Three New Kitchen Lights

Alternate title: spending a junkload of money on lights, but feeling pretty good about it.

You guys know we’ve been excited to replace the light fixtures in our kitchen, and, well, the time is now. Decisions have been made. Light fixtures have been bought. And dreams have come true. We’re planning to keep all three of the new lights after our big Phase 2 renovation, so instead of skimping on placeholders we opted to go all-in on three things that we really love – and that we’ll hopefully remain in love with for the long haul. We’d like for all three of the new lights to relate to each other and “play nice” but actually don’t want any of them to match, since they all serve different functions. Each of these three areas call for a different solution, so…

  • over the sink we knew we’d like a glass pendant in place of that mini fluorescent (won’t block the view, will gleam when sun shines in, etc)
  • for the larger and boxier fluorescent in the middle of the cooking area we knew we wanted a semi-flush mounted shade (the old fixture’s half-assembled here, since we popped off the cover to be sure the wiring was centered – but you can see the full wood-boxed glory here)
  • for the area over the table… well, we’ve had our sights set on a certain rope chandelier for a while now

Yes, we had been pining for this large 24 x 24″ rope chandelier for months (how sweet will that look over our weathered wood kitchen table?). So after a lot of hemming and hawing, we just pulled the trigger and shelled out the most we’ve ever spent on a light in the name of love and this forever home of ours.

We originally saw it for $460 here, and then found it for $391 here, and then when it popped up on Joss & Main for $360 with free shipping… well, we figured $100 off was as good as it got. So we clicked “order” and felt pretty excited about going for something we’ve wanted for so long. I hope we’re 101 and still eating omelettes under this thing.

As for over the sink, we thought any glass pendant with oil-rubbed bronze hardware would be awesome – and would easily pair with our attention-grabbing chandelier (we didn’t want anything too busy or colorful over the sink fighting for attention), so one trip to Home Depot turned up our winner:

He was $69 (not sure why it’s only available in silver and $79 online, but they had a “dark bronze” one in our store for $69) and we think it’s just the right amount of dapper but not too demanding.

Then it was down to choosing our semi-flush mount shade, which was by far the biggest challenge. In other words, if this post were a movie, the music montage would start here and you’d see us running into small shops, big box stores, typing away on our laptops, trolling craigslist, etc. There weren’t too many options that were big enough (remember we’re replacing a giant boxy fluorescent light, so a tiny boob lamp won’t do), and although we considered adding can lights, our kitchen is actually nice and bright – it has four windows to the outside world, which is 100% more than our last two kitchens (they both had a single window over the sink that looked into a sunroom). So we liked the idea of a shade to keep things cozy and casual. Here’s what all that searching turned up:

  1. This 15″ natural shade for $99 (John and I cut a 15″ sheet of paper out and held it up to the ceiling, which immediately looked too tiny… so we kept looking)
  2. This 17″ shade for $155 from Overstock (this one was a little bigger, but still not as large as we’d like)
  3. This awesome quatrefoil flush mount one from Circa lighting (it’s $693, so yeah… just for inspiration)
  4. This nice 17″ caged shade for $239 (it wasn’t any bigger than the second shade, but we did like the hardware around it)
  5. This bigger 24″ burlap quatrefoil-shaped shade for $130 at a local lighting outlet (the same one with brown trim goes for nearly double that at Shades of Light)

Wanna guess which guy we went with?

Words, words, words.

More words.

These words are just here so you can guess and don’t see the next visual.

More words.

Even more words.

Wiggedy words and verbs.

I probably gave it away with my descriptions anyway.

Yup, I definitely did.

Poker face Petersik, they call me. 

And the winning combo is:

Except of course the scale is all off. The shade is actually 24″ wide, as is the big rope chandelier for over the table, but the chandelier hangs down a lot more, so it gets to be the star while the quatrefoil pendant will hopefully add some warmth and interest while balancing the other side of the room (and the glass pendant over the sink will add a nice soft glow by the window). Here’s a shot of it in the store where we saw it. Ours is the one on top of the stack since we thought the color would tie into the rope chandelier nicely.

Oh man, I hope they look good when they’re actually hanging up. Just have some ceiling patching and painting to do, along with a little electrical tweaking, and it’s GO TIME, BABY.

Psst- A few folks were asking on Instagram for some specific info about how we introduced Burger to Clara, and how we tried to make the whole transition from living with a dog to living with a dog and a baby as smooth as possible for all parties involved – so we’re over on Young House Life chatting about that today.


  1. Karen says

    Kitchen is *sparkling*! Can’t wait till the cabinets are painted and floor is temporarily re-done! Ya know, men have sports, but this is the game I’m into, and I’m so rooting you guys on!!!

  2. Ruth Abbott says

    Boom yeah! I guessed correctly, and yet there is no prize so I have nothing but bragging rights. I love the shape of the ones you have chosen. Are you planning on putting an interesting bulb in the chandelier (like an orb or a birdcage bulb)as it’s going to be semi visable through the rope or are you hoping to stick with energy efficients?

    • says

      Good question! John is really particular about the color light that bulbs put out (he says edison ones are too yellow) so we’ll have to see where we end up! They make such pretty energy efficient ones (encased in a large glass bulb that looks decorative) so I hope we find something pretty and functional.


    • Cathy C. says

      I am the same way. Although more expensive, I have reveal bulbs in almost all of my fixtures in the house. I tried to get on board the LED train, but am apparently going to be forced to wait until reveal comes out with LED bulbs, because none of the ones I tried are “right”.

      What bulbs do you all use?

  3. Claire says

    I feel very cool right now and thus had to comment. We bought that same pendant light for our kitchen a couple months ago at a store called “Bargain Hunt” for…are you ready for this? $12. Twelve dollars.

    • Claire says

      It looks absolutely lovely. Even more so knowing we got it for a deal. We are thinking of changing the bulb though! It’s very…let’s just say, “romantic” 24/7 in our breakfast nook.

  4. Tasha says

    I can’t wait to see them all installed. Along with the rest of the kitchen happenings.

    Do you have any plans to use lighting from your own collection?

    PS: I know this is a home blog, but MORE BABY POSTS! :)

    • says

      We love the globe pendant that we used over our dining table in the last house, so we’re thinking about that for the dining room or even the office when we put in a big center work island or peninsula in there.


  5. says

    Can’t wait to see hem up. I think they will play off each other nicely. I hung a ceiling light yesterday (my first one-my husband usually does the honors) to see how it looked, and I love it. So now I have to change all the other 7 lights that we need to replace.

    I’m opting for the same fixture in our hallways (upstairs and down) and have two ceiling lights in our kitchen I want to replace as well.

  6. Katie Rose says

    Ha ha Sherry you are amazingly funny! The “words words words” section was hilarious. Thanks for making my morning :)

    • says

      Thanks to all those windows we don’t think we will this time, since the three lights we have are nice and bright along with the natural light (our last two kitchens didn’t have any windows to the outside world since one window over the sink just looked into the sunroom). So happy to have real views of the outside world this time!


  7. Tash says

    Oh pls do a temp upgrade of those floors! The kitchen is looking so good now. It will be so great if u change the floors too. Have u decided yet if u will change it up or will live with it till phase 2?

    • says

      Thanks Tash! That’s still on our bulleted list as a maybe so we’re certainly considering it! We did peel & stick for our first kitchen as a temporary in-the-meantime upgrade (even before we had this blog) so I can definitely see us leaning that way, we’ll just have to see where we end up!


    • Diane says

      I used luxury vinyl tile (Trafficmaster Ceramica) in our foyer – grouted it – and would dare anyone to know it wasn’t ceramic. It might be a great cost-friendly short-term upgrade?

  8. says

    I cannot WAIT to see how they all look together! I’ve gotta be honest, that chandelier looks like something you guys would’ve put on the “dude get on that” list given how crafty you were with the last house’s laundry room light! But I understand y’all are busy bakin’ a bun and trying to get things in order for the new arrival. ;-)

    • says

      You know me too well, Anele! I stared at that chandelier and tried to figure out how I could get the twine to be stiff enough to hold those glorious round drum shapes (I essentially needed three metal shades with enough “spines” to hold the twine really stiff all the way around) but I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work (aside from buying a three regular shades and taking them apart, but I did that with an old one I had and it was way too floppy to hang straight and attach to two others). All of that’s so say, we would have LOVED to DIY this, but we just had to say “doing this poorly for half the price isn’t worth it, so we’re laying out the cash for something we love.”


    • says

      I was curious about this too but….up close, it looks like each horizontal “rope” is actually twine wrapped around a circular wire, then attached to the 4 vertical wires in a stack. That’s how the horizontal “rope” stays so taut – it’s not rope at all.

      Probably the best DIY option would be to buy a bunch of circles of wire in three different diameters and wrap them all with twine, then attach them to vertical wire also wrapped in twine. Then figure out how to attach the three different diameters. Then rig up an electrical box cover and a way to hang it….whew! Sounds doable, but a huge pain.

      I don’t blame you one bit for getting the “pre-made” version ha!

      Love your choices!

    • says

      Yes up close it’s like the fibers of a basket. I think you’re right that it’s a whole metal frame or wire wrapped with jute or thick thick twine or something!


  9. says

    The combo is perfect!Sometimes you just have to drop some money on those pricey pieces but I’ve never seen that light fixture. It’s such a one of a kind and interesting find- I’m sure you’ll be talking about it and showing it off for forever ;)

  10. Iz says

    Nice choices, but I was wondering about their suitability for a kicthen? Won’t the burlap get greasy and dirty from cooking fumes?

    • says

      Thankfully we’ll have a range hood going right over the stove (we haven’t had grease issues even on nearby white cabinets in our past two kitchens), so we think it’ll be ok! Will keep you posted though!


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