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Kitchen Envy

These Spaces Have Us Green With It

September 26, 2019

Kitchen Envy

These Spaces Have Us Green With It

September 26, 2019

Good day, design lovers! Kitchen envy is on the slab at the HVLG blog today.

We've all scrolled through Pinterest and Instagram or flipped through the pages of our favorite interior design magazines and ached with longing for the beautiful kitchens there. 

Let's talk about a few things you can do with your kitchen to inspire some envy of your own.  

Design: Anne Sage and Caroline Lee | Light: Tempest by Corbett

We'll get the obvious out of the way: Choose a statement lighting piece for the center of the room. If you have an island, this is a natural choice. But kitchens without islands may also have space for notable lighting fixtures with big decorative impact.  

Statement lighting doesn't need to be complex. Sometimes, it's just the scale that matters. Depending on the size of the island and your personal taste, scale will be a key component. 

Homeowner: Aedriel Moxley | Light: Lynden by HVL 

Whatever recipe you're cooking up, just add contrast.

An easy way to do this? Go dark with the cabinetry.

Darker wood and stone varieties are tried and true, as the surfaces in the above image shows. High-gloss black paint with black appliances gives the space a glam edge, while a more matte black with aged brass finish opens up the space to an artfulness, accentuated by vignettes. 

Design: Katie Kurtz | Light: Calypso

Find ways to add geometric interest, such as the hexagon/honeycomb backsplash pictured in the kitchen below. This one contrasts the perfect ovals and circles of the fixtures over the island. If you love the brass, black, and white combo, choosing a light with plenty of brass finish will help you get this look.

Homeowner: Andrea Serrano of Charleston Shop Curator | Lights: Everley by MLB for Corbett 

Homeowner: Andrea Serrano | Light: Everley by Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Corbett Lighting

The white, bright, and airy kitchen has certainly dominated social media. But when people bring color into the kitchen... well, the results can be pretty staggering.

Whether it's giving the space a lift from the base of an island, or coating the cabinetry in a hue that speaks to you and maybe adding some accents to tie it together, color dramatically enhances kitchens. (Sherwin-Williams 2020 Color of the Year, Naval, is looking pretty splendid in the kitchen. Just sayin'.)

You haven't seen color in the kitchen until you've seen the 2019 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year. A thoroughly HVLG-outfitted affair, Michelle Nussbaumer applied color and pattern with visionary zeal in a worldly, maximalist epic with religious overtones. The cocktail bar featuring a Jungle Book-inspired mural on silver mylar wallpaper with our Origami pendants by Troy Lighting floating in front of it is only one of many incredible spaces. Get the full scoop here.

The color associated with envy is green. These three green kitchens make it look easy, and each one manages to have a different feel and different hue.


Pendants over island: Altamont by HVL | Sconce over sink: Garden City by HVL

Home and Design: Martyn Lawrence Bullard | Lights: Melrose by Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Corbett Lighting

Homeowner: Jessica Brigham | Chandelier: Paige by Mitzi. Sconces: Reese by Mitzi.

Next tip: Mix metals. 

Vary tones of bronze, brass, copper, nickel, and chrome. The days when your faucet needed to match your light fixture, which needed to match the handles on your drawers, are long over. 

If you look at the spaces below, they mix metals in a sophisticated way. There is such a thing as too many different metals or finishes in one space, but two or three different ones, especially if their lustre matches, is usually just fine. 

Design: TC Studios | Pendants: Raleigh by HVL

Design: Southern Studio Interior Design | Pendants: Hollis by HVL

Design: Signature Interior Design | Chandelier: Sparta by HVL

Speaking of mixing metals, the ambient layer of light or the task lighting over an island are not going to be the only fixture in the kitchen of distinction. Occupying a central place in the design scheme, you'll want to consider if it matches or complements other adjacent light sources.

For example, with families, it's possible a pendant may be matched by sconces elsewhere, or a vintage industrial elements might be similarly represented in another fixture.

Farmhouse sinks are a usual complement to an island. How to light this space? A down-light or articulated-arm sconce often does the job, but there are many ways to light the sink, including small pendants and an opulent one overhead.

Homeowner: Morgan Ford of White Farm House Blog | Sconce: Exeter by HVL

Design: Anne Rae Designs | Light: Garden City by HVL

Design: Arianne Bellizaire | Light: Hagen by HVL

Some kitchen spaces are tight. No room for an island or perhaps a narrow one at most. Countertops and cabinets, a sink and an oven. These spaces are not limited in beauty just because they're limited in size. In some ways, by being less common, they might stand out. A small space only emphasizes high style.

Similarly, vast kitchen areas sometimes have smaller areas connected to them which also need a lighting plan. 

Photo: Genevieve Garruppo | Pendants over island: Tsuki by Troy. Chandelier over table: Kokoro by Troy.

Lanterns: Quinton by HVL | Pendants: Massena by HVL.

Design: Arianne Bellizaire | Light: Hagen by HVL

For a lesson on how to make the most of your galley kitchen, check out this post by domino


Our last tip is to use a colorful runner rug in between islands and countertops, or other narrow passages.

That's it for today. Here's a few more island-inspo shots along with in parting. Happy kitchen dreamin'!

Homeowner: Brit Arnesen of Brit Dot Design | Pendants: Milo by Mitzi

Design: Cecilia Walker | Lights: Glendale by HVL

Home: Doreen Corrigan | Pendants: Altamont by HVL. Sconces: Garden City by HVL.

Design: Holly Hollingsworth Phillips of The English Room | Flush mount: Ashleigh by Mitzi. 

Design: H W Interiors | Photo: Jessica Glynn | Pendants: Hagen by HVL