It’s almost too cliché to say that kitchens are the heart of the home. But it’s true, they’re the space to which people gravitate – whether that’s to cook with a glass of wine, coordinate a chaotic family breakfast, or spend a day working from the dining table. Kitchens have range, which means that lighting them demands a careful balance between functionality and aesthetics.

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Project by Smallbone / Lux Group

A considered lighting scheme has the power to add depth, alter the mood and make an artistic statement in a kitchen. In this month’s journal, we’re thinking about fine lighting for luxury kitchens and the many ways Kaia lights can be used to achieve atmospheric perfection. All of the projects featured in this article are designed by Smallbone, purveyors of luxury kitchens and whole-home design solutions hand-crafted in Wiltshire.

Layering lights in a luxury farmhouse-style kitchen

Smallbone is renowned for its bespoke kitchens crafted from the finest natural materials, and this farmhouse-style kitchen project is a case in point. Balance is achieved through contrasting the sleek, dark wooden cabinetry of Smallbone’s Modernist collection with the building’s inherent qualities: exposed brickwork, beams and a grand fireplace.

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Project by Smallbone / Lux Group

A trio of Kaia’s LIA Suspension lights cut a minimalist silhouette against the period architectural features, mirroring the sharp clean lines of the marble countertops. Ambience is created by layering the lights, which Smallbone does with a pair of Kaia’s NEA Wall Marble lights positioned either side of the window.

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Project by Smallbone / Lux Group

Making a statement with a sculptural light

We mentioned earlier in this piece that fine lighting for luxury kitchens is all about striking the balance between function and beauty. This is where the intriguing, sculptural form of ORA 8 works its magic and proves that statement lighting isn’t reserved for dining tablescapes.

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Project by Smallbone / Lux Group

The hand-crafted brass adds warmth to a kitchen in which clean lines and rich, natural materials reign supreme. Arranged in abstraction, the mouth-blown glass spheres draw the eye upwards to create depth and hint at playfulness.

To us, fine lighting hinges on simplicity of form and quality of materials, as well as how the designer chooses to arrange the space. In this project, Smallbone layers two RIO Out Suspension lights above a sleek, dark wooden breakfast bar to add a minimalist depth of perspective. They also mirror the brass detailing of the glazed cabinets, which serve as a clever architectural technique that creates storage while suggesting depth.

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Project by Smallbone / Lux Group

Lighting a luxury dining area

Open-plan luxury kitchens can be trickier to light because there is a larger number of functional spaces to consider, which each require task lighting. And while many people choose a statement chandelier above their dining table, Smallbone proves that doesn’t always have to be the case. Simple pendant lighting creates as much of a statement: three ORA pendants hang low and in symmetry across the tablescape, evoking understated elegance without detracting attention from the rest of the room.

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Project by Smallbone / Lux Group

Positioned in symmetry above a dining table, a pair of RIO In Suspension lights take on a pared-back, almost minimalist quality. Here, Smallbone suspends the lights against an exquisite panelled backdrop alongside vibrant artwork from its sister brand, The Arx. It’s a lesson in maintaining a balanced perspective between materials – from the intricately veined marble to bold pops of colour and sharp geometric panelling.

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Project by Smallbone / Lux Group

Contemporary breakfast bar lighting

Fine lighting above a breakfast bar or kitchen island can be subtle and make a statement. It can be a unifying element that draws together the details of a design scheme. Here, for example, a trio of LIA Suspension 30 pendants mirror the reflective brass extractor, and bring equilibrium to the kitchen’s mix of heavily veined marble and hand-crafted cabinets. What we appreciate about this space is the contrast of light and dark cabinetry – a choice that embodies Smallbone’s design aesthetic.

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Project by Smallbone / Lux Group
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Project by Smallbone / Lux Group

Suspended from a skylight, three LIA Suspension 100 lights set against dark wooden cabinetry and natural marble suggests contemporary chic with industrial undertones. Polished brass fittings are the subtle threads running through the space – from the cabinet handles to decorative objects and the pendants themselves.

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Project by Smallbone / Lux Group

Wall lighting in luxury kitchens

In its Icarus collection, Smallbone brings together traditional cabinet-making techniques with high-end technology to create a truly timeless kitchen design. These cabinets are crafted by hand from rift oak or sycamore veneer, enhanced with shimmering flecks of brushed gold. When paired with striking natural marble and set against period architectural details, the finish comes into its own.

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Project by Smallbone / Lux Group

Here, Smallbone has focused on LED lighting solutions, along with the symmetrical placement of Kaia’s NEA Wall. Repeated along the white-washed wooden panelling, NEA cuts a sleek silhouette that encapsulates contemporary minimalism.

Kaia creates bespoke, hand-crafted lights that are grounded in artisanal craftsmanship and sustainable values. Browse our full collection of fine lights for luxury kitchens and more.