Updating and Renovating the Home
The real estate collapse has caused more people to stay where they are and renovate instead of going on the hunt for something totally new. Whether people are renovating to make their house into their dream home or prepping to sell when the market turns, there is no doubt there is a rise in updating and renovating the home. Today, we find that the most common rooms for renovation are kitchens and baths; they are the selling features of the home and therefore create the most equity and return on investment.
Lighting is an important part of any renovation project – many older spaces, especially kitchens do not have enough lighting and a dark and shadowy space can make a home feel dated, cramped and dirty. Enhancing your home with the right amount of both task and ambient lighting can add to the perceived square footage by brightening and lightening up a space. Recessed lighting is a great way to create even ambient lighting; recessed lighting in a kitchen should be placed around your cabinets and workspace and should be placed according to their size. For example, six feet apart for 6 inch cans, five feet for 5 inch and so on. Smaller, more modern recessed lights should be placed closer together because Halogen and LED bulbs have a narrower spread. Under cabinet lighting is also a great addition for task lighting and eliminates shadows created by the upper cabinets; self-adhesive LED strips are a great under cabinet solution as they are indiscreet and smaller in size. Energy efficient LED lighting draws four or fewer watts per foot and has an average life span of 40 thousand hours or 15 years of regular usage. Task lighting is also needed over any islands or peninsulas and can be achieved easily by using hanging pendants or mini pendants and doing so will also create some visual interest.
After adding additional lighting you will want to update your original fixtures: Dropping your center light fixture slightly (within 16 inches on an 8 foot ceiling) will allow a cast of up-light on your ceiling, which creates a softer ambient light that will combat any shadowing from the addition of the recessed lighting. Up lighting has also become the more desirable type of lighting over the kitchen dining area; you can achieve this through simple bowl fixtures or a chandelier, and don’t be afraid to dress up your lights with newer, elegant designs.