Get the Kitchen You Want for Less Part 2
By: Kimberly Sweet
There’s more to lighting than one big overhead fixture or even multiple recessed ceiling lights. Designers like to incorporate ambient or general, task, and accent lighting. In the kitchen, this typically translates into ceiling lights (ambient), under-cabinet lighting (task), and in-cabinet or above-cabinet lighting (accent). Older homes often lack the last two layers, but you can achieve better optics simply.
Get the trend for less (in the long run):
Under-cabinet lighting options, like pucks and light strips, are plentiful, low-cost, and help you reduce the risk of chopping your fingers instead of your vegetables.
For accent lighting that adds drama, use inexpensive LED tape or strip lighting (uninstalled, it runs $10-$30 per foot) inside cabinets, says Designer Nick Lovelady. This can work equally well to illuminate a big pantry cabinet or to show off dishware in a glass-front cabinet.
If you’re willing to spend some money up front to save money in the long run, consider replacing existing can lights with long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lights. Kitchen lights account for a great deal of home energy usage, and eventually the savings cover the higher cost of LED bulbs.
Designer Judy Klein suggests looking for lamps with under 3,000 Kelvin to create a warm glow.
Space for connectivity
Get the trend for less:
Install an outlet inside a cabinet to keep the countertop clear.
Switch a standard outlet to an outlet with USB ports so you can charge phones directly without an adapter.
Linens and fabrics make an impact, too. Klein recommends cotton, washable rugs from Dash & Albert, and Ikea also offers a large selection of attractive rugs. For placemats and table cloths, try Pier 1.