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The Best Kitchen Lighting is Practical and Dramatic

The Best Kitchen Lighting is Practical and Dramatic

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November 4, 2009

The proper kitchen lighting can turn your cooking space from ho-hum to "wow" in the time it takes to flip a switch. You already know you need ample lighting for your kitchen workspace, but what about lighting that adds that unique flair? Kitchen lighting is the finishing touch that makes your space warm and inviting.

By consulting with a kitchen remodeling contractor about both the practical and the artistic possibilities of your kitchen, you can have the best blend of the practical and the dramatic!

Kitchen Lighting Options

The options for lighting your kitchen are limited only by your imagination. Here are a few tips to get you started on the road to kitchen lighting:

  • Make task areas a priority. The best kitchen lighting will be necessary where you work the most--countertops, sinks, tables, and rangetops. Installing bright lights underneath the kitchen cabinets can work well for directing light right where you need it. Don't forget to install bright lights in the pantry as well.
  • What about the kitchen island? Hanging pendant-style lighting, such as a wide chandelier directly over the island space, can work wonders for lighting up the room and the island countertop.
  • Consider ambient lighting. If you are simply sitting at the kitchen table and talking among friends, ambient light from above can give the room a hearty glow. A central fixture works well for this, but recessed lighting often makes a grander statement.
  • Accent lighting adds flair. Small lamps that highlight collectibles, wall scones that glow alongside artwork, and recessed lights that reveal elegant architectural details are all perfect for the dramatic kitchen.
  • The fixtures matter. Unique kitchen lighting is not just about the light itself--how it is presented matters, too. An elegant chandelier or a striking antique fixture can make for a beautiful conversation piece.
  • Dimmers offer more control. Does the light seem perfect before dinner, but too bright during the meal? Use a dimmer switch to tailor the light to the mood.

Ask Your Kitchen Remodeling Contractor

Though you may have a few great lighting ideas in mind, your kitchen remodeling contractor might be able to offer further insight. Monty Gilbertson of Lighting Design in Lacrosse, Wisconsin recommends letting a professional offer valuable tips. "There are many ways to light a kitchen, some better than others," he says. "There are a lot of things an expert can bring to the party and make any room in the house more livable."

About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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