Last spring my wife and I were preparing for another season of trying to sell our home. We'd been trying for more than a year-and-a-half to find a buyer willing to at least let us pay off our mortgage so we could downsize and move into an apartment. Still, we decided we would make some minor cosmetic improvements just in case summer came and went without a sale.
What turned out to be our favorite improvement was in the kitchen. We had previously taken down the old wallpaper and given the space a fresh, new coat of paint, along with new appliances and counter tops. But we never did deal with the old, outdated lighting. So we decided to change that. After consultations with our real estate agent and a few designers we agreed to pull out all the old fixtures, put one main fixture in the center of the space, and take care of the remaining lighting with LED light strips.
Over the kitchen sink there was a fixture from the 1960s hidden by a piece of fascia. But if you stood right at the sink and looked directly up, you could see that ugly "flower power" ornamentation staring you right in the face. Needless to say, I pulled it out and patched the hole with some drywall. On the back of the fascia we mounted two 3 chip LED strips so they would still be out of view unless you were directly underneath. With one flip of the light switch an area that once looked average now glowed with a beautiful warmth.
To the left of that area was a counter top with a row of cabinets overhead. The counter top used to house the range, which was separate from the double oven, but when we replaced the appliances that range was no longer necessary. We replaced it with a butcher block in order to utilize that space for food preparation. Yet what to do with the space underneath the cabinet left vacant by the old exhaust hood?
The solution was a single LED strip run around the entire perimeter of the underside. For that application we used a strip with a single RGB LED chip that glows with a soft, blue hue, accenting the royal blue finish of the wood. The bottom of the cabinets are just below eye level so we're not looking directly into the light when were preparing food.
Finally, we took advantage of a lot of old gum wood by running single chip white strips along the underside of the quarter-inch crown molding. With the main fixture off and all the LED strips on, the entire kitchen area changes personality completely. So much so that the couple who eventually bought our house said the kitchen was their favorite room. What we installed for our own enjoyment may have been what made the sale.