24 Modern & Unique Lighting Ideas for Your Kitchen

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Cup of Jo)

No matter what size your kitchen may be, you should put stock in the ability that an unexpected (and super stylish) light fixture can have to up the personality of your space. From eye-catching chandeliers to hard-working sconces, read ahead for unique kitchen lighting ideas (plus shoppable get-the-look comps) that will have you thinking twice about your outdated track lights.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

1. Overscale pendants in matte black stand out in this all-white kitchen, yet tie in the faucet and dining chairs in the nearby dining area.

Shop the Look: Millennium Lighting RDBC10-SB at Lighting Direct, $66

(Image credit: Chinasa Cooper)

2. A tiny kitchen is no match for an eye-catching chandelier. Bring instant glamour and drama to even the smallest of kitchens with a swanky crystal chandelier, like we spotted in this home tour.

Shop the Look: Sleeping Partners Pendant Chandelier at Bed Bath and Beyond, $72

(Image credit: Sandra Rojo/Thomas Rook)

3. A fringed chandelier, like this Victorian-style one we spotted on Thomas Rook, is a fun way to play with texture in your kitchen.

Shop the Look: Selamat Justina Blakeney Fela Tassel Chandelier at Shop Candelabra, $194

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

4. Love the functionality of the track lighting in your kitchen but in need of a more modern look? This clever DIY from Lauren and Danny’s home tour proves all you need is the right adapter and some bare bulbs for an updated track lighting scheme.

(Image credit: One Fine Stay)

5. Here’s a nearly identical look from One Fine Stay but, but we love that they’re suspended over the kitchen sink instead of island.

Shop the Look: Industrial Mini Pendant Light in Bare Bulb Style at Beautiful Halo, $29

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

6. You don’t often think of bringing table lamps into a kitchen, but when your overhead lighting just isn’t cutting it, the home of Tiffany Pratt proves it totally works. Keep the lamp delicate and thin as not to take up too much valuable counter space.

(Image credit: Julia Robbs/Cup of Jo)

7. Anna Bond’s home on A Cup of Jo is serious #goals, and while there are so many, many things we could pull out to talk about here, for the sake of this post, we’ll note the task-style wall sconces. A bit unexpected, and oh so wonderful.

Shop the Look: BL5 Wall Sconce at Bestlite, $629

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

8. We think a shapely paper lantern similar to the one we spotted on Ute and Steven Faure’s home tour brings depth and definition to a lofty open kitchen layout without sacrificing the space’s airy vibes.

Shop the Look: REGOLIT at IKEA, $5

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

9. A metallic globe light, like this silver ball we spotted in Kelly Ransom’s kitchen, modernizes a traditional kitchen with its sophisticated silhouette and bold finish.

Shop the Look: Mirror Ball Pendant Light 10” at France & Son, $125

10. A sculptural light fixture, like this sputnik-style flush mount chandelier we saw on Nordic Design, brings an artful element to a neutral kitchen.

Shop the Look: Gold Ceiling Sputnik Light at Etsy, $140

(Image credit: Melanie Rieders)

11. While surely you could fit a slender pendant anyway, sometimes in a space this compact, a flush mount is the way to go to not further cramp up the small space, as in Sara Blake’s kitchen.

Shop the Look: Drum Flush Mount Lamp at CB2, $70

(Image credit: Federico Paul)

12. A pair of basket-style woven pendant lights brings texture and visual interest to an airy earth-toned kitchen, like in Carina’s kitchen on Apartment Therapy.

Shop the Look: Nassa Basket Pendant Light at CB2, $299

13. If you’re going to do one clamp sconce, why not go ahead and try multiple? A clean line of clamped anglepoise-style lights installed above the kitchen sink (like these pendant sconces we spotted on Appunti di Casa) provides plenty of light for food prep for a fraction of the cost of swankier sconces.

Shop the Look: Globe Electric Multi-Joint Metal Clamp Desk Lamp in Black at Bed Bath and Beyond, $20

(Image credit: Sharyn Cairns/Mim Design)

14. Shapely pendant lamps in the same color palette as the rest of your kitchen, like these white ones from Mim Design, make a stylish statement without distracting from the rest of the scene.

Shop the Look: Ceiling Light Pendant Hanging Fixture at Amazon, $44

(Image credit: Carina Romano)

15. If you’re looking for a way to liven up a bland white kitchen, consider a single pendant lamp in a sprightly color, like the one we saw on Stephan and Amy Saxton’s home tour.

Shop the Look: Ivanhoe Sky Chief Warehouse Porcelain Pendant at Barn Light Electric Co., $153

(Image credit: L’Appartement Living)

16. Metallic ceiling fixtures, like these copper spheres we spotted on L’ Appartement Living, transform a whitewashed kitchen into a modern minimalist scene in seconds.

Shop the Look: Copper Shade Pendant Lamp at France & Son, $89

(Image credit: SFGirlbyBay)

17. A far-reaching double sconce, like this one in a kitchen from SF Girl by Bay, moves from dining table to kitchen sink with ease.

Shop the Look: Curvilinear Mid-Century Sconce, Double, Black at West Elm, $299

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

18. A slender brass light juxtaposes a monolithic waterfall island in the home of Julia and Matt Stephenson.

Shop the Look: Essence Linear Suspension at Lightology, $339

(Image credit: Carina Romano)

19. Forge some subtle definition for your earth-toned kitchen by suspending a single pendant lamp (in the same finish as your other kitchen fixtures) above your sink as we saw in Rachael and Rob’s Philadelphia home.

Shop the Look: Kimball 1 Light Mini Pendant at Amazon, $21

(Image credit: Studio Mcgee)

20. Open shelving gives you the room to load up on super chic sconces, and we’re loving the mix of black and gold in this space from Studio McGee.

Shop the Look: Wall Sconce In Matte Black at Houzz, $80

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

21. You can’t really spot them in this image, but above the black-and-white pendants and pothos-filled rack in Joe and Kim’s kitchen hides two run-of-the-mill builder-grade flush mounts. This is such a smart way to cover something you don’t love without ripping it out!

Shop the Look: MELODI at IKEA, $10

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

22. A cool wood light fixture transforms the standard kitchen island in Cathy and Tony’s home into swanky breakfast nook.

Shop the Look: 8-Light Kitchen Island Pendant at Wayfair, $349.99

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

23. Jar-style ceiling lights, like these we spotted on Meg, Joe, & Wells Piercy’s home tour, balance out an ultra modern kitchen with a slightly rustic touch.

Shop the Look: Spiral Glass Jar Ceiling Light at Overstock, $115

(Image credit: Viv Yapp)

24. A clean row of compact metallic pendants, like these small but shapely ones from Ben and Viv’s home tour, brightens up a neutral kitchen without sacrificing the laidback vibes.

Shop the Look: Noema Pendant Light at 2Modern, $64