How to light your kitchen island....

Stylish and practical, a luxury kitchen island is often the centrepiece of a Roundhouse bespoke kitchen. Today’s contemporary kitchen island fulfils various functions, whether it’s a cooking station, a perch for a quick morning coffee, an entertaining spot or a way to define zones in an open-plan room. How you light a modern kitchen island is key: it might need to offer practical, task lighting by day for preparing food and then create warmth and ambience in the evening when family and friends gather. Shine a spotlight on the workhorse of your luxury kitchen design with these kitchen lighting ideas – and prepare for a serious lightbulb moment…

Opt for clear glass

Glass lighting fixtures are a clear winner for the modern kitchen island – especially in an open-plan kitchen living room with awkward architecture or low ceilings. “If you do not want to distract from the view or take away from other features, use glass pendants as these tend to be more subtle,” explains Allison Lynch, senior design consultant at Roundhouse. Barely-there, clear or frosted glass fixtures still offer masses of wow factor for a dramatic focal point in your luxury contemporary kitchen. These statement pendant lights in a retro bubble shape are cool, contemporary and graphic without overwhelming the kitchen design. In single-space living with combined dining room and kitchen ideas, echo the glass pendant in different zones, but use different sizes, for a coherent upmarket look.

Hang a line of spotlights

Enhance the sleek silhouette of a long, linear island unit by suspending a row of modern kitchen lighting above. Adjustable spotlights will create directed pools of safe and effective task lighting if you’re planning to use your luxury kitchen island for chopping and food preparation. If possible, add dimmer switches so you can adjust the intensity of light and create different moods according to the time of day. This contemporary kitchen lighting mixes brushed copper, black metal and leather for an industrial accent to the curvaceous tiles and teal velvet bar stools.

Light up your worktop

Roundhouse will bring your modern kitchen lighting ideas to life. This spectacular, illuminated worktop ensures the bespoke kitchen island is the centrepiece of the design. 

“The client wanted the island to glow,” explains Alice Hood from our Clapham showroom, “so we designed an internal lighting system for the Natural Quartzite worktop to create a striking glow within the natural stone. To do this, we used Perspex carcase sections so that the carcase lines wouldn’t show through the stone. It’s a really fun element.”

Try other kitchen mood lighting tricks such as installing strip lighting underneath the plinth and watch your luxury kitchen island glow…

Try and statement pendant

Make kitchen island lighting fabulous and functional all at once. A bespoke light fixture can elevate a custom kitchen island into a spectacular showstopper. Roundhouse can assess lighting requirements for your kitchen design from the outset. Once this is worked out, why not let creative juices flow with a sculptural pendant, a modern chandelier or a colourful and quirky shade over your bespoke kitchen island. It’s an opportunity to transform your kitchen into personality-packed space filled with character.

Use odd numbers

Using odd numbers is a tried-and-tested interior design trick. Visually, objects arranged in threes and fives are more attractive than groups of even numbers and the same applies to lighting a modern kitchen island. Pendants hung in odd numbers create a balanced look and provide an excellent source of illumination for your designer kitchen. Space the pendants equally across the island, around two feet apart from each other and keep the end light fixtures about 15cm inside the edge of your luxury kitchen island.

At what height should I hang pendants above an island unit?

There are no hard and fast rules to this, but as a benchmark, pendant lights are generally hung 70-90 cm (2.5-3ft) above an island or breakfast bar. From the floor to the bottom edge of your pendant, this is around 200cm or 6ft. You need to ensure there is enough head clearance around the lighting so take into account ceiling height and how tall family members are. Consider the size of the space and the dimensions of the bespoke kitchen island to get the balance right. Look out for pendants that are height adjustable and can pull down and retract if you need to create a more intimate light during the evening.

Our expert kitchen designers can help you make the best choices for your Roundhouse bespoke kitchen, furniture or wardrobes. Visit any of our seven Roundhouse showrooms; Wigmore St, Clapham, Fulham, Richmond, Cambridge, Guildford & Cheltenham and get planning!