When Maxwell and I went to the press preview for House Beautiful's re-creation of Ina Garten's country kitchen in Rockefeller Plaza last week, I was reminded by the lamps on her gigantic counter top how much I love counter top lighting in a kitchen. In our last apartment, Maxwell and I had a tiny metal lamp with a paper shade painted by his mother on our little kitchen counter top. Now, you probably couldn't find two more different settings than Ina Garten's and ours but the effect was the same: taking a table lamp and using it to create warm, cozy light in a room that can often have lighting challenges.
Here's a dreadful photo of our old kitchen, but I have to include it so you can see how tiny our lamp was and in the hopes that you'll believe me when I say that this lamp gave the most wonderful moody light: perfect for keeping the kitchen lit but not blasting it out with bright over-heads.
Here is a much better shot of a counter top lamp in action from a kitchen in Paris we profiled in 2008.
Here is a shot from House Beautiful of Ina's kitchen island; see the lamp in the distance?
Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. The third, written with co-author Faith Durand, is The Kitchn Cookbook. It will be published in Fall 2014 by Clarkson Potter.
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