Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let there be light!

One of the major complaints about the old kitchen was the lighting... or more to the point, lack of it. There were four 80s style "modern" fluorescent lights that worked okay, but it always seemed like we were working in shadows. We designed in a few different lighting solutions into the new kitchen let's take a look... shall we?

Globe Lights
These iconic light fixtures are a must have for any Rummer. They were in virtually every Eichler, and Mr. Rummer knew they were crucial to the nearly identical styling of his modern homes. The previous owner of our home threw away all the original globes and replaced them with ordinary fixtures (?!!!). She told us people were always bumping into them and that they didn't put out very much light. The kitchen had four, the family room had two. We've already replaced one in the loggia and two in the hallway. So far no one has bumped their heads. (Except for all our friends who are 7 feet tall.)

In order to have the kitchen globe lights centered between the beams, we had to move two existing wiring boxes (and figure out a way to cover up the holes they left behind), and add one in front of the fridge & ovens.

Our daughter came up with the brilliant solution of just using a smoke detector to cover one of the holes, and a carbon monoxide detector to cover the other one. Brilliant, simple and we needed them anyway.
I'm in the process of writing up a post about tweaking Ikea Fado globe lights so they look more like the originals. Stay tuned...

Cabinet Up Lights

Since the area above the wall cabinets is kind of encased between a couple of beams, it always looks kinda dark up there. So we wired in some fluorescent lights and wow... what a nice dramatic lighting effect. It's kind of an ambient look that is great in the evening. (Don't be fooled by what looks like white hot magma on top of the cabinets in this pic... the camera setting was wonky. It's really quite soothing.)
Notice you really don't see anything weird about the beam at the left in the two above pics, as opposed to the lights on the beam in the pics below. Keep reading to see what's up with that.

Task Lighting
These were really needed! I wish we would have thought ahead a little more and accomidated the light fixtures in the hanging cabinets so they would appear more recessed, but they work well, they look fine, and they make it a LOT easier to see what’s happening on the countertop.

NOTE: These seem to generate quite a bit of heat, so much so that the cabinets get fairly warm on the inside. We may be switching out the bulbs for something cooler. Maybe LED?

Spots in the Faux Beam
Haley is the genius mastermind behind these lights. Aesthetically we knew we needed to put a beam over the cooktop, but after talking with our construction guy, there wasn’t anything structural needed, so a false beam would suffice. We figured the area over the cooktop would need some extra lighting and neither one of us is crazy about track lighting (usually looks like an afterthought). Why not recess a few can-lights into the false beam?
It seemed like a simple idea, but it took a little extra encouragement and problem solving with our electrician and construction guy to make it happen. Just look at how much light they throw out. These lights are in my top 5 things I like about the new kitchen. I married a genius.

Here are a couple of our favorite shots.

Countertops. The countertops you see in these pics are temporary; sheets of melamine. We are hoping to get solid surface counters. Probably white. Hopefully much less expensive than what we've been seeing lately.
Backsplash. It desperately needs color under the hanging cabinets. We're thinking of a mosaic made from 2-inch square tiles, mostly white with random turquoise, grey & brown accents.


Carrie said...

Your kitchen looks AMAZING!!!!! It must be so nice to have it done (mostly.) Lookin' Good!

Gonked, Glooked and Slurped! said...

Your kitchen remodel is turning out great. Keep up the great work!
We linked you on our blog.

Scotto said...

looks fantastic folks!

P.S. nice Microwave...

Steve said...

Thanks for the kind words, amigos.
Carrie- I WISH it was more done... finish work takes time.
Gonked- You have a GREAT blog and a TON of amazing stuff in your house. jealous!
Scotto- Thanks & an extra big thanks for telling us about the drawer microwave! We would have nover found it without your lead. THANKS!

Anonymous said...

Very much looking forward to your post on how to modify globe lights. Keep up the good work!

emuhle said...

That kitchen looks awesome! I really need to see it sometime... :)

Steve said...

I'm almost finished with the globe light DIY... This week, I prommise!
And YOU, Emuhle are MORE than welcome to come visit any time (And feel free to bring that incredibly cute baby, your man and/or any more family members you can persuade to make the trek to Gresham)!

lildb said...

Hi. I seriously want to live in one of the cabinets in your kitchen.

It's so beautiful I'm pretty sure I'm crying.

Yep. Definitely crying.

More! Photos! Please!

Julie Hranicka said...

How cool are you two? Your project looks amazing!! I am jealous I am not working with you on it! And in-counter blenders...that sounds like a house that knows how to party. I am coming over! Congratulations, it is wonderful. I agree, more pictures please.

Faux Wood Beams California said...

Really good job, love the faux beams. Task lighting is outstanding also!