Lorraine says:

    Choice #1) NO PENDANTS! It’s so lovely and open!!! and #2) the first choice of pendants.

  • Cathy says:

    I think 2 pendants instead of 3 would be a fresher and less cluttered look. Maybe white cone-shaped pendants that are wider than they are tall, with a pretty brass rod or chain. For that size of an island, maybe they could be in the 18-20” diameter range. And perhaps they could be hung slightly higher than normal, say 36-40 above the countertop.

  • The balance feels off with 3 pendants- too crowded over the island! No pendants feels a bit vacant and the pendant light would be cozier at the island than the recessed lighting provides. I like option 4 – classic and simple. The brass finish on some pendant options feels too potent (at least in your photos). There are 2 windows, should be 2 pendants, and 4 bar stools. Ceiling lights do not make a room feel cozy- end of story.
    And YES decorating for myself is SO MUCH HARDER than for my clients. Why? Because I have to live with the choices I make all day every day and pay for them, too! In your case you may switch to 2 pendants and if so you have to involve an electrician to change the fixture locations, and possibly patch and paint the ceiling. It’s easy for me to tell you to do it and then you have to deal with the disruption and cost of actually doing it!

  • Mary says:

    Coming in a bit late – but I don’t think any pendant lights are needed as there is already quite a lot going on in that lovely kitchen.

  • Wanda says:

    #1 matches your dining room fixture the best it seems. I also really like #4. They have classic old world charm and glow. I do like idea of only two pendants.

  • Sheree Jones says:

    I vote for no pendants – they block the view of your beautiful millwork hood.

  • Therese Vermette says:

    I was looking to see if the brass was repeated in your kitchen and i could not see that it was. Something less “ look at me” would work better than what you optioned. Check out this Canadian line above with the marble accent. They come in many colours . Would be a little quieter so that all of the other highlights in the kitchen including your chairs are showcased. Listen to your own advice. Not everything can be the star.

  • Lisa says:

    It’s hard to give an opinion because the placement and proportion of all options look off – they seem too large, too high and too close to the edge of the island. Are they actually to scale? If so, like the idea of 2 large pendants instead of 3. My favorite style is number 1 because I prefer the modern look and softer gold color with your kitchen. Number 2 is a nice, classic style but it seems so shiny and brassy. Perhaps the pulls could be swapped to brass to coordinate.

  • Kay says:

    Good heavens! I’ve never seen so many comments!

    An important issue for me is not obstructing the range hood, and, really, that whole wall. It’s so pretty. However, that’s looking at it in daylight. The commenters who talk about the night view have an important point. The warmth of incandescent lighting would make a huge difference then.

    But I still don’t vote for pendants, given the layout of your kitchen. How about installing beautiful lamps at either end of the island? Or depending on the placement of the can lights (including their symmetry), you could convert two or three of them and add flush fixtures, such as large globes. That would allow you to decorate with tall branches, which look beautiful and don’t interfere with all the lovely elements of the kitchen. I’m considering doing that with the can lights centered over my island. They’re excellent work lights but hardly attractive. (No pendants installed for the same reason I don’t like them in your kitchen. They not only obstruct a major beauty of the kitchen but make it look busy.)

  • Lynn Wilhelm says:

    Wow, what a lot of comments!!
    #5 is the only one I’d consider, but I really like the kitchen without any.
    The pendants in #5 are lighter and airier than any of the others which all look too dominant and heavy for your style.
    I wonder if something even simpler would be called for? Something like this or maybe this
    Something mostly clear so none of the view is obstructed and something that airy branches could fit around.
    Good luck!

  • Teresa says:

    Pendants create a visual wall. The unobstructed view of the kitchen with the tall arrangement on the counter continues the feeling of the inside being connected to the garden. It is beautiful.

  • Kim says:

    I like no pendants or the #1 pendants the best. I feel like 2 pendants will feel unbalanced unless you moved your branches into the middle of the island between the two, but I like them off to the side. So if you do pendants I think you should stick with 3 of them.

  • Susy McBride says:

    I would go with #1 hands down or none at all.
    Best to you Maria,

  • Susan says:

    I prefer option 1 or 5. Ans have them on a dimmer. While you may not need them for light whole cooking, without a lamp on the island, I’d think you’d want some ambient light. My island also separates the kitchen from the great room and the lights on a dimmer help with separation and mood. Your home is beautiful! I stole your idea ans I’m recovering my island chairs with leopard backs and emerald green seats! (I have an emerald green sofa in the great room).

  • Charlene says:

    I prefer something with the darker metal, like #3 or #4. They repeat the dark frames on the botanical prints as well as the dark spots in the leopard print and the black glass in the appliances. Those are the only options that pull my eye around the room. The brass options don’t relate as well to the print and fabric. The dark metal repeats the black but also contrasts with the cabinets and wall colour. I’m not crazy about the style of 3 or 4 but I think with the dark metal trim you’re on the right track. It pulls the space together.
    Some of the other options just stop the eye.
    A dark metal traditional lantern style might work and would also repeat the diagonal lines of your range hood. I prefer odd numbers for pendants, if possible. I think your large island can handle three pendants but it will all depend on their scale and delicacy.

  • Linda says:

    I like no pendants. I find the pendants distracting in the view shown.

  • Margaret Deskin says:

    I’m really torn between Option #2 and No Pendants At All! Maybe we’ve just become so accustomed to pendants that we feel they’re required, but this gorgeous kitchen can stand alone without them. That said, I love the way option #2 is just like jewelry and adds a little extra pizazz to the look.

  • Denise Lupenski says:

    Your kitchen is beautiful as is, but I think of pendants as jewelry. I like the last option, but have you thought about just going with two instead of three? I know you’d have to have your ceiling fixed, but that way one would not be blocking your beautiful hood. Just another option. 😊

  • Connie says:

    Clear glass and only 2.

  • Ann says:

    Definitely TWO lights. Like another commenter said, you have two windows that will parallel nicely and have a clearer line of sight to your hood (the focal point).

    I think you are having a problem picking the light fixtures because none of them truly stick out as the correct one. I would continue looking, the right ones will come along and you won’t be questioning it. I use my pendant lights at night when I don’t have my Swiss cheese lights on. The softer lighting of the pendants is necessary for ambiance.

    Decorating my own house is harder because I overthink my decisions. I can see the options in my head with many different variations.

  • Fran W. says:

    I like pendants over an island; the kitchen just doesn’t seem ‘finished’ without them. It also helps tremendously with cooking-related tasks. (Terreeia will no doubt appreciate the additional lighting!) I like choice #5, but I probably would install only two. I think the end result will look great–adding the light you need while giving you the openness you want.

  • Pam says:

    You already have so much going on, pendants are overkill. Definitely omit them.

  • Diane says:

    Number 5 is my favorite, but second choice is Number 2. I like the warmth that the brass color adds without taking over the space. Even without pendants, it’s beautiful, but I think they add some charm.

  • Debra Kilner says:

    I like the shape and tone of number 1. I think lighting over the island, independent of the recessed lighting would be nice. I sit at my island so much I love having it lit. Even though number 2 has the same tone, it seems a bit “space age’! that being said, I also don’t mind the no pendent look. I will be curious to see what you pick,- to see how my “design eye” lines up with yours!

  • Alex says:

    No pendants. There’s more than enough going on in your kitchen already: windows flanking range hood, marble tile backsplash, patterned chairs, give the eye a rest.

  • Mary says:

    While I think the look of large islands with pendants is attractive and certainly functional, but I think it’s trendy. I love that you’re considering bucking the trend and doing something different. Displaying large branches would provide a lovely focal point and I bet you would have fun accessorizing that island with different things. You could even put a Christmas tree on there during the holidays. Not having pendants opens up a lot of options!

  • Catherine Malliet says:

    I recently worked with on a large kitchen remodel with the same layout including similar island, range and two windows location. The island is 10′ x 5′. To not overload the space with fixtures we went with 2-18″ Visual Comfort Goodman lights not lined up to hide the windows! The homeowner has commented that there are two reasons this decision was perfect. They cast the right cone of light when prepping food and the ceiling lights don’t have to be on. In fact they rarely turn them on. Second, having just the pendants on at night casts wonderful subtle mood lighting to that space while sitting in the adjacent spaces – especially when entertaining.

  • Dale Roy says:

    Love those Ballard chairs, Maria. They are drool-worthy
    I am digging #1 lights, but can you do two? That way you first gasp at the chairs,and look up to the glamorous lights, which would frame and lead the eye to take in the incredible hood fan/windows

  • Yesenia Cruz says:

    As others have commented already. I vote for 2 pendants over the island, instead of 3. Gold is your color and I like options #2 and #5

  • Vicki says:

    I would vote for no pendants at all. Your kitchen is so open and has plenty of canned lighst. With your leopard backed chairs the light would be a distraction

  • Michelle says:

    I like the room in the pictures best with no pendants. However, if pendants are a choice I agree with 2 rather than 3 pendants. Contrary to many on the site, I do not like option 2. I like 5 the best because of it’s traditional design and it seems to obstruct the light and view of the kitchen less than the others.

  • K. Richardson says:

    Forget having “3” lights. Consider 1 modern long light (dimmable) that is done in gold with crystals that would repeat the shape of the island and add glam to the space. This one would go well with your chairs. The “bubbles” mimic the cheetah print and look like “champagne ” which would be a nod to the kitchen. Go to “Lamps Plus” Possini Euro Design, Style #768H1, 6 light gold crystal LED island pendant, 34 inches, “Mirabell.” Even the name sounds beautiful!
    Let me know what you think, because I didn’t see anything like this in your list of possibilities.

    • Karen Welch says:

      I love this idea! It is what I was saying about “sparkles” and ambiance. You are thinking outside the box! Yay!

  • Maryanne says:

    #2 or none at all. Like how open it looks without.

  • Gail says:

    I agree with the majority that the no pendant looks great in picture. However I like to have some light over the counters and something softer than cheese lights. I rarely use the cheese lights in the kitchen. My counter lights are bright enough. I also use them with under counter lighting sometimes. I have my pendants on a dimmer switch so they are low at night and add soft light. My vote for pendants is # 3. Although perhaps they could be just a tad smaller. # 1 looks heavy to me and #2 seems jarring. Just don’t make my mistake. I got all glass school house pendants too keep the space looking open as in your no pendants picture and there is too much glare.

  • Ericka says:

    I love option #1. They sit higher up to accommodate larger arrangements, and have a beautiful traditional, easy look to the eye.

  • Lynn Forbes says:

    I like the clean, open look of the no-pendant option. Plus, the animal print and green bar stools, at least from the direction the photo was taken, are the boss of the room, as one expert I know says. Adding pendants makes the room look too busy.

  • Jennifer says:

    I like #4 because the metal color ties in with the leopard print on the back of the chairs. My second choice would be #1 because they seem to tie in best with the yellow in the wall art and the leopard print. The #2 pendants (too bright) and #3 pendants (too cold) are my least favorite. I like the look of no pendants but think they would be missed at some point from a practical standpoint.

  • Marilyn says:

    Ultimately, I’m sure that whatever you decide will be the right choice 🙂 however, I do think that 2 pendants on either side of the island with a space in the middle for a tall arrangement would look great too. I know that it is true that choosing things for your own house always seems to be more difficult than helping others choose. You have a beautiful home! And I do love your leopard staircase!

  • RiceBowl 2021-Kiyoko says:

    Option 6-
    I like the idea of a very soft, understated set of pendant lights here, to highlight but not take away from the smashing fabrics on the kitchen stools. If it were my home, (and I know it’s not! :)) I would do something from Barbara Barry, a la-
    Visual Comfort Signature Collection
    Barbara Barry Simple Banded 2 Light 24 inch Soft Brass Hanging Shade Ceiling Light in Linen
    or her pleated shade pendant, which I can no longer find on Visual Comfort-
    I agree that the scale of the options seem overly large, and are so visually striking they run the risk of obscuring the total picture. I’d go for something elegant and subdued.

  • Monica says:

    I wouldn’t install new pendants. My kitchen is similar and I removed the island pendant when we remodeled. I like the unobstructed feeling and that I can use a vase with tall branches, especially when we entertain.

  • Deanna C. says:

    Having lived in a rental with finishes in similar colors, a large island open to the living, and no pendants (cheese lights only) I always hated the shadowy downcast lighting
    and longed for some warmth being reflected off the ceiling in the island area. A lamp on a kitchen island is impractical IMO.
    In your case, I vote for the fifth option – the delicate gold and white lanterns. Here are
    the reasons I am drawn to this option:
    1) Gold color ties in with gold in adjacent living and your yellow artwork. Touches of white relate to white stone in island.
    2) only gold fixture in your options with uplighting that will actually reflect off ceiling.
    3) the delicate lantern style goes well with the pretty, garden-inspired design in your adjacent living.
    5) the airy design of the lanterns lend an air of “invisibility” to the fixtures, allowing the room and any tall floral arrangements to shine through. With the exception of option 2, the other pendant choices were all too chunky and dominating. I immediately ruled out option 2 because it is doesn’t solve the downlighting problem, which is important to me. Also while style of option 2 is on trend and is accommodating for tall arrangements, I personally don’t think the design itself relates to your space.
    6) A minor detail that I noticed about the lanterns is the inverted linear angles of the white bars mirrors the slanted angles of the millwork in the vent hood.
    7. An idea to consider: I usually like pendants in threes, but in this case I would consider only using two fixtures of option 5. I would try moving them inward a tad to position them in front of the two windows that already flank the vent hood. This approach would still give ample light, highlight the vent hood/cooktop as a focal point (as opposed to blocking it), and give a little more room on the outer edge of island to showcase a tall arrangement with the greenery still intersecting the lantern slightly.
    Maria, you have exquisite taste, and I’m sure whatever you choose will be perfect
    for you. It will be fun to see your finished design.

  • Marie In AZ says:

    Hi, Maria. I vote for no pendants, but if you absolutely need some light closer to the island surface, then #3. But only if you must, haha. Can’t wait to see what you decide on!

  • Kim says:

    My vote is NO pendant lights. It seems your lovely kitchen gets plenty of light without them during the day anyway. If you do choose to install pendant lights, I’d go with what Deanna C. said: ” I would try moving them inward a tad to position them in front of the two windows that already flank the vent hood. This approach would still give ample light, highlight the vent hood/cooktop as a focal point (as opposed to blocking it), and give a little more room on the outer edge of island to showcase a tall arrangement with the greenery still intersecting the lantern slightly.” Option #5 would be pretty.

  • Karen says:

    IMHO, whatever you choose shouldn’t obstruct views in any direction. In the photograph, I can’t tell how much natural light (windows) there is but I think having only TWO pendants is better than three. I also favour “see-through” like Option #5. And I would prefer sticking to stainless/silver/nickel finish rather than the gold or brass which, for me, relate to nothing. With respect, I think the “problem” visually is the green/leopard chairs. They are what are causing the visual disturbance. If the kitchen only has the overhead pot lights, working in the kitchen will be very difficult. There are few uppers under which one can install lighting and the small lamps won’t help except to provide mood lighting. In a kitchen, one needs a lot of lighting as well as a variety of lighting in my experience.

  • Karen says:

    Should have been more specific about the leopard print chair backs. It’s the leopard print that is causing the disturbance. The green seats are fine. Maybe there could be leopard lumbar cushions on each chair. They wouldn’t be seen from a distance like in your photographs but still give you the exotic hit as well as comfortable seating.

  • Susan says:

    I’m surprised not to see a single crystal chandelier option. Sooo many to choose from! And they don’t take up a lot of visual space

  • Debra says:

    Number 5 and only two for all the reasons Deanna C says… mimics the vent hood and not distracting or heavy like the other choices.

  • Linda says:

    I like the last choice best. Lighter. Have you considered a tailored large(but not fussy) chandelier? Something from Thomas O’Brien or Barbara Barry (Visual Comfort). Perhaps a single large item is better than three across?

  • Liz N says:


    While the island looks better with no pendants, it IS a work space and eating space, so you need adequate light for both activities.

    All the other options interfere with the kitchen design or provide harsh light for anyone seated or working below them. The fifth option provides softer light with a wider cast over the island.

  • Interesting conversation I never thought about not putting pendant lights in my new belt but in retrospect, it certainly was an option. I would go with only two pendant lights, make them large and then they will be slightly more into the centre and it will allow you to display your tall branches nicely. That’s exactly what I did with my home and I am thrilled with it. I use my pendant lights every day. And you’re right being a designer and building a brand new home- oh my goodness that was so difficult because we know all the options! In the end I was happy with what I chose for my home and I sure you will be with yours as well!

  • Ken says:

    WOW, lots of feedback…I like #3 best as it is symmetrical with the Kitchen Hood looks as though it “belongs” vs. the other choices which tend to look out of place…the space feels a bit “unfinished” to me without the pendants…however, the black color rods and accent metal look “lonely” and out of place as they don’t pair up well with the other hard fixtures IMO and I believe brushed nickel would link into the cabinet/draw pulls and oven for a better fit…based on their size, is a bit crowded so I would open up the space a bit more and only use 2 vs. 3. Good Luck!

  • ML says:

    I am not a designer, so whatever you choose will, undoubtedly, be fabulous.

    Based upon what you’ve trained us to “see”, I guess it depends which “statement piece” you want as the focal point?
    The leopard print counter stools with the clear dark green seat cushions?
    The architecturally interesting range hood behind?
    The pendant lights themselves?
    The leopard print back counter stools seem to be pretty demanding in the attention they want from the rest of the room design. The options presented seem to compete with those stools. Also, the design doesn’t seem to match. Will you be replacing the range hood at some point?

    If the intention is to keep the counter stools and the range hood, I would use just two pendant lights that have a bronze smoky glass etching that echos the leopard print. I would install these such that the placement of these two pendants on the ceiling above the island visually lines up with the wall windows on the far wall behind that are either side of the range hood.
    This serves the following functions:
    1) By using only 2 instead of 3 pendants, they support, but don’t compete with, the drama provided by the counter stools and the range hood;
    2) By using 2 instead of 3, it gives a clear visual line to the range hood behind, which is a lovely piece of architecture on its own;
    3) It gives you room for your accessory design like the tall flower arrangement which can either be centered on the counter top or placed to the far right.

    See the link from a lighting store:

    Granted this may be the wrong size (5″ may be way too small), but you can use your design program to adjust the size and then find the pendant to match.

    Always love to hear from you as to why this does or does not make sense from your professional design perspective.

    Your house is lovely, by the way.

    Thanks for all you do for us.

  • Ann says:

    Hi Maria, you are correct, it is so much easier to choose for someone else! I think it’s obvious what you should do. No pendants would be a mistake. You miss out on the ambiance of nice island pendant lighting. I agonized when making this decision for my home 2 years ago and went with 2 lantern style (Visual Comfort, they have several great options). I am so glad I did!! 2 is a much better balance than 3. It visually divides the island into 3 and creates better sight lines in a kitchen. The openness of a lantern style is perfect – and nothing to clean!! Your #5 lantern option is beautiful. 6 “candles” is perfect (be sure to use frosted blubs – nothing worse than seeing the inside of a lightbulb, especially the orange of LED bulbs) and the alabaster accent will be beautiful in your home. I love everything about it – great shape and details. It’s a nice size too. #s 1, 3 and 4 have a heavy look. #2 looks like a spaceship.

    • Ann says:

      P.S. You need to do something about that refrigerator. It is super busy with the dispenser on the left and the see through door on the right. There are nice refrigerators available now with the water dispenser on the inside. And a window on a refrigerator does nothing for decor except detract. As a big hunk of metal in the kitchen, the sleeker a refrigerator looks, the better.

    • Meredith says:

      Ann nailed it. You need pendants, but all of these groupings extend too far to the edge of the island. 2 pendants would anchor the island, align to the windows in the background and reveal the beautiful range hood. And with only 2 you have more leeway with the size. Best of luck and I look forward to seeing your selection!

  • Melissa says:

    I vote for #1. They are easy on the eyes, not too busy /they do not compete with the leopard print chairs for attention, the brass warms up the space, and you still have freedom to put large arrangements on the countertop. Lighting makes the island more useful. I’m drawn to clean, unfussy designs, so option 5 is my least favorite and will look dated.

  • Linda Gail Trammel says:

    My first choice is no pendant lights but if you do choose to use them, I’d only put in two instead of three. Of the five options I like #1 best. And I like the yellow flowers in the vase and not the really tall ones at the end. I personally think clear pendants are best which gives more vision to the beautiful room. I can’t wait to see your final choice!

  • Mary Hasnas says:

    No pendants I think. Or two at the most. That’s my vote. Beautiful without them.

  • Deb Landy says:

    Are you keeping track of the votes Maria? I like no pendants best, unless you absolutely feel like with a dimmer you could create some interest now and again with pendant lighting there.
    When we built our place at the beach I had them wire for pendants and I have yet to put any in. (6+ years) I just don’t feel I need them.

  • Susan says:

    I prefer no pendants too but I’m afraid you might want light when working at the island. Then I’d go with #1 or 2. I like the brass with your yellow furniture etc. I like the style of#2 but the brass tone of #1. Good luck!

  • Judy M says:

    I like it without pendants

  • Joanna says:

    You have a gorgeous kitchen! I wouldn’t hang lights that block the view to your wall of marble tile and that lovely hood, plus the windows. The symmetry is perfection. This way you can add tall branches or arrangements. I opted for no pendants over my island because I didn’t want to block the view of the garden through the windows along the far counter. Just because large pendants are trending does not mean we have to follow the masses. Whatever you decide will be beautiful.

  • Jamie Folk says:

    Option 5 is lovely! It’s clear and airy and not heavy, whether either turned on or off, and gives you the option of beautiful additional light in the evening. The lantern style also has an antique, aged feel which reminds me of the exterior style of your home.

  • Lisa says:

    Of the five posted, I like #1 best. I think it would behoove you to scale the pendants correctly; it’s easy to do — a ratio. If in Photoshop, your countertop photo measures, say, 20″ and it is really 50″ in your kitchen, and your pendant, you know, measures 12″ across, then you solve for what the pendant should be in Photoshop as follows: 20/50 = x/12. Solve for x. Also, you are showing only one angle. Doesn’t the cook get a say?!

  • Jenny Golay says:

    The photo without pendants is the most attractive — all of the pendants detract from your beautiful back wall and the attractive, energetic, tall arrangements. Do you need pendants for lighting when people are seated there? If not, I’d skip them. If you do need pendants, I have a feeling you might be able to find something that doesn’t detract so much from the other lovely elements in the room. As some people have said, maybe two pendants or even one larger fixture might get less in the way than three pendants, although odd numbers are often desirable. What a beautiful kitchen! And such striking arrangements! It must make your heart happy!

  • Alayne Muscarella says:

    Hi, Maria. I honestly love the open view with just your cheese lights. However, I think openwork pendants would add interest but keep the open look. Perhaps something that’s openwork rattan or rope with brass. Capital lighting recently posted a Bianca bleached rope pendant which is gorgeous. It would look beautiful with your cabinetry! There are so many other openwork options you could consider. I can’t wait to see what you decide! Thanks for all of your great content!

  • MaryAnne Ryan says:

    Geez, you certainly elicited plenty of responses to your question about your pendants!!
    I admit I did not read all of the comments and I may be repeating thoughts from others, but I also think that you should NOT replace the pendants. And why I say that is this- Your kitchen has plenty going on without more shapes and finishes introduced with the pendants, it frees up the space from the distraction and makes it feel so open and “airy” (isn’t that what clients always say they want? a space that feels open and airy?). Also, since you do not need the lighting for well, light- then leave them out. I think people install pendant lights because that is what they think is expected in the kitchen over an island and I say ‘buck the trend Maria” ..don’t put pendants up in your beautiful kitchen- let it breathe!!!

  • Melanie Shoaf says:

    If you just want lights, I would choose #5. Love the gold tone, shape and you can see through them. But not necessary.

  • Sandra Berube says:

    #5 –
    but the suggestion for only two pendants is worth considering
    however, the open look is so appealing …
    would tall buffet lamps work here?
    have fun making your decision…

  • Shay says:

    I don’t think pendants are necessary, but you might want them at night (dimmable, of course!). As many others have commented, try living without for a few months to see whether or not you start to feel something missing. If you ultimately go with pendants, you might consider two rather than three. Even in your generous space, three seems too busy. And I prefer options 1 or 2, though all the options you chose are great. The kitchen is beautiful. It’s a lovely example of how just a few strategic changes make a huge difference!

  • BillP says:

    No pendants. It starts to look too busy. Consider two large pendants instead of three if you insist. I know about the “rule of three” but two can look good also. There is a recent video tour of RuPaul’s Beverly Hills home and his is a good example of a well done display of two over the kitchen island.

  • Suzanne 2 says:

    I don’t have lighting over my island (a later addition), except for some nearby “cheese” lights, which my husband finds annoying. I see his point and I also think that pendant lighting would be really nice in the evening, especially with your lovely kitchen. I looked at all the photos and skimmed through the responses. My vote is for two pendants. In terms of style, I think #5 is the best option because the lantern style makes them seem lighter and lets your kitchen shine through. I’m conflicted about the brass though – I think your kitchen needs more to correspond with it to carry it off. Perhaps a more pewter/black-type colour lantern would work better, because of the touches of black in your kitchen (appliances, etc.). A darker lantern would still be consistent with the garden feel in your home, and the delicate structure would keep it from looking too heavy. Another thought: While I completely respect your love for leopard prints and I think you pull them off beautifully, my personal feeling is that, in this case. it conflicts with the marble backsplash, and draws attention away from your beautiful kitchen – my eyes take a big pause at the leopard print. Perhaps something botanical (e.g., leaves to match the green seats, or a lattice pattern, etc.) would give you your hit of colour but compete less. (Just my two cents – I’m sure whatever you do will be lovely, as usual.)

  • K. B. says:

    Option 3!

  • Roya says:

    I like pendants #2 and #5: they don’t block the view of the kitchen as much as the others.

  • Pamela says:

    I would go with just TWO pendants instead of three so it frames the view of the stove, which is the “fireplace of the kitchen.” That focal point always needs to be respected. I would also remove the trapezoid trim on the stove hood. I personally don’t care for that geometric shape dominating the primary focus. Other than that, I prefer either of the first two. The brass warms up the space. Enjoy your new home. It’s really coming together!

  • Ann says:

    I really believe that you will need the ambient light that the pendant lights give off. It is a much softer light and serves as a task light above the kitchen island. Also, it is nice to just have the pendant lights on and leave the recessed ceiling lights off at certain times.
    I believe that many of your readers are voting for no pendant lights at all, because THREE pendant lights is just TOO BUSY! All of the pendant light options show 3 lights, which is overkill. I decorate and have found that there is almost NEVER a need for 3 island lights. Two equally spaced pendant lights are much nicer than three! I think that given your style, the light choice Option #5 would be best – but ONLY 2 Pendant Lights, please!
    For readers with 3 pendants, electricians can easily close up the openings and move the wiring in the ceiling above the island to change it from 3 pendants to only 2.

  • Katherine Burnett says:

    I like the pendants in your previous kitchen for your new kitchen. The brass and black would be great for your chairs. I would install 2 large ones. You need mood lighting in that large kitchen.

  • Erica says:

    Option #5 in keeping with the French style, or NO pendants!
    You DO need lights over an island, so I’m assuming you would have strong enough recessed lighting if you use no decorative lighting.

  • Susan says:

    #1 or 2. The rest are too large for the space. I agree with folks suggesting just two. It looks fine without pendants but in my humble opinion (and I’m a designer btw) it looks unfinished without them. 🙂

  • Jen says:

    I like it with no pendants, but also with pendant choice #1. It is a fabulous space and I know the choice you make will be right for you!

  • Victoria says:

    #2 if you must have them, none is best option- less is more 👍

  • Susan says:

    What does your lovely wife think? Does she feels she has enough light to prepare? Would having the ceiling lights only not cast shadows when cooking or preparing?

    I think all the lights are to bossy. I feel if you have pendants they should be seen not heard. I actually liked the original because they were quite simple (without the scroll. Work though). They did not interfere ….. just my non decorators thoughts 🙂

  • Monica Geistwhite says:

    I just remodeled my kitchen–ditched the pendant lights for 6 led can lights on a dimmer. (I know–the horror lol) Best. Decision. Ever. It looks so much bigger and open. There are others sources of lights in the kitchen as well–above the sink and breakfast bar. No regrets!

  • jess says:

    Not a fan of the brass, as it doesn’t seem to relate to anything in the kitchen, so number one and two are out. Number three looks too modern for the space. The others appear to be brass as well.
    Of all the options, I’d probably prefer the original pendants that were there.

  • Elaine says:

    I vote for no pendants.

  • Kim says:

    I have to say I enjoyed reading the responses on this post and so admire your courage, Maria, for asking your readers for their opinions! There are no shrinking violets here! That said, the kitchen is lovely and the marriage of color and neutrals is calming, interesting and welcoming. I favor overhead pendants because they add a vertical accent that, with the proper selection, is complementary but not overwhelming. Interestingly, #2 adds both a horizontal and a vertical design accent that is neither obtrusive nor overly large. I love the metal warmth without more white — nice relief. #2 gets my vote for what it is worth but I know you will make the right choice in line with your own design vision.

  • YvonneM says:

    Although my first instinct was to say ” No pendants ” I’ve changed my opinion and would opt for two of option #2. They are subtle pieces of jewelry for your kitchen and having only 2 of them prevents the overload that 3 of them would present.
    On the other hand….the chairs seem very ‘harsh’, sort of “in your face”.

  • Lorri says:


    If you absolutely must, go with Option 5 since they are see-through and compliment your living room.

  • Susan Hubele says:

    I’m loving those two windows on either side of the range hood. Whatever lighting showcases them best with their country views.

  • Yvonne says:

    Your kitchen is so pretty! I prefer the option of no pendants.

  • Ann Y. says:

    I definitely vote for #5! Timeless and classy!

  • Hi Maria,
    I love the look of your repainted kitchen, and I think the chairs you previously had around a dining table. Look amazing at the island! You may count me in the no pendant camp. I think when you have pendants, your eyes stop at the pendants and you don’t see the rest of your gorgeous kitchen. Full disclosure: I did not put pendants into my own kitchen for that very reason. If anything, I would suggest a semi-flush mount light fixture, but I really don’t think you need anything given that you said you have adequate lighting. And you can always change your mind. But if you do decide to go with pendants, I would not go with the number two ones from rejuvenation as I think they are too wide. I’ve seen them in other kitchens and I didn’t care for them either. Maybe it’s the proportion and I think pendant should be taller than they are wide. I also would not introduced black over your countertop and stick with some thing and brass or gold. I think you can just kick this decision down the road for about six months and see how you like your kitchen without pendants after that time. Wishing you all the best – – Carol

  • jacqueline says:

    Do you read this torrent of opinions? No matter. I have one. No pendants. They’re all overblown, show-offy, soulless objects. Looking at the no pendant photo I see and feel calm.

  • M says:

    No pendants! Kitchen is beautiful without any dangling distractions and the gold is getting old. If I was forced to pick pendants, I would have kept the originals over any of the new options. But again, no pendants. It looks complete as is and u can always add later if really feel the need. But in this beautiful kittchen, no need, less is more. Move on to another room. 🙂

  • Gina says:

    None OR two….As someone already commented, I would love to see what it looks like with only two centered pendants …. The way the pendants are spaced makes them appear almost as wide as the island. I feel like just having them centered would be more visually and spatially appealing.

  • Whitney says:

    In the photos I tend to like it without but I do agree with one of the comments that having them helps define the space. I personally would consider 2, not 3, it seems overwhelming with 3 of them. Of the choices 1 & 2 seemed best in terms of scale. Have you considered something more subtle? I didn’t love any of the choices but photoshop never really captures how they’ll actually look (usually they look better IRL). If you can’t decide, wait. It might be that you haven’t found the right ones and if it’s not bothering you without you can reconsider every so often or, what often happens, you find the perfect choice and you just know!

  • Netty says:

    #2, #5, or none

  • Victoria Sleger says:

    I vote for no pendant lighting. The space looks open and I wouldn’t want to obstruct the beautiful view into the kitchen. I just remodeled my kitchen, which had cabinets above the peninsula blocking my view. Decided not to put pendant lights. I love the openness now. My custom cabinets are painted Sherwin Williams Marshmallow. So are the doors, ceiling and trim. Walls are SW Silver Strand. Quartz is Madreaperola(very neutral). The floor is a porcelain tile to mimick travertine but very neutral (tan, & gray). I can’t decide on a backsplash. I tried subway tile in Calacutta marble but way to much movement. I like yours so tried to copy it. Thinking 1×4”marble herringbone. Do you have any suggestions for my backsplash? Plain white or cream subway tile has no pizzaz since everything else is neutral. Thanks

  • April says:

    I prefer no pendants. I have not put any in my kitchen. I find it too busy. In your kitchen they just hide the beautiful hood. I also think they would be an awful chore to clean. I love your idea of tall seasonal vases on the island. If you do decide to install them I like # 1.

  • Paula says:

    No pendants looks clean, the whole room looks expandsive. Clutter –gone.
    Glad you posted this I have been waiting almost a year to decide this myself.
    Boring now = Classic later.

  • Kathy Dawson says:

    Have you considered only one large pendant? I like the brass #5 which seems timeless but I think 3 of them would just be too much.

  • Marie says:

    What a gorgeous kitchen!
    3 pendants feels cluttered and forced to me. I would go with a single #5 (maybe slightly larger) on a dimmer. As someone else commented, it complements the leopard print without being too much. Although the vent hood is very attractive, a pendant is the “jewelry”. We have one chandelier over our large island and love it. We have “cheese” lighting but rarely use it as the chandelier lighting is so much more pleasing. And one pendant still allows for versatility with branches and flowers.
    BTW – love the yellow dutch oven on the stove. I will try that with one of my colored pots. We also have Calacatta marble countertops and backsplash. Love it!

  • Debbie says:

    Love the NO Pendant look, but option 1 is my favorite pendant choice! The brass goes beautifully with your other decor.

  • Kristin says:

    I would try two pendants. I don’t like the center one blocking the vent hood.

  • Helen says:

    I really don’t like any of them. They look big, clunky and cluttered (sorry). I would go for either NO pendants or look for something more linear but in line with the vibe of your kitchen and your style. So there would be something centered and interesting but room to put a tall arrangement on one or both of the ends.

  • Michelle Holland says:

    NO pendants! It’s perfect with a dramatic floral statement! And much more fun🤗

  • Carrie Smurthwaite says:

    I vote Pendant lights, I view them like an area rug is to a living room. If Scale is close to what you have in the photos Then I choose option #1

  • Deborah says:

    So I guess you’ve been doing a tally on no pendants, 2 lights instead of 3, but what it boils down to is do you need the light?
    If you need the light #2 will focus all the light to the counter will that be too warm? The #5 will disperse the light through out the room and will be the lowest maintenance ( no bugs ) but I prefer one that is smaller in scale that has a little more brass. I vote for 2 lights as well if you need them.
    I personally think the room needs the bling to help have more visual interest.

  • Mandy Pitcavage says:

    My vote is for no pendants and beautiful vases and arrangements.

    The back wall is the focus. I don’t love how the pendants break the visual line to the back wall.

    Plus, the wall has so much going on already and looks nice without having to add anything.

    If you must have pendants over the island.I would consider only having two. 😊

  • Carol says:

    I like the unobstructed view with no pendents. But, if you must have pendents at least choose one with less surface area to collect grease and dust…. definitely not the candle one… to much to clean.

  • Toni Woodbury says:

    My daughter says Option 2, and I say no pendants.

  • SandyC says:

    Maria, no pendants, certainly not now. When I scrolled down to Option No. 1, I thought “OMG, if I didn’t know this was Maria’s kitchen, I would have wondered why would someone take what is a very lovely kitchen with so much to admire and hang three objects from the ceiling that looked like some parts of a space ship and blocked the view”. Option No. 2 wasn’t much better and, in fact I didn’t like any of them. Since you don’t feel that you absolutely need them, I would agree with others who said to pass on them, for now at least. Instead, I would concentrate on your tall vase and plant arrangement which you love to do and which you do so beautifully (and which I learned from you).

    Which means my favorite is the first picture of your kitchen without the pendants before you listed the options. My eyes focus immediately on that tall vase with the beautiful yellow flowers, smile and nod happily and then immediately scan left to the yellow paintings on the wall and the green plant, then across your kitchen in panels top to bottom all the way to the right, nodding and approving as they go, then ending up back at the tall vase and flowers with a huge feeling of satisfaction and delight.

    If you do decide to go with pendants after all, I would agree no more than two.

  • Leslie says:

    I prefer no pendants but if you choose to use one then the Visual Comfort ones are by far my favorite.
    But instead of 3, please only use 2. 3 are so predictable, takes up too much real estate and you don’t need the light that 3 will provide.

  • I like option no 2!
    I have cheese lights in my kitchen and love them, as well as 3 pendants. However because I didn’t want a cluttered look over my island, I found a style that had some brass at the top but the rest was in a clear glass. I love the variation of lighting moods I can now create when I use their dimmers. It’s fun!

    In the end it is all about your own personal preference and having what looks good to you and your family.

  • Nancy says:

    I just went through this decision in my new build and opted for no pendants. The pendents stop your eye like an invisible barrier and to use your phrase Maria, they are “too bossy”. Plus, they make the space seem smaller. If you do decide to get the pendants, I would choose #1. Good luck

  • Colleen says:

    First choice option #1, second choice option #2. The finish ties in with the wall art to the left and the island chairs.

  • Katy Taylor says:

    Either nothing, which is my first choice, or #5.

  • PAppel says:

    No pendants is my first choice.
    If you must have pendants, I LOVE option 2 best. Love the shape of them. Would you use them in that same finish?

  • Emily Rose says:

    The pendants-obstructing-the-hood controversy in the comments reminds me of your post about styling the table in front of your sister’s art. She was concerned about lamps and decor blocking the painting, but the styling actually provided a lovely context for the painting and drew the eye in. Plus, the styling only blocked the painting from certain angles. That’s how I’m feeling about your millwork. It’s beautiful, and the hood is beautiful, but it’s vast like the painting, so adding pendants wouldn’t obscure all that beautiful design. There are plenty of angles and heights from which to admire it. Plus, these cropped pendants are going to distract our eyes in a way the real deals wouldn’t!

    When I first looked at the pictures, my reaction was “definitely no pendants!” Then I read all the comments and thought, “maybe we’re overreacting a bit and missing something.” So I looked back at the pictures and changed my mind—I love the pendants! I love the warmth they add. I love how they invite you to come sit at the island and chat with the cook—and admire the beautiful kitchen while you’re at it! I just love how they frame your gorgeous kitchen. And I also love how each pendant you chose relates with the shapes and colors already in your space (black, bronze, gold are all so lovely with your chairs! Totally disagree with the nickel idea tossed out there) (favorites are #1 & #4). But… I also love your yellow arrangement and the stunning pussy-willows, and I appreciate the open, airy feel with no pendants. I think both options (pendants and no pendants) are good options.

    So… What look and feel makes you happy? Would you like the island to be a little more inviting? And the kitchen to be highlighted and framed with pendants? Or does the open and airy feel make your heart sing?

    • Gloria Anderson says:

      One more vote! I love the No pendant look – your canned lights either are or can be dimmable – that is probably plenty of light. BUT I like the idea of one or two pendants instead of three – just seems too many. I like #2 because they are pretty and add light but complement your design as opposed to overwhelming it – which I think some of the other choices did. Honestly, this is personal preference- what do you think looks the prettiest and is functional for when/if you do need light?

  • Shelly D says:

    #5 or something similar that doesn’t block the view of the hood but brings out the golden touches in your decor. I agree that no pendants can look clean, BUT I HATE my new kitchen when only the cheese lights or on… I much prefer my clear glass & brass pendants that give a pretty glow over my island along with under cab & lamp lighting… I only use the cheese lights when I clean my floors.😆
    But yours is fabulous either way!

  • Shelly D says:

    Also, just 2 pendants from #5 or similar, none in the middle blocking the hood. That is how mine from Ballard are & we love the amount of light 2 gives on our 8.5 ft island & looks much cleaner than 3. 🙂

  • Janet says:

    I’m going with no pendants. However- I do see how pendants could be considered like jewelry. If you do pendants I would choose option 1.

  • Mary says:

    I think one chandelier with an oblong or rectangular shape and a Hollywood glamour feel would be fun and could leave room for the branches on the side. That way you would get the opportunity for mood lighting at night without quite so much impact as three big pendants.

  • Kim says:

    I think pendant #5 because:

    It works with the style of the hood and doesn’t scream, ‘Look at me!!!’ like the more modern, brass piece do. It allows my eye to rest on the focal point of the chairs, which is really the interest of your kitchen vignette.

    I also feel it harmonizes with the the feel’ of the rest of your space—very traditional but with that touch of quirk. Let the quirk of this leopard chairs shine.

    Plus, just cheese lights makes for horrific lighting—speaking as someone with visual issues who is extraordinarily sensitive to lighting!. (I so resonate with what you preach about lamps, BTW!)

  • Carol Foster says:

    I think you should repost the article and photo shop in just 2 pendants over the island (vs 3) and ask the same question. It would certainly love you to enjoy the view of your hood.

    If two pendants, oddly enough, I am drawn to #4, as the style is fun and it relates to the darker spots in your leopard chairs and your framed artwork.
    Lovely kitchen, no matter what you do.

  • Maria Pereira says:

    I think #1 and #4 provide a balanced look and coordinate really well with your leopard back chairs.

  • Alison says:

    Why not a small lamp on the counter if more light is required? No to the pendants. They detract from a full view of the hood.

  • Nancy says:

    Option 4, but with 2 pendants

  • Nancy says:

    No pendants would be nice too. Gorgeous kitchen.

  • Pam says:

    I love the clean clear view look with no pendants using a tall arrangement.

  • Monica says:

    Having seen all the beautiful pictures of Terreeia’s cooking, I know yours needs to be a working kitchen. If you or your wife are tall … or the people who regularly help cook, visit, etc. are tall … definitely skip the pendants. I’m tall, so I tend to lean over the counter. If the pendants aren’t making weird shadows, they definitely are just in my way. Besides going with no pendants now can always be changed later, should some fabulous thing come along. Save some time and money now, and revisit the topic of pendants maybe when you are doing your eventual perimeter counter refresh. Enjoy the process!

  • Nancy Markon says:

    No brainer — no pendants. Let the gorgeous emerald green and leopard steal the show.

  • Karen says:

    I favour no pendants, and I have none in my own kitchen because I just feel they cut the space in half. To me, they feel like the bangs one is always brushing away from one’s eyes. But if you must have them, then I would choose option 2, with only 2 to allow a tall arrangement, or a single pendant on a dimmer for mood at night. I don’t go for lights like option 5 because I find bare bulbs so annoying.

  • AngieG says:

    Fabric shade pendants to repeat the green upholstery in the chairs? You have some green in the art, a little more green in the chairs, so what about a larger dose of green with a pendant that can have the shade easily replaced? Otherwise the green looks a little out of place.

  • Monica says:

    I think the kitchen looks heaps better without the pendants. Less visual clutter, and as a bonus, cheaper and less dusting 😉

  • Sandy says:

    I wonder if the reason so many of us say “no pendants” is because the pendants – all choices – are all fighting for attention with the chairs? To my eye, together, they are just too much. The chairs are gorgeous, but they seem to be made for a different space.

  • Mimi says:

    You love botanicals and nature accents… Perhaps ‘sculptural’ linear lighting- for a nod to nature and art? (Such as the whimsical and airy Blossom ‘branch’ style)-

    There are many examples out there, this is but one 🙂 Seeing fresh, artful pieces in a kitchen brings joy, and an island can pull it off..

    Have fun Maria!

  • Kate says:

    Hello Maria, three pendants look busy and detract from the beauty of the kitchen, no light makes it looked unfinished. However, I would suggest to install a “correct” chandelier which would prove both functional and beautiful. A larger light fixture probably between 38″ to 42″ in diameter would counter balance the vase with large branches which you love and look beautiful. Having nothing there makes the area look incomplete and half-done.

  • Jenny says:

    Beautiful kitchen!

    Another option (not sure if anyone else said this, I didn’t read all 300 comments) – I can’t help but see the kitchen without pendants over the island, but adding a pendant on each side of the range hood, in front of the windows. It would add the metals from the pendants, but keep them off your island and blocking the view of the kitchen. All are gorgeous options, but you have to make the final decision based on how you live.

  • JoDi says:

    No lights. I think the tall arrangements are more dramatic and the open view of the space without the interruption of pendants is nice and uncluttered.

  • Rene Prinsloo says:

    Hi Maria I love No.1 as it glams the kitchen up and it matches your brilliant personality!

  • Deborah says:

    I like no pendants best. But a close second for me is #1 pendants.

  • KJG says:

    Center one rectangular pendant, hung a bit higher, leaving room for a tall arrangement if needed? I like the no pendant option, but #1 is my favorite of the pendants, really made me smile.

  • K. Richardson says:

    Forgot to add: The leopard chairs need to go if you’re going to keep the green cushioning. The darker green does nothing for the space. And, while you’re at it, select pictures that better reflect your personality. Go back to your raspberry, and yellows, with “fresh” greens. Or put these chairs as entry seating in your foyer and choose different seating for the island.
    PS- The original pendant lighting worked well BECAUSE they have overlapping oval designs that are repeated in the oval back chairs that were there! Surprised nobody saw this connection. You’re dealing with squares, rectangles, angles, etc.. So, your chair “shape” works, but the material color doesn’t.
    If you didn’t want to go with the elongated crystal modern light fixtures- Possino “Mirabell”, then a possibility are 2 overly tall crystal buffet lamps at either end ( but not getting in the way of the cooking/baking duties that come first). An electric outlet would be needed on both ends to flank the seating area. The lamp cord length would need to be shortened so they wouldn’t get in the way, or look sloppy. Now, you’d be able to place a lovely floral arrangement in the center of the island, and have the ambient lighting you like.

  • Debbie says:

    I just moved into a new build where we have plenty of natural light, pot lights, and sconces next to the hoodfan and side board. We decided to go without pendants and I love it. Such a clean look at feel for that area and then we did an AMAZING light fixture over the adjacent dining table.

  • Angela says:

    While I do like the first pendants in your kitchen I don’t have pendants in my house either and that leaves more space for decorating. So I vote for none

  • Caitie says:

    Hey Maria! Have you considered doing two larger pendants to frame out the range hood instead of three smaller ones? A little less busy, more room for branches…

  • I like the kitchen without pendants but I would also try two instead of three. That would not impede the view of the hood and offers another layer of lighting that is more inviting than recessed lights.

  • Agnieszka Wisniewski says:

    You need pendants, I can not imagine dark kitchen in the evening..
    I would go with #3, light is down directed and not all over the place..
    And why 3 pendants? Have you thought about only 2 pendants or 1 Lamp with 2 or 3 Lamps?

    Best regards

  • Cecilia says:

    No pendants

  • JACQUELINE says:

    Without pendants puts the emphasis on the gorgeous range hood and windows. I really like the tall arrangement at the end of the island.

  • Jan says:

    #1 for me!

  • Christine Piehl says:

    The kitchen looks more refined without pendants. The pendants obstruct the view of the pretty decorating in the back, and don’t add anything

  • Heather Craine says:

    As a Certified Lighting Consultant I would approach this space on a wider view than just the kitchen. How does your room relate to the space(s) around it? What other decorative lighting, if any, do you have in view? Are you willing to make repairs to the ceiling, or do you want to work with the existing electrical? What is the ceiling height and island size? Personally, none of the options are blowing my hair back, but as we all know, there are MANY great options out there. I’m happy to help, e-mail me! (I also have thoughts/ recommendations regarding ‘cheese lighting’ but that’s another topic for another day).

  • elle says:

    I prefer no pendant lights over your island. Your stools already carry a lot of visual weight with color, contrast and pattern. If you decide you must use pendants, #2 would be my preference because they are visually lighter and are less in the way of tall foliage/centerpiece. #5 is also lighter visually so it might be an option.

  • Candice Hill says:

    Hi, Maria…Love option 2. It does look like jewelry! And feels more airy. What could you do with lamps? Curious. Love your kitchen!!! 😁❤️

  • KL says:

    If you are committed to always having a tall arrangement on the island, then I vote for no pendants! It looks lovely that way. Personally I don’t have the dedication to keep an arrangement 24/7, haha, but it definitely replaces the pendants and adds some interesting asymmetry too.

    Among the pendant options, I definitely prefer the warmth of the brass finishes, and my favorite among those two is Option 2.

  • sc says:

    Well…. I would choose a skylight. 2nd choice would be no pendants.

  • Ruth Anne says:

    Have you considered flush mounts? If you want ‘mood lighting’, they would offer that, without adding clutter. Hubbarton Forge has some gorgeous ones, which would blend in well.

  • Carol Sturdy says:

    I like option #2.

    I like pendants over large islands such as this one and #2 option is light enough in size & weight to allow your eye to flow right underneath to the far side of the kitchen (it would also allow tall floral arrangements underneath). Plus, I like the fact that the shade would allow the light to be focused just on the island so that when the rest of the kitchen wasn’t in full use you could turn down or off the other lights & just have the pendants shine full or dimmed to highlight any center piece you may have on the island.

    With the other pendants I found my eye stopped on them – as you would say “they were too bossy” & grabbed too much attention 🙂

    Even though you have plenty of ceiling light, I think more layers of light make a room more interesting – not that you would necessarily have them all on at once but they are there when you want a little more drama.

  • Margaret Bannerman says:

    At first I thought that “no pendants” looked good, but the more I looked at the “pendants”, the more naked the “no pendant” room seemed. Having pendants seems like having draperies. You don’t always notice when they are missing, but you do notice how much more complete the room feels with the draperies, even if you don’t notice when they’re not missing!

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