Prize Pendants

I have the weirdest kitchen.

Seriously.  It looks normal on the outside but at the very core…it’s just plain awkwardly bizarre.  It’s like the Napolean Dynamite of kitchens.  Except this one is not so hot with a bow staff.

For one – there are 10 walls…not counting the bay window near the table.   That’s ten different planes to work cabinets, appliances, a desk and a table around.  Then there is the location of appliances…which doesn’t totally make sense.  For one – the fridge opens up and makes it impossible to have kitchen stools on one side of the kitchen island.  What is the point of an island with an overhang counter that you can only put one chair under?  Then there are two sinks…directly across from one another. (???)  There are two arched windows (the only two arched windows in the house besides the really big one over the master bathroom tub)…which don’t match the other windows in the room.  Then there is the island…the one that is not centered on the room…or the stove…or anything.  And to top it all off…we have weird lighting.

And that’s what I want to chat about today…lighting.

We had a gold chandelier over the table (you can see it in all it’s gold-goodness pictured above) and we decided to get our ORB on and change that sucker up.  It tied well into the pendants over the island in the new color.

But honestly these pendants aren’t our cup of sweet tea.  They aren’t terrible by any means…actually they are one thing that I contemplated keeping.  They have a nice shape and a classic traditional air about them.  In the end though, I know that eventually we would find them not jiving with our more country-meets-contemporary-meets-preppy style.

So we went window-shopping (err….pendant-shopping) to dream about what we would end up hanging over the island.  We were really drawn to the more industrial style of pendants….ones in a dark finish to tie in with the dark countertops.

(shades of light, pbkids, lowe’s, home depot lights)

Enter our vacation to Washington & Richmond last October.  On our way back from visiting some unknown and very non-house-savvy friends, we stopped at the Pottery Barn outlet to scope out the clearance section.  Imagine my surprise when we walked in the door to find a rack sitting right there with sale items on it – including some dark pendant lights for only $30 each.

I may have required a newspaper from the staff to soak up that yellow puddle on the floor.

Eight months later, we finally get around to putting them up.  Don’t judge.  We were trying to get pregnant.  Lighting wasn’t a priority for our spare time, if you know what I mean.  HUBBAHUBBA.

And now….the kitchen looks a fraction less weirdo-pants.

I love how they tie in the countertops…and hopefully soon we will be able to put cabinet hardware on the doors and drawers in that same rich blacky-bronze color.  I’m thinking these for the drawers.  Now I only have to find simple matching knobs…which is surprisingly hard since the finish is wrought iron…not black.

The other recessed lighting still needs a sprucing.  See how the covers are gold?  What’s up with the previous owners fixation with gold?!  I heard they were from Africa so maybe it’s a cultural thing.  Maybe they were literally from the gold coast and just making a figurative statement with their very literal recessed light covers.  Who knows.

All I know is that I plan on painting them – probably white to go seamlessly with the ceiling.  We want those suckers to disappear since they aren’t centered on anything either.

And because lighting is one of those tricksy things – I thought you should see how it looks with the lights on too :)

Oh here’s a good angle so that you can see how uncentered these pendants are.  See how that one on the left is REALLY far left?  Hopefully when we tackle the stove top vent situation (or lack of one), we can also move these pendants over to be centered on the island.

At night, it’s really nice too….a little ambiance.  romantic, no!?

That’s it.  Just a little update in a room that we live in around the clock (who knew that toddlers had to be fed so often!? I mean, they are so dang little!).  Any improvements that you’ve been itching to do for the last 8 months?  Anything sitting around waiting for you to tackle?  Or perhaps that anything is really an anyone :)

p.s.  Thank you guys so much for all your hugs and kisses yesterday on our aniversary – you guys are the dark chocolate chips in this vanilla world :)



  1. Jill says

    Couldn’t basically all of the layout issues with your kitchen be fixed by replacing the island? It’d get rid of the awkwardly placed second sink, the lack of centering, and the fridge vs. bar seating tension all at once. It’s very trendy nowadays to have a contrasting island (with a different cabinet color and/or countertop from your perimeters), so you’d not even have to match any finishes or anything.

    The way your fridge, stove, and main sink are placed is actually kind of clever. They’re very close to each other, so you’re not walking all over the place when you cook, yet if multiple people are in the kitchen, even if you have a person at each one (the main sink, stove, and fridge), they’d still not be bumping into each other AND each one would have plenty of immediately handy counter space right next to him/her.

    It’s just the island that’s making things weird.

    If you want bar seating, an island this shape would let you have seating at the island without the current issues: The curve would allow three or four seats, and it’d echo the curve of the arched window, making the arched window seem less random.

    If you want a second sink, that’d be a bit more work, but if you move the ovens, you could turn where they are into a stretch of counter (made from the current island counter top) with a little sink. The ovens could then either go under that sink or in the island. Dedicating the current oven wall to counter would also open up that door/walkway. Forgive my impertinence, but that door/walkway is a little dwarfed now with the tall fridge on one side and the tall oven cabinet on the other.

    Also, have you thought about removing the cabinetry on top of the fridge? That would lighten the presence of the fridge, balancing the room better, and would also make the span of upper cabinets (between the window and the fridge) basically symmetrical, making the room feel even more balanced. The cabinet above the fridge is never the most accessible storage anyway, so it’d be no great loss.

    • says

      We might be able to move it when we redo the floors but until then, it’s fine for us. (cheaper too!) We don’t need the extra seating (it actually helps a lot to NOT have seats for Will to climb on) and the wall oven is really growing on me. I’m no kitchen designer but I know that it works for me right now :)
      xo – kb

      • Jill says

        I actually think bar seating’s a little redundant in homes where there’s an actual kitchen table right there, so I very much support this plan. And if you don’t want bar seating, then I think the existing island shape is better than what I suggested, since it allows more space to stand in front of the fridge and the open doors and spend some time deciding on your sandwich ingredients..

        And I know you think the island placement is odd (not centered), but I like it. It honestly looks well-thought-out-and-deliberate because it allows enough walkway around it, plus extra for the aforementioned sandwich ingredient contemplation in front of the fridge.

        For what it’s worth, if it were my home, I would keep this island where it is, but re-top it to get rid of the awkward second sink and maybe build in a bookcase under the existing overhang, so the island wouldn’t have badly-thought-out bar seating anymore.

        • Jill says

          Actually, what if, instead of re-topping, you rejiggered the sink pipes within the island, then picked up the island counter top (with sink) , rotated it, and re-installed it so the second sink ended up on the end of the island closest to the desk?

          I bet that would cost less than re-topping and then you’d also have a second sink where it’s not totally annoying for someone to use it while you’re using the main sink.

          P.S. Sorry for so many suggestions. I just finalized my own kitchen layout and now I kind of miss moving things around. It was fun to consider all the possibilities!

          • says

            Haha…yeah…imagining truly is the fun part!
            I’m sure down the line I’ll have to come back and read all these ideas!
            xo kb

  2. SunshineGal85 says

    I followed the link to here from your big island reveal Part 2. Is it just me or did the builders who built your house not line the pendant lines up over the island? I see what you mean about not being able to use stools because of the refrigerator door and not lining up the island with the stove, but the lights seem off center, but maybe it’s just the way I’m looking at it.

    • says

      Nope. They be crazy :)
      Seriously, the pendants don’t make any sense. I think they ran the electrical before they designed the kitchen…badnewsbear, right?!
      xo – kb

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