Decorating & Furniture/dropped ceiling


QUESTION: We are doing a budget remake on my 1970 kitchen: paint cabinets, new countertops, new floor & lighting. The kitchen has a dropped ceiling, with a 12" recess that is 8' X 3.5'.  There are 6 florescent lights around the top of the recess and it was covered by plastic diffuser panels to create a dome with a ceiling fan in the middle.  Removing the dropped ceiling would be major deconstruction that we do not want to do.  I love the bright lighting for cooking but I want the dome & fluorescents gone.   

In Florida we need to keep the ceiling fan.  What would you suggest that I do about Paint/lighting/decor etc.  in this recess?


ANSWER: Thanks for writing and for giving me a great description of your decorating situation.  

First of all, get rid of the florescents, and have small spotlight "cans" recessed into the recess.  This will give you lots of light in your cooking area and will update your kitchen by about 30 years.  You may have to resurface the domed area with new drywall, but that isn't an expensive proposition.  

Once you've installed the new recessed can lights (and be sure to put them on a dimmer switch), I'd suggest painting the recessed area in a darker color than your wall color.  You may even consider using a blue to mimic the sky, or treat it as a fourth wall by using a deeper accent color.  

Getting rid of the dome and the florescent lighting (as well as the plastic diffuser panels) will immediately give the room a lift.  Adding the lighting, and perhaps "updating" the fan will pay big dividends if you ever opt to sell.  


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thank you so much!  I love the idea of an accent color.
The fan is in the center of the recess and all of my work counters are from the center and then to the left. (I am getting a nicer fan.) Do you think that the fan turning  will make the light "blink" as it runs through the blades?  Or do I need non-recessed spots or cans which have a cover directing the light? I was thinking of recessed gimbaled spots, one on each side in the center of the recess.  That would cover 2 out of 3 of my work spaces and I can add an under cabinet light on the 3rd.  

Please let me know what you think.  Thanks for all of your help!  


PS.  Luckily the domed area is gone once I remove all the frames and diffusers!

You can certainly use light that can be directed to your work areas.  You may be happier with them than with recessed lighting.  Go for it.  And be sure to paint that recess a nice rich color that will make you happy and proud every time you look at it.


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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

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BA, Psychology

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