How to Pick the Right Light Fixture for Your Kitchen

When remodeling a kitchen, selecting countertops, cabinets, hardware, and other high-impact items is often prioritized, while kitchen lighting is left for the end or tacked on as an afterthought. Any designer will tell you, though, that lighting is essential to every space, especially a functional one like the kitchen. Since the options—pendants, chandeliers, schoolhouse lights, sconces—are nearly endless, AD sought some expert advice to learn how to select just the right fixture. It only takes a quick glance at her Instagram account to see that California-based designer Becki Owens has an affinity for creating kitchens that are both cool and inviting, laid-back and elegant. We asked Owens all of our kitchen lighting questions to give you a leg up on your next renovation.

Architectural Digest: What are the top aspects you consider when choosing kitchen lighting for a client?

Becki Owens: When I choose lighting for a kitchen, I look at the overall design and all the elements in the space. For example, in a kitchen with simple details and a minimal look, I like to choose lighting that will make a statement. If a kitchen has a busier design like a patterned backsplash or lots of shapes and textures, I might pick something more subtle and airy.

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Three pendants make an elegant statement in a kitchen devised by Owens.

AD: How do you differ lighting choices to reflect a specific decorating scheme or lifestyle?

BO: For coastal decor it works well to choose lighting with an organic feel, like wood beaded, woven, or rattan fixtures. In more modern spaces, I often pick lights with clean lines, geometric shapes, and metal materials. But really I believe there are no rules when it comes to matching lighting with a specific style. Some of my favorite designs are a cool eclectic mix of modern, bohemian, and coastal elements where the right lighting ties it all together.

AD: What are your go-to sources for lighting?

BO: Circa Lighting, Arteriors, Currey and Co., and Rejuvenation.

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Owens used clear glass pendants in this kitchen to preserve the view into the living room.