?`s and ANNEswers

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Shedding Light

When we moved into our current home, dark cabinets and dark countertops were in style. Today lighter colors are preferred. I know the cycle will repeat, but for the time being our kitchen is light-challenged in more ways than one.

We live in a square-shaped building containing four square-shaped condos. each occupying one quarter of the area. The kitchens and laundry rooms are pushed to the middle and share common walls so that the living spaces and bedrooms get as much natural light as possible.

Having cherry cabinets and dark countertops, along with no windows, makes our kitchen dark. Think some men’s club with mahogany accessories. Of course, we have lights: under the counters, over the counters, and in the vaulted ceiling. But Earl wants to install Velux tubes, which act like periscopes and bring in natural light. It’s a product that requires cutting a hole in the roof and extending a round tube to a hole in the ceiling.

I’m not for it, because improper installation can lead to leaks. Besides the covered hole in the ceiling would look wonky. Our next idea was to install pendant lights, perhaps over the bar. But I have issues with that too. They could create a visual barrier that makes the home feel smaller. Finally, our handyman and a neighbor both swear by the brighter lights he installed for her where the old ones once were.

So Earl and I visited M last night to see if they might do the trick. We compared her cabinets (lighter than ours), her floor (white ceramic to our dark wood), and her countertop (soft speckled tan to our glittery black). It made me think we might as well wait for the trends to return in our direction.

It wasn’t a lost cause, however; we both liked the appetizers and cocktails.

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