Need to brighten up the heart of your home? Check out these easy, inexpensive lighting solutions.
By Lisa FrederickMore in Kitchen
Consider plug-in wall sconces.
Wall-mounted lighting adds a decorative flourish as well as a gentle, pleasant glow, but rewiring for it can be a major hassle and expense. Plug-in models, like this Taper Shade Sconce from West Elm, solve both problems. The only drawback? Their cords hang down, so you'll need to find a way to conceal those if you don't like having them exposed. $79; West Elm
Bring in an eye-catching lamp.
You might not think of a lamp as a conventional way to brighten a kitchen, but a lamp can add a subtle shine and dress up the decor. Although it can be hard to find models that won't swallow counter and shelf space, one tactic is to look for lamps intended for kids' rooms. The petite Tube Top Colors Table Lamp from Room & Board fits the bill: With a mod silhouette and a spectrum of sassy hues, it's as big on style as it is small in size. $120; West Elm
Hang pendants in place of aging fixtures.
Old recessed cans, flush-mount ceiling lights and similar specimens can undermine an otherwise updated kitchen. Supplant them with pendants, which boost task lighting and are easy to scale to the spot where they'll hang. The Dana pendant from Rejuvenation has a sophisticated, streamlined shape that marries with almost any kitchen style. $194 with shade as shown; Rejuvenation.com
Replace outdated track lighting with a monorail kit.
You can't dispute track lighting's utility, but there's a fresher alternative on the market. Monorail lighting provides the same targeted function, yet takes flexibility to the next level. The sinuous 5-Light Monorail Kit by George Kovacs, through Lumens, is a versatile workhorse. $240; Lumens.com
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