Project: Pendell kitchen remodelLocation: Sherwood Oops, I said at the end of the last installment that this one would cover materials selection. However, before we get to the materials, let's cover the lighting plans. Lighting challenge: As a refresher, check out the "before" pictures in the first installment of Anatomy of a Remodel to be reminded of the structure of this kitchen. One half of the room has a lower ceiling, while the other half is vaulted a full two stories. This imbalance creates a lighting nightmare - lighting in the lower half is concentrated to just 4 large recessed lights, while the vaulted half had glaring track lighting and some up-lights. At night, the vaulted half became a big black hole because of two large windows in that area. Talk about an imbalance!

Solution: It took a while to figure out the best solution for this problem. In most kitchens with just one ceiling height, evenly spreading the light about the room goes a long way in creating a very pleasing and functional lighting plan. However, because of the two different ceiling heights, the "standard" solution just wasn't going to cut it. So, the solution was to create some architectural feature that would allow the light source across the entire space to be at the same height. Thus, the beam. The home already has beams throughout, so we added some hollow beams in the vaulted area giving us a way to install a lower level of lighting that feels more natural than track lighting.

In addition to the new overhead lighting plan, we will be installing undercabinet lights as task lighting and to highlight the handmade glass backsplash tile.

Here are some pictures of the beams and the beginning of the lighting installation.

Pic 1: Lower ceiling looks like Swiss cheese at this point - adding 5 additional lights in this section. Using 4" recessed lights and distributing the light around the area makes for a more pleasing and functional lighting plan.

Pic 2: Beams installed and lights wired up. Three down-lights per beam, up-lights on either end for a little drama.

Pic 3: Detail shot of the beams

Let there be light!