It’s fun for us to get together because Lanette works fulltime at Magic 98, is raising two boys with her husband Mark, has home projects, family gatherings, charities, and, well you get the picture. So, the other day in she comes with her phone, loaded with photos, and full of ideas. In less than 1 hour we had caught up on the boys, her mom, and the project at hand. The kitchen “blaster” has to go. You may remember this light fixture from a prior blog post, a flush mount in her kitchen, which was supposed to light the kitchen and family room. There’s no other explanation for the assault to the senses that occurs when you turn this thing on.

Lanette doesn’t take time like this often, to get creative, solve a décor issue, have some fun, and dream a little. So we make the best of it. We go through photos she’s saved to or taken with her phone. We sync up our aesthetic and head out into the showroom. She loves a little drama. We talked about how light and the absence of light creates the drama. She wants light on the kitchen counters (“Why are my recessed lights over the floor instead of the work space?”) A common problem, we assure her. Builders sometimes get recessed lights too far back from the counter so you end up working in your own shadow. And she wants to use lamps in the family room, no need for the “blaster” to light it. Agreed.

Recently a builder friend, Dan Duren, said that lighting makes such a difference in his homes he thinks he’ll start with the lighting, rather than plugging in fixtures after the plan is complete. We think you are amazing, Dan! And right about now this homeowner is wishing you’d built her house. So, this is what Lanette and her husband Mark have to contend with: Lighting that was added late in the planning and consequently is not centered over the island. (Don’t get her started on this!) Unrealistic expectations of a single fixture that makes it uncomfortable when turned on. (The Blaster!) Lighting that is too far from the counter to light the work space. No under-cabinet lighting at all. Lanette and I hung out in the kitchen light lab for a bit and played with the switches. A fixture over the island for ambient light and some recessed pin-lights to shower light directly down on workspace. Lovely. Under-cabinet lighting? Life changing.

Game plan? I’m sending her some ideas to mull over. I’m pretty sure we have something perfect. Follow our project here.