If you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you know that one of the biggest renovation projects we tackled was our kitchen. They demolished the entire back of the house, added a small addition, moved one wall and removed another completely, and added a large skylight to essentially transform the kitchen from an old, dilapidated utility room and a horribly weird bathroom to what was once an old, dilapidated utility room. I made it specifically. The decisions that came out of that meant that an incredible amount of decisions had to be made very quickly.
You’ve probably heard of or experienced “decision fatigue.” This is when you have to make so many detailed decisions on a large project that your brain can no longer handle them. Where once I had a perfectly clear vision of how I wanted my space to look, I now found myself questioning every little thing.
This is especially true in the kitchen. We are fully aware that they will be permanent structures, but considering where appliances are placed and where switches and sockets are placed, it is not as simple as simply repainting a room. Changing these at a later date can be expensive and costly. It’s inconvenient, so there’s a lot of pressure to get it right the first time.
We’ve lived in this kitchen for the past two years and I have to say I’m still just as in love with it as I was the day it was finally completed. I worked with John Lewis of Hungerford and Caesarstone who helped me make my dream a reality. I couldn’t be more grateful for my kitchen every day. It’s worked beautifully for us and made our daily lives just a little bit more fun, so we have very few regrets.
However, in terms of details, there were some disappointing points. I loved the lighting when I first chose it, long before the kitchen was installed. It was sculptural and contemporary. I thought it complemented the traditional style of Shaker cabinets and blended well with more contemporary styles. I chose the brass handle. But once everything was in place, it just didn’t feel right at all.
But by that point, we had come this far and decision fatigue had really set in, and trying to choose something else seemed like an unbearable prospect. So I thought it would be best to just live with my lighting decisions for a while, maybe they’ll grow on me. However, the more time passed, the more I realized that the lighting I had chosen was not appropriate for the space.
I live in a Victorian mansion (built in 1889) and while I like the look of more contemporary lighting in other areas of the house, I don’t feel it brings anything to the space. I did. The room itself is a decidedly modern structure, having just been built, so the contemporary lighting felt like an afterthought in this case. It did not connect with the traditional elements found in other parts of the house. However, it had no effect on me at all.
So after using it for a few years I decided it was time to change it. As you can see from these images, I chose more traditional lighting for both the top of the peninsula and the pendant above the sink. I can’t express how much of a difference they made to the whole room, to the whole atmosphere. space.
For the Peninsula pendant lights, I went back to my Pinterest board and realized I had pinned these lights from Rockett St George three times. You know what’s really appealing when you see a pattern coming out of a Pinterest board, right? Well, this was a solid pattern. It was clear that I loved these lights, and now that the decision fatigue was over, it was clear that I should have chosen these lights in the first place.
I love how the antique brass finish matches the vintage style mirror in the adjacent dining room and how the leaf detail on the top leans into the bohemian look I’ve always loved. They were glamorous and bohemian and they were meant to be.
Above the sink I decided I wanted something a little more traditional here. One that works seamlessly with the shaker style of cabinetry. I wanted simplicity without being boring. If there’s one brand that does this well, it’s Cox and Cox. Simple, traditional and beautiful. There was no need to scream. The view of the garden was quite nice. I didn’t need the light here to scream, but I did need it to whisper.
Replacing the lighting in the kitchen wasn’t such an expensive change (In case you were wondering, this post is not sponsored in any way. I bought the lights with my own pennies) It didn’t take long. The old light was a gift to a loved one.It took Wayne an afternoon to replace both. (He has experience with electrical work, but even if he doesn’t, always hire an electrician to do it yourself.). However, the impact the new lighting had on the overall atmosphere of the room was immeasurable.
This shows how important proper lighting is for your kitchen. It’s always a good idea to include something next to the spotlight (we have that too). Pendants are the perfect way to add extra charm to your breakfast bar, island or peninsula. Adding a light above the sink creates a lovely moment in the interior and is also practical. I wish I had the space to put lights above the floating shelves, but that’s another area where adding a little more decorative lighting could go a long way.
The style of the light also makes a big difference. If you like an eclectic look like I do, there’s no reason you can’t combine both traditional and more contemporary lighting, but I love a little juxtaposition to make things more interesting. In truly modern spaces, like new construction, vintage lights can add a layer of history that may be missing. In an old property, there is nothing better than decorative ceiling roses and cornices (if your home is so endowed) with structurally sophisticated ceiling lights placed above them. This combination gives the room great appeal, so it’s an important area you don’t want to ignore.
Although our kitchen is ultimately in an older property, the room itself has the modernity of a newer building, so I think this is where we went wrong in the first place. A vintage touch was needed to balance everything out. Although these lights are new, they are styled with timeless period details that give your home a sense of history.
Next on my hit list is a pink stool. However, he may have two more years to make a change. Have you changed any elements of your home since the renovation was complete? Or have you later regretted your decorating decisions? Let us know in the comments section below.