s Be a HeRO: Lighting Plan Feedback Wanted! - The Kim Six Fix
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Be a HeRO: Lighting Plan Feedback Wanted!

You know what I like about the blogosphere?  That there are so many people out there, with so many great ideas and constructive criticism.  I know that I wouldn't be able to come up with half my ideas without at least a little inspiration from other bloggers or Pinterest.   Nobody is an island, and there is rarely a design dilemma that someone else hasn't already faced.  If you are stuck, you shouldn't be afraid to ask for help!  I have done it myself.. 
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I was so happy with everyone's suggestions on my post asking for help deciding on a kitchen color scheme.  I took all that feedback into account, and even used some specific suggestions left in the comment section (including picking a tan cabinet color, as well as opening up some of the cabinetry).
I have had quite a few readers email me and/or send me photos of their space asking for my opinion about what to do with their design dilemma.  I am really flattered that anyone would ask me what I thought, and as much as I LOVE sharing just my opinion I think sometimes collective feedback is just what someone needs.    
So today I decided I was going to give back to one of my readers.  I'm calling it:
 Be a HeRO (Helping Readers Out)

Tracy* just moved into a new house up in the frozen tundra of Canada.  She is trying to figure out what kind of lighting she should put in her new kitchen.  She sent me a few pictures of her space as well as a list of her specific wants/needs.

She has a cute little galley style kitchen with updated cabinets and stainless/brushed nickel accents.  The hood and cabinet color, along with the tile backsplash, are very traditional:

What she doesn't like is the lighting:
The room itself doesn't get much natural light, and she is looking for fixtures that will throw enough light, will fit in the space, and won't break the bank.

There is an opening in one wall, above the sink that overlooks the living room.  She specifically asked me to focus on brightening up that space:

I would describe Tracy's style as "Vintage Eclectic" (a budget DIY bloggers dream!)  When she sent me the photos, she also included a few lighting styles that she considered her design esthetic:
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As adorable as those lights are, I don't think they fit the style of the current kitchen, so the dilemma is finding a lighting style that would still suggest vintage, in a kitchen that screams "TRADITIONAL!"  

When I saw her kitchen, the first thing that popped into my head was Christina's fantastic kitchen from Remodelando La Casa:
Swoon!  Look closely, those are the SAME CABINETS and even the same style hood.  A little paint and updated lighting could give this traditional kitchen a whole new look.

Although Christina's kitchen has an island and the lighting is centered, Tracy's kitchen could actually accommodate a fixture as large as that. She mocked up some pendants out of paper bags to show just how large the space actually is, and how it could handle a large fixture or multiple small ones:

I am not sure where Christina got her fantastic chandelier, but I found this version online for $200, which I think would be adorable in that opening above the kitchen sink or above the dining room table:

I like it because is is a more modern take on the vintage version of the same fixture (which is $165 for the single pendant):
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Like Christina, Tracy could install can lights and remove the track light altogether (which is a very affordable update) and leave the emphasis on the chandelier, either over the sink or in the dining room:
If she were to use it over the dining room table (since it does hang quite low) she could install a single glass globe pendant directly over the sink, centered in that opening.  

I love the option of installing a can light above the sink (since you are doing cans in the rest of the ceiling and it makes the wiring simple) and then using a conversion kit (for only $59) to turn it into a pendant.  This also offers flexibility if you want to take your chandelier with you if you move (something Tracy originally mentioned possibly wanting to do.)  

So this is what my final lighting design would look like:
With the installation of the chandelier ($200), six can lights ($120), and one conversion kit ($60), plus the wiring for installation, these changes would come in around $500.   Not bad for a lighter brighter space which comprises two rooms! 

What do you think?  
What would you do with this space? 
 Any suggestions are welcome! 

* Today's reader just happens to also be my sister.  If you are interested in having your design problem featured here (or just want my feedback), please email me at kim (at) themoney-pit.com.   
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  1. I think I really love the lighting you've chosen! But one thing I'd do differently is make the multiple hanging lights go over the sink, and the single pendant over the dining room table. I think the multiple pendents would make a big statement in that large window space. Which I know would then make those lovely recessed lighting fixtures a little bit of overkill. Not sure what to do about that, but that's why I don't make the big bucks redesigning homes!

    Or if she wanted to give the window pizazz in another way, she could do like Mandi at Vintage Revivals did to her friend(?) Hailee's living room window and build some awesome shelves in it. http://www.vintagerevivals.com/2011/10/gaping-hole-to-custom-built-in-for-less.html

    I also don't know how that would equate to lighting, unless you put some awesome table lamps in the shelves or perhaps some great wall sconces one either side of the window... (I am of the opinion that one can never have too many lights)

    And that is my very inexperienced two-cents-worth.

  2. Wow, that would look awesome!! Go, do it! I wondered why she wouldn't put bar stools to the opening in the wall to the kitchen and use the now living room area as dining room and vice versa, but of course I have no clue about the rest of the building...

  3. The Bean Sprout NotesSeptember 6, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    This was a fun post to read!

  4. She said the counter was too narrow and high to make it an eat-in area. Plus it backs to the sink. I wonder if you could knock that one beam out or if it is load bearing?

  5. I loved reading your post and the end result. My only comment is that by centering the single pendant over the sink, the light fixture then appears to be off-center in the opening from the living room. Perhaps this could be fixed by hanging two single pendants over the sink area giving more balance.

  6. Thank you for this very informative article. You have made sense of this topic by writing unique, original content. It’s easy to read, engaging and smart. Articles of this caliber are few and far between.Wrecker light bar


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