Feature lighting can serve to visually define the various spaces in a room. In this kitchen (below), under-cabinet lighting illuminates the practical, task-orientated worksurface, while recessed downlights within the curved timber beam run the length of the unusual island unit, turning it into a space to gather around. The high-level, ceiling-mounted angled striplight fixed just in front of the main worksurface also ensures a good level of background light that won’t be blocked by whoever is working there.
The clue’s in the title — feature lighting should not just serve a functional purpose but needs to be beautiful in its own right. Just one or two statement pieces – like this remarkable Pigalle pendant – can do the trick and establish a real marker for the whole interior scheme.
David Hunt Lighting, Pigalle Pendant
Day to Night
Once the cooking is over, most kitchens need to be capable of becoming cosy, sociable spaces — and a good lighting scheme is key to making this work. If you have a feature island in the kitchen, make sure all eyes are on it by fixing lighting to the underside of the worktops for a convivial glow and to bring out the beauty of the materials used to construct the island itself.
Building up ‘layers’ of lighting is a really effective and practical lighting solution. In this contemporary space, directional spotlights recessed into a false ceiling draw attention to an interesting architectural feature, while the space-age fixing hovering just below provides an overall glow and a central focal point. Well-positioned table and floor lamps serve to soften the look, drawing you towards the seating.
Downlights are helpful where a soft glow is required and, when strategically placed, shed light where needed most. They work well in kitchens when used in conjunction with other types of lighting. But pendants are enjoying a major revival not just over islands and dining tables but as features in architectural spaces too, such as these from Fishpools (below)
Gaucho Pendant light, £155, Fishpools
Don’t neglect your staircase. Often built around awkward angles, it can be hard to light a staircase adequately using light from above. Install directional lights at floor level for a more well-distributed, helpful light — these can be set within the treads or walls either side of each tread.