Many homeowners are cautious about going too bold in their kitchen design for things like cabinet color, countertop material and backsplash design. Which makes sense. A kitchen renovation is a big investment, and many people don’t want to regret a big design decision that’s difficult to change later. Keeping the major elements neutral and classic ensures that a kitchen will still be appealing for years to come. So then how do you add personal style and color?
If you have a kitchen island, one relatively easy thing to do is play around with various pendant lighting and countertop stool options. It’s a low-commitment option but can significantly alter the look and feel of your kitchen. Here, we rendered different island lighting and stool options in one kitchen to show how these changes affect the overall style.
This kitchen in Irving, Texas, can carry many different design styles because of its modern clean lines and neutral palette. The crisp white quartz countertops, open shelves, Carrara marble backsplash tile and blue base cabinets (Anchors Aweigh by Sherwin-Williams) create a bright, airy and timeless backdrop.
The brown leather counter stools and barely there glass pendants work well here; the combination is warm and inviting and would appeal to many people. But it’s not the only option. Let’s see how changing these elements can create subtle shifts in the overall style direction.
Swapping in these stools adds a dash of crisp green, while the walnut base brings warmth. The pendants have a traditional form but are made modern through the satin-nickel finish. Together, the new stools and lights give the kitchen a modern yet elegant vibe.
Cabo counter stools in walnut and green: LumiSource; industrial pendants in matte black and satin nickel: Destination Lighting
2. Contemporary + Beachy
This option is hip and fun. The bold orange stools steal the show, and the white concrete pendant lights add interesting texture. The space has a more relaxed, casual vibe, perfect for those who entertain often.
Puerto counter-height stools in orange and black: Innit Designs
There are both traditional and modern elements to these stools and pendants, making them a nice match for a kitchen that feels dressed up but still welcoming. The darker hues bring drama and elegance and are a nice contrast to the numerous white and other light elements in the space.
Erin counter stools in antique gray and walnut: New Pacific Direct; one-light industrial pendants in matte black: Chloe Lighting
4. Midcentury Modern
Pairing eye-catching blue stools with a clean and simple pendant creates a retro-modern look that has become a new classic in design. It’s quite a different look from the original kitchen’s, but the playful shapes and color are right at home here because the fundamentals of the kitchen — the colors, materials and textures — are solid building blocks that can support a variety of more whimsical decorative furnishings and fixtures.
Stylus counter stools in blue: design tree; Mimas pendant lights in white and raw ash: Nuevo
5. Rustic + Industrial
Here the bold orange of the pendants takes center stage, but the form and finish bring a rustic charm to the mix, as do the cool stools. This kitchen can handle a dash of vibrant color, and because the pendants are fairly slender, their vivid color doesn’t overwhelm the space. The stools match the exposed wood beam, playing up the rustic vibe. They provide an easygoing place for perching while enjoying morning coffee, or for hanging out with family or friends at the end of the day.